We would like to welcome to the office our new Physician Assistant, Jason Westenhofer, PA-C!
He has transferred from Ashland, KY and has over 12 years experience.
This will make scheduling easier and we hope to be even more accomodating to our patients.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call the office today at 304-529-0900.
Do I have to stay out of the sun?
Of course not. What most people do not understand is how much permanent damage occurs to our skin with each “good tan”. The damage we do to our skin with each summer’s tan stays; and, although it is not obvious in winter when our tan fades, after years of summer tans (burns?), our skin begins to show the effects. So, the sensible thing to do is enjoy the sun with all your activities, but wear an effective sunscreen.
What is a good sunscreen?
There are several brands and a variety of products. In my opinion, it is best to pick one with an SPF (sun protection factor) rating of at least 30 for the body and 50 for the face.
Apply sunscreen liberally to exposed sites 15 to 30 minutes before going out into the sun.
- Reapply sunscreen to exposed sites 15 to 30 minutes after sun exposure begins.
- Further reapplication of sunscreen is necessary after vigorous activity that could remove sunscreen, such as swimming, toweling, or excessive sweating and rubbing.
But I want a tan!
It’s hard to convince some folks of the importance of sun protection. Using a 30 or higher sunscreen will still allow mild tanning (delayed pigment darkening), but it’s a much safer type of tan. If a person wants a tan but as little damage to their skin as possible, I would advise wearing a sunscreen of at least 30 and try to use some common sense (something that is often not so common). Although it is often stated that “anything above a 15 is unnecessary”, to me it makes a lot more sense to be “covered” throughout the day by a super effective sunblock.
What is common sense sun exposure?
The hours of 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. are the strongest hours of sun light, especially April through September in our latitude. Sport and leisure activities during these periods for prolonged times, even with an appropriate sunscreen, can produce significant sun damage to skin. This damage can be significantly minimized with protective clothing and “sun breaks”.
Protective clothing? That sounds unappealing!
Clothing is probably the easiest and most effective way to protect from sun damage. Hats are extremely helpful, especially one with a full brim which shades the ears and forehead. Notice that when wearing such a hat, it is unnecessary to put sunscreen on the forehead. This prevents the problem of sunscreen getting into the eyes from the forehead when used on a hot and humid day. If sunscreen is not used on the forehead, you must wear a hat! Shirts or blouses should be of heavy enough material to completely block the sun. If you frequently garden or boat, often a cotton shirt with long sleeves works well, if the temperature isn’t too high.
In summary, please enjoy the sun sensibly. The damage to your skin from the sun slowly accumulates over the years from those “good tans” and later on produces wrinkles, sagging, and skin cancers. You can avoid most of this with sunscreens and proper protective clothing used regularly. Make your sunscreen at or above a 30 SPF, and enjoy your outdoor activity.
Dr. Yarbrough specifically recommends the following:
- Pre-Sun 46 Lotion (which he uses himself).
- Blistex Lip Balm - ultra protection 30.
- Hat - The Duckster by Sun Crusher (he uses).
- Clinique “Continuous Coverage” facial makeup, which offers nearly 100% blockage.
This form of skin cancer has features of both basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
For more information regarding these types of cancer please visit the Patient Education page on our website, www.huntingtondermcare.com.
Lichenoid keratosis are common solitary growths which may occur in sun exposed or in covered areas. These growths often look like a type of skin cancer called a basal cell carcinoma but behave much differently. Due to their similarity to a basal cell cancer, biopsies are done. They are considered benign growths.
Sometimes a lichenoid keratosis in sun exposed areas may show damage to the skin cells noted on the skin biopsy. Treatment with liquid nitrogen is necessary to prevent progression to a skin cancer. These growths are considered Lichenoid Actinic Keratosis.
The word "atypical" means "not like the rest". "Nevus" is the medical term for mole.
"Atypical nevus" refers to a mole that does not look like a normal mole.
While atypical moles are benign (not cancer), some people who have these moles have a higher risk of getting melanoma (the deadliest type of skin cancer). Since melanoma can develop within an atypical mole, anyone who has atypical moles should be examined by a Dermatologist.
Atypical moles tend to vary in appearance. An atypical mole can be larger than other moles. Some are more than one color. Others have a jagged border. These traits also are warning signs of melanoma. You should have a Dermatologist check your mole if it is asymmetrical, has an irregular border, varies in color, OR is changing in size, shape, or color.
SUN EXPOSURE is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancers, including melanoma. As unprotected sun exposure is thought to increase the number of moles, reducing sun exposure is an easy way to reduce your risk for skin cancer.
Please see our blog post regarding sun safety for more information.
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