Posts for: September, 2017
Skin cancer is a concern for patients who are overexposed to the sun’s rays and who have a family history of this condition. Learn why regular skin exams are extremely important if you are at risk of skin cancer. You can have your skin checked by our Honolulu, HI, dermatologists - Dr. Kevin Dawson, Dr. Douglas Chun and Dr. Sarah Grekin at Dawson Dermatology.
Skin Cancer Risks
If you are a patient who is at a higher risk of developing skin cancer, regular skin exams are very important. These are some of the factors that may increase the risk of skin cancer:
- Pale or light skin.
- Spending several hours per day in the sun (whether for leisure or work).
- A family history of skin disease.
- A previous diagnosis.
What Happens At a Skin Exam?
At an in-office skin exam, your Honolulu dermatologist will take a close look at all areas of the body that are most often exposed the sun, including the arms, face, back, and legs. There are five indicators that doctors look at (ABCDE) when diagnosing skin cancer:
- Asymmetry of the spot or mole.
- Border irregularity.
- Color varies (i.e. different shades of brown and black).
- Diameter (a mole shouldn’t be larger than a pencil eraser).
- Evolving (the spot is changing).
If you notice any abnormalities, point them out to your dermatologist immediately at the skin exam. Also, if a lesion suddenly starts to bleed or become infected, that is an urgent concern to bring to your doctor.
Importance of These Exams
Because this type of cancer is easy to detect with the naked eye, it is often successfully caught and treated in its early stages. Early detection with regular skin exams saves lives and minimizes the need for invasive treatments.
Schedule an Appointment to Check Your Skin
Get your skin checked by a dermatologist at Dawson Dermatology in Honolulu, HI. Call 808-599-3780 today to schedule an examination.
Skin care should be an important part of your daily hygiene. This should include cleansing the face daily, moisturizing, applying sunscreen and avoiding harsh products. A good skin care routine starts with understanding the unique needs of your skin type. In many cases, skin can be classified into four different categories: normal, dry, oily and combination.
To determine your type of skin, try this simple test:
- Wash your face and gently pat it dry.
- Wait approximately 15 minutes and then press lens-cleaning tissue paper on different areas of your face.
- If the paper sticks or picks up oil on all parts of your skin, then you have oily skin.
- If the paper does not stick on any part of your face, then you have dry skin.
- If the paper only sticks to your chin, nose and forehead, then you have normal or combination skin.
Normal Skin Types
The ideal skin type, normal skin is characterized by a smooth, even tone and usually blemish free. It also tolerates most skin care lotions and creams. A regular skin care regimen combined with a balanced diet is often enough to maintain healthy, youthful skin.
Dry Skin Types
People with dry skin lack natural moisture. Dry skin may flake during the winter months, and chapping or cracking may occur when skin is extremely dry or dehydrated. Applying gentle moisturizer throughout the day and drinking plenty of water can help relieve dryness and also fight against premature aging. Avoid overexposure to the sun, harsh winds and smoking which can aggravate dry skin.
Oily Skin Types
If you have oily skin, you may be more prone to acne due to excessive oil secretions (sebum) on the face. Oily skin may appear greasy, and is commonly seen among adolescents due to hormonal changes which increase production of sebum. To manage oily skin, use cosmetics sparingly and only apply oil-free products when possible. Wash skin once or twice a day, avoid lotions and creams and always remove makeup before going to bed.
Combination Skin Types
Combination skin is a blend of both dry and oily skin, most often characterized by an oily T-zone (forehead, nose and chin) and a dry neck and cheeks. Different parts of the face may require slightly different care. Applying a toner or anti-acne product on the T-zone to remove residual oils and impurities may be helpful in managing oily skin, while a mild moisturizer may be needed for the cheeks.
Having trouble determining your skin type? Visit your dermatologist for expert skin care advice and a personalized treatment plan for every type of skin. The state of our skin is affected by nutrition, general and emotional health, exercise and genes. How well you care for your skin will play an important role in achieving your healthy glow.
The nails take a lot of abuse. From gardening and dishes to regular wear and tear, harsh chemicals and hard work can really take a toll on the condition of fingernails and toenails. Many nail problems can be avoided with proper care, but others may actually indicate a serious health condition that requires medical attention.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nail problems comprise about 10 percent of all skin conditions, affecting a large number of older adults. Brittle nails are common nail problems, typically triggered by age and the environment. Other conditions include ingrown toenails, nail fungus, warts, cysts or psoriasis of the nails. All of these common ailments can be affectively treated with proper diagnosis from a dermatologist.
Mirror on Health
A person’s nails can reveal a lot about their overall health. While most nail problems aren’t severe, many serious health conditions can be detected by changes in the nails, including liver diseases, kidney diseases, heart conditions, lung diseases, diabetes and anemia. That’s why it’s important to visit your dermatologist if you notice any unusual changes in your nails.
Basic Nail Care
It’s easy to neglect your nails, but with basic nail care, you can help keep your fingernails and toenails looking and feeling great. Here’s how:
- Keep nails clean and dry to prevent bacteria from building up under the nail.
- Cut fingernails and toenails straight across to prevent ingrown nails and trauma.
- Avoid tight-fitting footwear.
- Apply an anti-fungal foot powder daily or when needed.
- Avoid biting and picking fingernails, as infectious organisms can be transferred between the fingers and mouth.
- Wear gloves to protect your fingernails when doing yard work or cleaning house to protect the nails from harsh chemicals and trauma.
- When in doubt about self-treatment for nail problems, visit your dermatologist for proper diagnosis and care.
Always notify a dermatologist of nail irregularities, such as swelling, pain or change in shape or color of the nail. Remember, your nails can tell you a lot about your overall health, and a dermatologist can help determine the appropriate treatment for any of your nail problems.