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Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, strikes about 70,000 Americans each year and kills nearly 10,000, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sadly, many of those deaths could probably be prevented because melanoma is highly curable when caught early.
One famous example is Jamaican performer Bob Marley, who was felled by brain cancer in 1981 when he was just 36. The cancer spread from a melanoma on his big toe. It was initially misdiagnosed as a soccer injury and when the true nature of the problem was eventually discovered, his fate was already sealed, explains an article on repeatingislands.com.
Whether they play soccer, golf or baseball or just like to run, outdoor enthusiasts in Arizona are at higher risk for skin cancers because it’s easy to spend lots of time in the sun during all seasons. While most of the attention is on summer sun exposure, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends people thoroughly inspect their skin every month looking for suspicious lesions or blemishes.
If you find a mole or other skin issue that appears abnormal or causes you concern, schedule a consultation with a medical professional for a screening.
Here is some additional information about protecting yourself against skin cancer.
Sunscreen doesn’t cause cancer
Some people claim chemical ingredients in sunscreen are actually harmful and can cause cancer. But there is no research to support this idea, Wu notes. With tens of millions of people using sunscreen regularly, there would be some evidence if it were really harmful. On the other hand, countless studies document the benefits of using sunscreen.
Time your exposure
If you enjoy outdoor sports or jogging, being active at the right time of day can reduce your sun exposure.
“Try to plan your runs during hours where sun is less intense, such as early mornings or late afternoons or evenings,” advises Carly Benford. In addition to being an avid runner,
Benford is the research coordinator for a clinical trial for melanoma research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute. Benford says any abnormal changes to your skin could be a sign of skin cancer. She suggests having an annual skin exam from a dermatologist to catch any issues early.
SPF is not enough
Most people think they are protected if they use a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF). There are two types of damaging sun rays, Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB), and SPF refers only to UVB protection.
Read the label carefully because you need to make certain you use a sunscreen that also protects against UVA rays. Most dermatologists advise using sunscreen with 30 SPF or higher. Many believe higher is better, simply because people do such a poor job of properly applying sunscreen.
Dark skin is not a protection
The idea that people with tan or dark skin are not harmed by sun exposure is patently false. “Unfortunately, skin cancer is frequently diagnosed later in people of color — perhaps because of the misconception that they are not at risk — so it’s often progressed to a later stage and is more difficult to treat,” says Dr. Jessica Wu, a Los Angeles dermatologist and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at USC School of Medicine in an article for Reader’s Digest.
Block the sun - Hats, Long Sleeves, Sunglasses
Even the best sunscreen allows some UV rays to get through. “Hats, sunglasses and UV protective clothing are all options, in addition to sunscreen, for protecting yourself from the damages of sun while on a run,” explains Benford. She notes many runners and other athletes don’t use any sunscreen, believing they’ll only be outside for a short time.
Source: Tgen - Translational Genomics Research Institute
Here's advice from the pros on how to protect and maintain healthy skin.
Pour on the Protection
To ensure she layers on enough sunscreen ("the best way to keep skin youthful"), Garland, TX-based dermatologist Lisa Garner, MD, president of the Women's Dermatologic Society, fills the hollow of her palm (about ½ teaspoon) with a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher to coat her face, neck, and ears. "I usually have to apply two coats to finish what I've squeezed out, but that's how I make sure I'm covered."
Eat a Skin-Saving Breakfast
The first meal of the day for New York City derm Doris Day, MD, includes almonds. "They contain essential fatty acids, which help put the brakes on inflammation that accelerates fine lines, sagging, and blotchiness." Not feeling like a nut? Salmon, tuna, and halibut are good lunch/dinner sources.
Zen Your Skin
If anyone has stress, it's doctors. High levels of tension can spike hormone production that leads to breakouts or aggravates conditions like psoriasis. "Controlling stress keeps your skin calm—but that's easier said than done," says Annie Chiu, MD, a derm in LA. Taking a 10-minute time-out to apply a face mask and relax on her bed works for Chiu. Another trick: Ban the 'Berry. "I turn off my cell phone after 8 at night. Every little bit helps!" she says.
Develop a Bedside Manner
"I often find it difficult to stick to my anti-aging regimen at bedtime," says Francesca Fusco, MD, an NYC derm. To avoid missing her evening routine, she stores these products in a pretty skincare case she keeps on her nightstand. "So if I've forgotten—or was just too tired to apply products at the sink—I can do it easily while in bed." Her must-haves: Renova (an Rx retinoid), EpiCeram (an ultrahydrating Rx moisturizer), SCO lip balm, Earth to Skin Care Cracked Heel Renewal, Creative Nail Design Solar oil (to soften cuticles), and Listerine White Strips.
Wear Your Veggies
Frozen peas help soothe itchy, irritated eyes for Jeanine Downie, MD, a derm in Montclair, NJ. "Once I get home from work, I remove my skincare and put a bag of frozen peas on my lids for about 5 minutes." The cold helps reduce swelling and pigmentation, a side effect of repeated irritation from her eczema. Unlike inflexible ice packs, a bag of peas easily conforms to the shape of the eyes for a faster effect.
Strike a Pose
Most derms will bend over back-ward for great skin. Hema Sundaram, MD, a Washington, DC-area dermatologist, bends forward. Yoga moves "like Child's Pose, Downward-Facing Dog, and Sun Salutations improve circulation—the boost of oxygen is what gives skin that lovely yoga glow." Another reason to take to the mat: New research finds regular yoga practice may reduce the inflammation and stress that speed skin aging.
Diet soda is a vice that Audrey Kunin, MD, a Kansas City, MO, dermatologist, just can't quit—she downs up to six cans a day. When she realized that all the sodium in soda (anywhere from 25 to 50 mg per can) made her eyes and jawline puffy, she switched to a brand that doesn't punish her skin: sodium-free Diet Rite soda. "It satisfies my cravings and my skin looks much better."
Cut Back on the Sweet Stuff
The breakdown of sugars, called glycation, damages the collagen that keeps skin smooth and firm. To prevent this natural process from careening out of control, Naila Malik, MD, a derm in Southlake, TX, sticks to low-glycemic carbs like whole grains; they're naturally low in sugar, and the body processes them slowly to limit the loss of collagen.
Pump Iron to Plump Skin
"I am religious about strength-training, and I always tell patients to do it more as they get older," says Patricia Farris, MD, a dermatologist in Metairie, LA. The payoff: firmer skin from the neck down, the result of having better, more supportive muscle tone. "It's like adding volume to the face with fillers, except on your body," says Farris.
In her teens, Amy Wechsler, MD, an NYC derm, started drinking green and black tea for the taste. Now she drinks three to five cups a day to safeguard her skin. Research suggests that both types of tea contain protective compounds—like EGCG and theaflavins—that help prevent skin cancers and the breakdown of collagen, the cause of wrinkles.
Hopefully, the tips in Part 1 has helped your skin and hair remain healthy during this chilly and dry winter. Here are some more tips to help you through the winter and into the new year!
A dried-out scalp produces fewer oils, which can make hair full of static. Don't skimp on conditioner, and simulate natural scalp oils by combing a bit of vitamin E oil through the hair before bed to replenish moisture. Need a quick fix? Run a bit of lotion through strands or run an unscented dryer sheet (really) over the hair before heading out the door.
During the winter, stick to cotton hats (which conduct much less static electricity than acrylic and wool).
Keeping a tube of lip balm in an easily accessible pocket is a good first step, but winter winds can take chapped lips to a whole new level. If lips are flaky, take a clean toothbrush and very gently exfoliate the skin to remove excess skin. Slather on beeswax or a lip balm with lanolin (a natural oily wax extracted from sheep's wool!) and keep reapplying throughout the day.
For seriously dry lips, apply honey or Vaseline to the lips for 15 minutes and then remove with a cotton swab dipped in hot water.
Dry air saps the moisture right out of nails and leaves them delicate and susceptible to breaks and tears. Consider adding biotin-rich foods (also called Vitamin B7) to your diet - this essential vitamin helps the body process amino acids and produce fatty acids. Vegetables (including carrots and Swiss chard) and protein sources including nuts and fish are good ways to pack in enough of the vitamin.
The skin over high-pressure joints like elbows, knees, and heels is thicker to cushion the essential bones underneath. It's great to have some extra padding, but ashy, scaly elbows are uncomfortable and unattractive. The key to keeping elbows (and other rough spots) soft is to exfoliate once or twice per week and moisturize every day.
Dry Face / Windburn
First thing's first: During winter, avoid any face products with alcohol, and switch to a milder face wash and a thicker moisturizer. Another good option? Whole grains and aromatic veggies contain selenium, a compound that gives skin the elasticity to make silly faces. Snack on quinoa, brown rice, onions, or garlic when skin gets tight and dry.
Protect sensitive skin by layering on thick face cream with a high SPF - the only thing worse than windburn is winter sunburn. When heading into the great outdoors, dress for the weather with a hat, scarf, and gloves to avoid windburn and prolonged exposure to cold air.
It’s wintertime and the livin’ ain’t easy—for our hair, skin, and nails, that is. Whipping winds, dry air, and chilly temperatures can really do a number on soft skin and hair. Cold air outside and central heat indoors can strip moisture from strands and pores, making hair rough and skin itchy and dry.
Skin isn’t only the barrier between the environment and our insides—it’s a living organ that’s responsible for keeping the body cool, protecting it against germs and “invaders,” and many other metabolic processes. It’s important to keep these tissues in good condition and working well all year long so they can do their jobs and keep us healthy and safe. Cracked, flaky, irritated, or inflamed skin is normal during winter, though it’s not exactly fun.
A 20-minute long, boiling-hot shower might feel great on a cold day, but stick to warm or lukewarm water for 10 minutes or less. Long exposure to hot water can strip moisture from hair and skin. Slathering on lotion within three minutes of stepping out of the bath or shower is most effective for trapping in moisture.
Load up on vitamin C-rich produce like citrus fruit and dark leafy greens. Vitamin C can help boost the body’s production of collagen, a protein that maintains skin and other connective tissues. And don't forget to drink plenty of water.
To prevent hands from drying out, apply moisturizer after hand washing and at least several times throughout the day. Keep a bottle of lotion by each sink in your home and in your desk at work. If hands are very dry, use cream instead of lotion because the former has a higher oil-to-water ratio.
Wearing rubber gloves while washing dishes can prevent hands from getting dried out due to excess contact with hot water, too.
Irritated, Dry Eyes
Wind and dry air are not a good combination for sensitive eyes. Sporting sunnies on a sub-zero day might look weird, but the lenses can protect eyes from glare and wind. Keep a bottle of non-medicated saline tears or eye drops on hand and use it to refresh eye moisture when needed.
Avoid eye drops like Visine, which causes blood vessels in the eye to contract, giving the illusion you 'got the red out.' Instead, use a lubricant such as Systane Eye Drops or Blink Tears.
When outdoors in cold weather, the blood vessels cut off circulation to the nose. After coming indoors the blood vessels dilate quickly, causing a rush of blood (and bright-red color). To bring the nose back to a normal hue, apply a warm—but not hot—compress to the skin for several minutes after coming indoors. Sometimes a winter cold and the tissues that come with it can make the nose raw and chapped, too.
When the sniffles hit, use extra-soft tissues and blot the nose; don’t rub it. Apply a thin layer of moisturizing ointment or lotion to the sensitive area throughout the day.
Rough, Cracked Feet
Scrub calluses with a pumice stone in the shower once per week to slough off rough, dead skin. Moisturize feet, especially the heels, every day with thick cream—lotions containing lactic acid are especially effective—and wear cotton socks to bed.
It may look nerdy, but sporting socks while snoozing can help creams absorb. Warmer feet means sweatier feet (ick), and moisturizers are most effective when applied to warm, damp skin.
Itchy Dry Scalp
Take cooler, quicker showers to reduce the scalp’s exposure to drying hot water. Think about switching to a dandruff or dry scalp specific shampoo. Before hopping in the shower, massage the scalp with Vitamin E, olive, or coconut oil. These oils replenish natural scalp oilsand can moisturize dry hair, too
It's important to remember that for your healthiest, most vibrant skin, you must nurture it from the inside out. Here are 5 habits you can follow to help your skin be more radiant.
1. Protect your skin from the sun
Too much sun can make your skin age faster, cause sunburn and even lead to cancer. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, although SPF 30 is highly recommended. Also, wear a hat that covers the face and clothing made of cotton that covers the skin completely.
2. Maintain a proper diet and stay properly hydrated
Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and beans. Many healthy foods have antioxidants, which boost skin, hair, and nail growth. Some research suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates might promote younger looking skin.
Make water your first choice of drink. The old adage of 8 glasses a day is no longer true. The basic equation for determining the minimum of water your body needs a day is by dividing your body weight in half. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you would need 75 ounces of water per day. If you are outdoors a great deal, exercise, or doing any other strenuous activity, you'll need to intake more water.
3. Don't smoke
Smoking takes away oxygen and nutrients from the skin. It can cause and worsen loose, sagging skin, wrinkles and age spots. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin — the fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity.
4. Get the beauty of sleep
Your skin replenishes itself while you sleep. When you don't get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic. Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Exercise increases blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients to the skin. Aim to be physically active 30 minutes a day for most days of the week. Take a nice long walk walk or light jog after dinner. Remember to stay hydrated.
Researchers at the McMaster University in Ontario found that after age 40, the men and women who exercised frequently had markedly thinner, healthier stratum corneums and thicker dermis layers in their skin. Their skin was much closer in composition to that of the 20- and 30-year-olds than to that of others of their age, even if they were past age 65.
From our family to yours, Merry Christmas! We hope that you are celebrating with family and friends. For those of you that received a SunBuddy® Back Lotion Applicator, enjoy!
This time of the year is also a busy time for traveling. With the Northeast being hit with heavy snowstorms, we hope you are going somewhere nice and warm. Britain’s Channel4’s Gadget Man recently featured the SunBuddy® Back Lotion Applicator along with other clever products in their Summer Holiday Gadgets article.
So, click to link below to check out other gadgets that will make your traveling more enjoyable.
Link: Gadget Man's Summer Holiday Gadget Guide
As winter approaches, our skin is prone to reaching peak dryness. Cold temperatures combined with dry indoor heat and dehydrating long, hot showers zaps the moisture out of our skin quicker than normal.
“We try getting in a hot, steamy shower to get a little moisture, and don't realize that the water itself actually takes water out of us by osmosis," explains Dr. Jessica Krant, a board-certified dermatologist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. "Not only that, the heat and water strip our natural moisturizing oils out of our skin. Then we get out of the shower, and that last bit of dampness evaporating away dries us out even more."
Here are some tips to protect and keep our skin healthy during the dry winter months.
Take Shorter Showers
Hot, long showers strip our skin of its natural moisturizing oils, so it is best to take shorter showers (5-10 minutes) with a warm water temperature. After you get out of the shower, gently pat your skin dry. Rubbing your skin with a towel robs your skin of moisture and precious oils.
Moisturizer: Choose Cream Over Lotion
Choose a moisturizer cream that is thick and fragrance-free instead of watery lotion. A proper moisturizer will lock and seal in moisture, providing protection for our skin to heal.
It is best to apply moisturizer within 3 minutes of getting out of the shower. Use the SunBuddy - Back Lotion Applicator to apply moisturizer to those hard-to-reach areas of your back.
Windy, cold weather and overheated houses zap moisture from our skin, so drinking more water than you want to will help replenish the water you are losing.
Not to mention, our skin is our body’s biggest organ, so keeping it properly hydrated will give you a radiant, healthy, and younger looking complexion.
Skip the Perfume / Colonge
The chemicals in your perfume may irritate your dry, sensitive skin. Also, the alcohol content will strip oils from your skin, drying it out.
Apply Lip Balm and Hand Cream Often
Don’t forget that our lips need protection too and are prone to premature aging and skin cancer! Using lip balm with a SPF of at least 30 will keep them soft and supple.
Don’t skimp on washing your hands, as it is important to remove harmful bacteria and viruses. Use hand cream after each wash to retain much-needed moisture and to reduce skin cracks.
No Loose Powder Sunscreens
Loose powder sunscreens such in the form of mineral makeup are designed to be applied on the face and scalp. Although they contain zinc and titanium particles that offer strong UV protection, it is difficult for users to judge if they are applying a thick and even coat.
But the bigger problem is inhaling the tiny zinc and titanium particles. Based on studies by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, inhaled titanium dioxide is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” FDA’s current rules no longer allow loose powers to advertise an SPF or make claims of sun protection. But the FDA granted small companies until the end of December 2013 to remove their powders from the market. Be on the lookout and avoid loose powder sunscreens.
No Spray Sunscreens
Although ever so convenient, like loose powdered sunscreen, there is a growing concern that these sprays pose serious inhalation risks. Although the FDA has expressed concern about the safety of spray sunscreens and are currently researching into inhalation risks, companies continue to turn them out.
If you must run spray sunscreen, it is best to spray it on your hands and then rub the sunscreen onto your skin. But that basically defeats the purpose of using a spray-on product, so you’re better off with using lotion-based sunscreen.
No Sunscreen Towelettes
The FDA ended the sale of sunscreen wipes and towelettes, but these can still be purchased online and some are even marketed as safe for babies. The biggest concern is that these towelettes do not get enough sunscreen on your skin to ensure sun protection. This is another example where the convenience is not worth the risk.
No Combined Sunscreen/Bug Repellents
“Studies shown that combining sunscreen with DEET caused the skin to absorb insect repellent more than three times faster than when used alone”, according to WebMD. Also, you’ll need to reapply sunscreen more often than bug repellent, so using a product that combines both is not a good idea. Luckily, bugs are typically not a problem during the hours when UV exposure peaks, so skip these combination products.
Keep In Mind
As summer ends and fall begins, it is essential to not forget that UV rays can damage your skin yearlong. Overcast clouds may block out sunshine, but the UV rays still get through and many times, we let our guard down believing dark skies equals less UV exposure.
June 21, 2013 marks the first official day of summer and this year’s summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. The summer solstice marks the point of the year where the northern hemisphere is tilted most towards the sun, thus giving us longer days. For example, according to timeanddate.com, there will be over 14 hours and 25 minutes of sunlight in Los Angeles today.
With longer days and warmer weather, it’s a great time to go outside and take advantage of all the extra sunlight. But don’t forget that sun exposure adds up day after day, and it happens every time you are in the sun. According to the UCLA Skin Research Department, 78% of all sun damage occurred in a lifetime is from incidental exposure from everyday activities.
This means you are putting your skin at risk every time you walk to your car, wait outside for the bus, walk your dog, etc. So be sure to generously apply SPF 30+ sunscreen at least 20 minutes before heading out, wear a hat, and wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection to protect not just your eyes, but your sensitive eyelids too.
Do: Wash your face and moisturize at bedtime
The skin on your face is one of the dirtiest parts on your body from being unintentionally touched all day long. Washing your face every will get rid of dirt and free radicals that can clog pores. Moisturizing will aid in skin repair and healing that occurs while you sleep.
Don’t: Use bar soap to wash your face
The binders in bar soap have a high pH balance, making it too drying for most skin types. Thus, bar soap immediately strips your skin of all its water, instantly creating dead skin cell buildup. In general, bar soap should never touch the skin from the neck down. Instead, look for mild, sulfate free, low foaming gel cleansers. Avoid high foaming cleansers.
Do: Exfoliate your skin
Exfoliating both your face and body weekly helps get rid of the dead top layers of skin that give us a dull complexion. Also, moisturizers will better penetrate your skin since the dead, flaky layer is scrubbed away. Some say the best time to exfoliate is in the morning, after your skin has repaired itself overnight. Here are some great tools for exfoliation: Facial scrub – gentle salt or sugar based one that leaves your skin feeling ‘dewy’. Avoid alcohol based ones. Basic washcloth – put a dab of cleanser on a damp washcloth and massage your skin in a circular motion. For 30 seconds. Rise off with lukewarm water. Retinoids – removes the top layer of dead skin cells while generation collagen, the skin’s structural fiber. Most skincare experts consider retinoids to be a miracle skin saver. However, retinoids are not recommended for women who are pregnant or who are breastfeeding.
Don’t: Overcleanse your skin
When you overcleanse your skin, you strip out the essential oils and water that keep skin healthy and balanced. If your skin feels taut and tight after cleansing, then it is a sign that your skin is crying out for moisture and that you are using a cleanser that is too harsh for your skin. Some effects of overcleansing are: Rashes – dry, red, flakey, irritated skin that may accelerate aging Adult acne – due to overactive oil glands triggered by a panic response
Do: Wear sunscreen
The number one cause of wrinkles is sun damage, so wear sunscreen with at least a SPF of 30. One trick is to purchase moisturizer with sunscreen for the day and one without sunscreen for the night. The ingredients in sunscreen are not mean to be used 24/7 and can aggravate your skin. Also, there is no cure for melanoma skin cancer, only prevention by wearing sunscreen.
Don’t: Skip wearing sunscreen on cloudy and winter days The sun emits two types of ultraviolet rays – UVA and UVB. UVB rays, which cause your skin to get tan or sunburn, are less strong in the winter than in the summer. However, UVA rays, which cause premature skin again and skin cancer, are equally strong from summer to winter. Even on a cloudy day, you are still getting UV damage if you do not wear sunscreen.
Do: Moisturize your skin
Your skin needs water to keep skin cells hydrated and healthy. Lack of water will cause skin cells to die prematurely, resulting in dead skin cell build up and clogged pores
Don’t: Substitute drinking water for using a skin moisturizer
Although drinking plenty of water has multiple benefits for your body such as increasing brain function, maintaining energy levels, and aids in weight loss and digestion, it is the least efficient and effective way to hydrate your skin.
Given how aggressively media outlets have pushed awareness of breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer over the past few years, it is astonishing that skin cancer is actually the most prevalent cancer in America. If fact, the number of skin cancer cases diagnosed annually is greater than breast, colon, lung, and prostate cancers combined. Yet, compared to other common cancers, there is a lack of awareness for skin cancer.
Skin cancer is divided into the non-melanoma and melanoma categories. Non-melanoma, in the form of basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer, is the more common form with around 2 million cases diagnosed last year in this country. Melanoma, the more serious type of skin cancer, attributes to over 75 percent of all skin cancer deaths and is the number one cancer for the age group 25 to 29. One American dies of melanoma every hour.
Here are some staggering facts about Melanoma Skin Cancer:
Summer is quickly approaching and here are some sun safety tips:
We'd like to remind you that Mother's Day is right around the corner - Sunday, May 12th. Celebrate all the great ladies in our lives (moms, sisters, grandmas, and wifes) with a unique gift! The SunBuddy Lotion Applicator is that unique gift they'll truly appreciate and will help them maintain their perfect, soft motherly skin.
Unlike other lotion applicators on the market, the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator opens at an optimal angle of 135 degrees, making it easy to reach your whole back without having to hyperextend your arm and shoulders. The SunBuddy's rubberized extendable handle provides an extra 4 inches of reach, providing 18 inches of reach when fully opened and extended. When not used, the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator easily folds in half for easy storage and travel.
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Sun spots, also known as sun freckles, age spots, liver spots or solar lentigines, are caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light from either the sun or a tanning bed rather than by aging. Sun spots can develop from not using sunscreen regularly or from not taking other measures to protect the skin, such as wearing a hat or long sleeves. Although sun spots are not cancerous, you may be more at risk for skin cancer. Even so, most people don’t want sun spots on their skin.
Sun spots is a common condition of hyperpigmentation in which patches of skin become darker in color than the surrounding skin. When you skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation, your skin naturally produces a brown pigment called melanin that makes your skin tan to help absorb the radiation in a safer way. However, overexposure to the sun without sunscreen can cause excess melanin deposits to form in the skin, leaving behind freckle-like spots that can become darker or more pronounced as your skin becomes exposed to the sun.
Although there are fade creams and laser treatments that will reduce or remove sun spots, they tend to be expensive and may contain bleach.
The easiest and most obvious way to prevent sun spots is to apply sunscreen of at least SPF 30 daily to your face, arms and shoulders before going outdoors. Sunscreen will also prevent any existing sun spots you have from growing larger and larger. Remember that the sun’s ultraviolet rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
This transparent gel has been used for thousands of years to treat wounds and burns. Although there is no scientific consensus yet, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence supporting the effectiveness of aloe vera in reducing sun spots. Plus, aloe vera is natural, non-toxic when used externally, will not harm the skin, and is cheap to purchase. Apply aloe to your sun spots twice a day and watch them gradually fade away.
Vitamin C and E
High levels of Vitamin C is a natural skin brightener, but you skin will be more sensitive to sunlight, so be sure to wear sunscreen. Vitamin E oil gives your skin moisture and antioxidants it needs for healing. When applied to sun spots, Vitamin E encourages your skin cells to regenerate. As an added bonus, Vitamin E oil smooths your skin and removes imperfections.
Apply lemon juice directly to your sun spots, wait 15 minutes, and then rinse your skin. Lemon juice is safe and effective in lightening your skin. The sun spots should fade or disappear within a few weeks
A new study has shown that taking a low daily dose of aspirin may prevent melanoma (skin cancer) in older women. Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, CA analyzed data from nearly 60,000 postmenopausal Caucasian women who enrolled in a 12 year follow-up study.
Researchers found that during the 12 years, women who regularly used aspirin had a 21 percent lower overall risk for developing melanoma compared with women who did not take aspirin. Medical student Christina A. Gamba discovered that taking aspirin regularly less than one year reduced melanoma risk by 11 percent. Taking aspirin 1 to 4 years resulted in 20 percent lower risk, and taking it five years or more resulted in 30 percent lower risk.
Aspirin’s anti-inflammatory properties may have played a role but Ms. Gamba is currently reanalyzing the data to see if anti-inflammatory activity or another mechanism is responsible for the aspirin takers’ reduced risk of skin cancer. Thirty-two thousand women in the US will be diagnosed with melanoma this year and the disease will kill 3,120.
Keep in mind that signs of melanoma can begin with an irregular shaped mole that changes in color and size. Always cover up your skin and wear sunscreen. And for areas that you cannot reach, such as the middle of your back, use the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator. If you wish to add aspirin to your daily regimen, be sure to speak to your doctor first.
It's that time of the year again! Daylight Saving Time (DST) starts this Sunday, March 10, 2013, at 2AM. Although we will lose one hour of sleep, we will gain one hour of daylight.
Here are 5 interesting facts:
Not only is UV radiation bad for your skin, it is just as bad for your eyes. Studies show that exposure to bright sunlight increases the risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration (blindness), and cancerous growths on the eye. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65. Excessive exposure to UV can be caused by sunlight reflected off sand, water, or pavement.
Thus, it is important that you wear sunglasses every time you are outside, no matter the season of the year. Snow reflects nearly 80 percent of sunlight while beach sand only 15%. And just because it is cloudy outside doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear your sunglasses. UV radiation is invisible and penetrates through clouds.
Prices for sunglasses range from few dollars to a few hundred, making it difficult to choose the right one. Do expensive brand name sunglasses necessarily mean better protection? In some cases yes, in some cases no. Sunglasses from Ray-Ban or Oakley will be more comfortable, durable, scratch resistant and higher quality than sunglasses from your local drug store. But if the cheap sunglasses offer 100% UV Protection, then they offer just as much protection as the more expensive sunglasses.
Here are some more tips for buying proper sunglasses.
UVA/UVB Protection Rating:
Look for a label that reads “UV 400”, “100% UV Protection” or “Blocks 98% of UVA and UVB Rays.” Sunglasses that block UV radiation up to 400 nanometers is the equivalent to blocking 100% of UV rays.
Avoid sunglasses with vague labels that read “UV Protective” or “UV Absorbing” because they offer little to no protection at all. Also, avoid paying extra for UV coating on sunglasses that already provide 100% UV protection.
The FDA does not regulate that sunglasses must provide any particular level of UV protection, so when in doubt, stick with brands that specialize in sunglasses such as Ray-Ban, Oakley, and Maui Jim.
Many brand name sunglasses have lenses that provide clear, sharp vision. Also, the plastic materials in these lenses will be thicker and won’t wrap when exposed to heat like the thinner lenses in cheap sunglasses.
However, if is possible to find sunglasses around $30-70 that are high quality and offer excellent optics with this simple test. First, hold the frame perfectly level from an arm’s distance away. Then, move the lenses slowly side to side and up and down as you focus on a stationary object (sign, parked car, door frame) in the distance. As you move the lenses across the object, the image should not shift and lines should not bend or distort.
Light vs. Dark Tints:
Don’t be fooled by dark tints. The tint of the sunglasses has nothing to do with the amount of UV protection they provide. It is more important that the sunglasses are correctly labeled to provide 100% UV Protection.
To Polarize or Not to Polarize:
Polarized lenses block horizontal waves of light that create glare. So, if you are frequently being distracted by glare while driving, boating, or skiing, then it may worth paying a little extra more. However, polarized sunglasses might interfere with clearly seeing LCD, digital, and cell phone displays. Be sure to test them out before investing the extra dollars.
Choose sunglasses that adequately shield the sensitive skin around your eyelids and prevent sunlight from entering from the side. Wrap-around shades provide the most sun protection since they cover your eyes from temple to temple. But if this style isn’t for you, then go with the current trend of having larger frames that cover your face from brow to the top of the cheekbone.
Know your skin type to beeter protect it from the sun. Match your skin to the color that best resembles your own.
Keeping your skin healthy during the winter can be as challenging as it is in the summer. Even though most of our skin is constantly covered during the cold winter months, little do we realize how many nutrients, moisture, and natural oils are being zapped out of our skin. As our hands and skin become dry, itchy, and cracked, we realize how difficult it can be to treat these winter skin symptoms. If untreated, dry skin my lead to dermatitis, which causes swelling and infection.
Here are some tips to help prevent and treat dry skin:
Use the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator to easily apply lotion to your back and to hard to reach areas of the body. Say goodbye to making awkward requests.
The sun's UV rays are stronger than ever and skin cancer is on the rise. Use the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator to apply sunscreen and protect your skin from getting burned.
Use the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator to apply moisturizer to your flaky back during the dry winter months.
Use the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator to regain your independence and apply lotions and creams to your body yourself.
The SunBuddy Lotion Applicator is not just for sunscreen. Use it to apply medication creams, body lotions, aloe vera, massage creams, soothing creams, tanning bed lotions, sunless tanners, tattoo creams, unwanted hair removal creams, and more. The SunBuddy’s removeable, replaceable, soft cosmetic pads are the most hygienic on the market. You can designate pads for certain lotions rather than use one pad for everything, as our competitors with fixed hard foam pads insist.
The compactness and discreteness of the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator make it the perfect bathroom accessory. Have a rash of your back that you cannot reach or is too embarrassing to ask your significant other or family member for help? Then use the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator to apply your medication cream.
Did you just get a new back piece tattoo and need help applying healing ointment to it every several hours? Then use the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator at your own convenience. Remember to thoroughly wash the pads after each use and to replace the pads as often to promote a quick healing process. Or maybe you just need help applying moisturizer to your back during the dry winter months. Whatever the situation is, SunBuddy has your back.
Be sure to always have extra SunBuddy replacement pads for all your needs. You can order a 3 pack replacement package here.
The sun’s UV rays are stronger than ever and with awareness that tanning beds are not a safer alternative, many sun enthusiasts have turned to sunless tanning products. Sunless tanning lotions and sprays work by staining the outermost layer of the skin, promising consumers that year round ‘golden brown glow’ without the harmful effects of UV radiation rays.
Sunless tanning lotions and sprays have come a long way. Just a few years ago, sunless tanners were heavily criticized for leaving an unnatural, pumpkin orange tan.
Despite skin cancer warnings, suntans are still glorified in the US and polls show that having a light brown tan is still regarded as fashionable and attractive. But is there really such a thing as a 'safe tan'?
The active ingredient in sunless tanning lotions and sprays is a FDA approved chemical called dihydroxyacetone, or DHA. The sugars in DHA react with the proteins in the outermost layer of the skin to produce a golden brown hue that lasts until it sheds off. Although there are no studies that looked at the long-term health effects of DHA, dermatologists have initially concluded that there is no reason to expect any danger. Also, the FDA has only received a few reports of allergic rashes from using sunless tanner lotion products.
The important thing to keep in mind is that DHA is FDA approved for external use. Recently toxicologists and lung experts have been weighing in on the potential dangers of inhaling tanning agents from sunless tanning sprays. Therefore, the FDA has not approved the use of DHA in tanning booths as an all-over spray. Using a protective eye cover and a nose plug is highly recommended to prevent the chemicals in the mist from entering the body.
In conclusion, sunless tanning lotion is safer to use than sunless tanning sprays. If you do opt for the spray, be sure to cover your eyes, nose and lips to avoid inhalation and ingestion.
One of our most asked questions is how to use the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator most effectively on your back. Although the SunBuddy's soft pad is a compact 2 inches by 1.5 inches, it can cover a large area in little time with the correct technique.
The key concept to keep in mind is to not treat your back like a bedroom wall and the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator like a paint brush. When applying lotion to your back, we do NOT recommend using a long vertical application stroke from the top to the bottom of your back. Quite simply, your skin will absorb all of the lotion before it could cover the entire length of your back. The trick is to use various angles and short application strokes on one managable area at a time.
Here are the 2 techniques we recommend when using the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator:
1) Thoroughly apply lotion to your whole back by dividing and conquering
Divide your back into 3 equal, but managable areas - the upper, mid, and lower. Within each area, work from the left to the right and thoroughly apply lotion to the entire area before moving on to the next.
For applying lotion to your upper back - Fully open the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator to 135 degrees and squeeze a quarter sized amount of lotion onto its pad. Wth either hand, hold the SunBuddy by its bottom handle and slowly reach over your shoulders. Use short, vertical application strokes while keeping the entire surface of the pad in contact with your skin. Repeat as necessary while focusing just on your upper back.
To apply lotion to your mid back - Keep the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator fully opened. Hold its bottom handle and extend it outward to add an extra 4.5 inches in length. Squeeze a quarter sized amount of lotion onto the pad. With either hand, hold the SunBuddy by its bottom handle and slowly reach over your shoulders, as if you were to apply lotion to your upper back. But because the botttom handle is fully extended, the pad will now reach and make contact with your mid back. Use short, vertical application strokes while focusing just on your mid back. Repeat as necessary for thorough coverage.
To apply lotion to your lower back - Keep the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator fully opened and squeeze a quarter sized amount of lotion onto its pad. Then hold the SunBuddy under your arm by the rubber grips on either the top or bottom handle. Use short, horizontal application strokes while focusing just on your lower back. Repeat as necessary for thorough coverage.
2) Use the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator For Just Those Hard To Reach Areas of the Back
For those of us who are more flexible, use your hands to apply lotion to reachable areas of your back and then the SunBuddy to finish the job. Most likely, you will be able to reach your upper and lower back with your hands. The SunBuddy will then be used to apply lotion for those hard to reach areas, like the area between your shoulders or your mid back. Use one of the methods described above in the first technique to apply lotion to these areas. Simple as that. You'll be done and ready in no time!
Practice makes perfect and after using these techniques with the SunBuddy Lotion Applicator for just a couple of times, you will naturally make small adjustments to develop a revised technique that best suits your body.
Math and Cancer
Although there are numerous types of cancer, the definition is the same - a growth caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
Each year, more than:
The skin is the largest organ of our body. Although it's delicate, our skin works hard to combat the elements working against it.
Skin cancer forms in the tissues of the dermis and there are several types. The most common forms of skin cancer are basal cell and squamous cell cancer. Although these cancers are serious, the most dangerous form of skin cancer is melanoma.
Each year, 70,000 Americans are diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer.
Melanoma skin cancer
This skin cancer forms in melanocytes (skin cells that make pigment) and can occur on any skin surface. In men, it's often found on the head, neck, or back. In women, it's often found on the lower legs or back.
Basal cell skin cancer
This skin cancer forms in the lower part of the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) and is typically found in areas exposed to the sun. It's commonly found on the face and is the most common type of skin cancer among people with fair skin.
Squamous cell cancer
This skin cancer forms on squamous cells (flat cells that form the surface of the skin). It's usually found in places that are not exposed to the sun, such as legs or feet and is the most common type of skin cancer among people with dark skin.
Looking at Numbers
In a recent study by the American Cancer Society, the overall number of cancer incidences and death rates has decreased. However, in the past 30 years melanoma cancer incidents have increased rapidly. Most recently the increases have occurred among young white women between the ages of 15 - 39 years (3% per year since 1992) and white adults 65 years and older (5% per year for men since 1985 and 4% per year for women). Melanoma skin cancer primarily affects white adults and the occurrence rate for whites is ten time higher than in blacks. Among whites, rates are more than 50% higher in men than in women.
Melanoma is responsible for 75% of skin cancer deaths and an estimated 8,790 deaths in the U.S. annually. Of those deaths, two-thirds are men.
You don't need to cutout sunlight or the outdoors to lower your risk of skin cancer. The best way to decrease your risks of skin cancer is education and practicing sun safety. Here are some helpful tips:
Avoid the following:
Use the following: