Melanoma-what you need to know

Using a good sunblock with an SPF of at least 50 isn’t just about avoiding wrinkles, it might just save your life.   Sunshine is a leading cause of malignant melanoma, otherwise known as cancer of the skin.

Malignant melanoma is the fourth commonest cancer in Ireland.  Over one thousand new cases are diagnosed in this country every year and rates are set to more than double in both men and women in the next number of decades.  Thankfully, the cast majority of people are diagnosed at an early stage and survival rates are high for this type of cancer.but even  so, skin cancer can, and should, be prevented.

So what can you do to avoid skin cancer?

  1. Use a good sun-block-at least SPF 50.  Apply liberally to sun exposed areas and re-apply every few hours, especially if you’ve been swimming.  It might seem crazy to do this in Ireland where we get so little sun, but remember, our typical pale Irish skin is very easily damaged by sunshine.
  2. Cover-up.  Cover the arms, back and back of the neck.  If possible, look for clothing with an SPF value.  For men, don’t forget to cover up the bald patch, if you have one.
  3. Avoid the sun.  Just stay out of the sun, keep indoors or in the shade when the sun is at its strongest in the mid-afternoon.

What should you look for?

Check your moles regularly and when you do, remember your ABCDE.

A: Asymmetry-the two halves of the mole do not match.

B. The Borders of the mole are uneven.

C.  The Colour of the mole has changed or darkened.

D.  The Diameter is greater than 6mm.

E.  The mole is Evolving ie growing, changing, itching, or bleeding.

February 4th is World Cancer Day.  This information is not a substitute for medical advice.  If you are worried about any symptoms, always talk to a doctor.

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Rhinophyma – useful information

  • Rhinophyma is a swelling of the nose. As it progresses, the nose becomes red, swollen at the tip and develops a ‘bumpy’ appearance that changes its shape.  The swelling develops because scar tissue is formed and sebaceous glands (sweat glands) become enlarged.
  • Rhinophyma is mostly seen in association with Rosacea-a red rash that affects the skin of the cheeks and front of face. Rhinophyma typically develops in people who have had rosacea for many years but although Rosacea affects more women than men, Rhinophyma affects more men than women.
  • There is no clear link between Rhinophyma and excessive alcohol consumption, although alcohol can be a trigger for Rosacea.

There is no cure for Rhinophyma but there are treatments for it that can offer effective control.

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Melasma: What is it and what can I do about it?

Melasma is a common skin condition in adults in which light to dark brown or greyish patches of pigmentation develop mainly on facial skin.  It is most common in women, especially during pregnancy.  However, it can affect men (up to 10% of people with melisma are male).  It usually becomes more noticeable during Summer months (due to sunlight) and improves during Winter months.  It is not an allergy.  It is not caused by a particular food type.  It is not contagious and it does not develop into cancer.

The exact cause of melisma is not known, but it is thought that it is related to hormones, including the contraceptive pill and pregnancy hormones.  Sunlight worsens it.  It is not hereditary although it tends to be worse in family members.

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Why Cant I have Botulinum?

You may have finally decided to take the plunge and make 2018 the year that you give Botulinum a try.  You’ll be glad you did-Botulinum (Btx) injection is a safe and effective procedure and over the last number of decades, thousands of people around the world have used it to successfully treat wrinkles and a number of medical conditions.

Unfortunately, however, Btx isn’t for everyone.  Some people are just not suitable for Btx.  When you attend for Btc, your doctor will go through a list of questions with you to make sure that Btx is the right option for you and, most of all,. to make sure it’s safe for you.  Some of the reasons you might not be allowed to have Btc are listed below:

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Don’t Forget Your Hands!

Many of us put a lot of time and effort into protecting the skin on our faces from the signs of aging.  Its important, however, not to forget the skin on our hands. For most people, the skin on our hands is exposed to just as much sunlight as the skin on our faces causing it to age just as much as the face.

However, in addition, the skin in our hands comes into to contact with soap detergents, shampoos and other household chemicals much more frequently, causing the skin to appear thin and dry and older than it should.

Any good skin care regime should involve the hands as well as the face. Otherwise, while the skin on the face may look pristine, the skin on your hands can give you away.

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5 Things Everyone Should Know About Botox

If you are just beginning to look for treatments that can help you combat signs of aging, like lines and wrinkles on the face, it is likely that Botox is one of the treatments you’ve discovered. Widely used and incredibly popular, it is a drug that is injected into the skin where it will soon help to smooth the surface. However much we might think we know about Botox, we’d like to address five key things everyone should know about Botox, and which may be a surprise to learn.

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Things to try when acne wont clear

  1. Stop touching your face: Popping a pimple may feel like you’re helping acne to go away more quickly but in fact it can make things worse.  Every time you touch your face, pick at or ‘pop’ a pimple you could be making your acne worse.
  2. Be patient: Acne treatments, every the very best ones, take time to work.  Give your treatment at least 4-5 weeks to work and usually best results are seen by about 12 weeks.  For this reason, if you have a special event coming up eg wedding/debs, don’t wait until the last minute to treat your acne.  Talk to your doctor and plan it well in advance.
  3. Don’t scrub your face: Acne has nothing to do with personal hygiene and scrubbing your face hard wont help, it may actually make things worse as scrubbing can irritate acne-prone skin.  Instead, use a gentle cleanser, wash with warm (not hot) water, and after wshing, tone your skin with cold water.  Wash at least twice a day, especially if you’ve been wearing make-up.
  4. Take a look at the products you use: Some skin care products can clog up pores making acne worse.  Always check the packaging and look for labels that say non-comedogenic, oil-free and non-acnegenic.
  5. Get good advice: Sometimes getting rid of acne requires professional help.  Some of the most effective acne treatment products are only available on prescription and must be prescribed by a doctor.  Your doctor can formulate a treatment plan tailored specifically for you.  Follow the treatment plan carefully.  Missing out on one part of a treatment plan may make the entire plan ineffective.
  6. Stay out of the sun and away from tanning beds: While tanning damages your skin all by itself, in addition, some acne medication can make the skin very sensitive to UV light, causing redness and discomfort.  Also, never forget that regular use of sunbeds can increase your risk of melanoma by up to 70%.  Just keep away from sunbeds.
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Taking care of Mens Skin

Although all skin is basically the same there are some differences between men and womens skin.

  1. Texture: Higher levels of testosterone cause mens skin to be about 25% thicker than womens.
  2. Collagen: Men naturally have more collagen than women.  Loss of collagen over time can give rise to the appearance of aging, so in theory at least, mens skin shouldn’t age as quickly as womens.
  3. Acne: Men produce more sebum (a naturally occurring skin oil) than women.  This can clog up pores and may explain why boys suffer from acne more than girls and why boys acne tends to last longer than girls.

There are some extra tips men can take to keep their skin in good condition.

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