Southern Utahns at risk for skin damage, protect yourself

ST. GEORGE—People who live in sunny, warm climates or at higher elevations, where the sunlight is strongest, are at risk for skin cancer and also are exposed to more radiation.

Over exposure to sunlight may cause skin damage, cancer and aging. Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is especially hard to stop once it has spread (metastasized) to other parts of the body. But it can be readily treated in its earliest stages.

According to reports from Southern Utah Dermatology, Melanoma occurs most commonly on the back in men and the legs in women.  Melanoma has increased, with some reports suggesting 1 in 35 men and 1 in 25 women will be affected during their lifetime. In women, ages 25-35, it is the leading cause of cancer death.

Preventative Measures

“Preventative measures should simply be a part of your daily skin care routine,” said Dr. Simon Ourian, Medical Director of Epione Beverly Hills.

  • Avoid unnecessary sun exposure, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the peak hours for harmful ultraviolet radiation.
  • Do not sunbathe.
  • When outdoors, use sunscreens rated SPF 30 or higher. Apply liberally and frequently.
  • When exposed to sunlight, wear protective clothing such as long pants, long-sleeved shirts, broad-brimmed hats.
  • Stay away from artificial tanning devices.
  • Wear UV-protective sunglasses.
  • Teach your children good sun protection habits
  • Examine your skin from head to toe at least once every three months.

According to Southern Utah Dermatology, anyone who plans to be outside for longer than 10 minutes should apply a sun block with SPF 30 or greater to all sun-exposed areas, and it should be reapplied about every two hours regardless of whether or not one has been in the water.

Did you know?

  • The sun’s harmful UV radiation can penetrate many types of clothes?
  • It can also go through automobile and residential windows?
  • It can damage your eyes, contributing to cataracts, macular degeneration, and eyelid cancers?
  • When you’re on snow or ice, your face and eyes are at almost twice the risk of UV damage because of reflected glare?

Tips Courtesy of Southwest Skin and Cancer in St. George.

Risk Factors

  • Fair skin
  • A history of sunburns
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Sunny or high-altitude climates
  • Moles
  • Precancerous skin lesions
  • A family history of skin cancer
  • A personal history of skin cancer
  • A weakened immune system
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Exposure to certain substances

Products to protect your skin from environmental damage

According to a Q & A with Dr. Adam Geyer, a New York City based dermatologist and consultant for Kiehl’s, Antioxidants reservatrol and açai are most effective to protect ones skin. Geyer also recommends vitamin C to help the production of collagen and even out skin tone.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends sun block with SPF 30 or higher, but in the summer months it should be bumped up to 40 or 50.

Green tea, white tea and grapeseed are also known antioxidants and anti-inflammatories of note Dr. Frederic Brandt, Dermatologist, said in an interview with Nylon Magazine. Based in both Miami and New York City, Brandt is the creator of the Dr. Brandt Skincare line which incorporated apple stem cells into the line in 2011 to help revitalize the skin.

Jennifer Little, Master Aesthetician at Southwest Skin and Cancer, said the basic classes of ingredients that people should look for when choosing their skin products come from a wide variety of natural ingredients.

“The biggest deal is sun block every day,” Little said. “Moisturizers with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide prevent a lot of the damage they would get otherwise … Over-the-counter or even prescription Retinol or Retin-A, for prescription – basically the Retinoids. Vitamin C, which boosts collagen, Alpha Hydroxy acid, basically any antioxidants and Ceramide.”

Products Southern Utah Dermatology and Surgical Arts stand by

The Jane Iredale makeup line is also recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation,  and is micromineralized cosmetics, talc, oil, dye, synthetic and fragrance free. Dermatologist tested, hypoallergenic, and nonirritating. The collection includes foundation, concealer, powder, and sunscreen all in one. Jane Iredale products also provide protection from ultraviolet radiation.

Southern Utah Dermatology also stands by Glymed Plus, an at-home skin regimen to aid in fighting acne and aging by diminishing age spots and improving fine lines and wrinkles.

Products Southwest Skin and Cancer stand by

Many products are sold at Southwest Skin and Cancer, and the ones that pertain to skincare are: M.D. Forte, a comprehensive alpha-hydroxy acid skin care system, La Roche-Posay which offers chemical peels formulated specifically for all skin conditions, Prevage M.D. which aids in anti-aging with the use of powerful antioxidants, Skin Ceuticals, an advanced skincare product line designed to prevent future damage, protect healthy skin, and correct previous damage.

Also amongst the list of recommended products are Desert Bloom, created by local St. George resident, chemist and pharmacist whose products contain glycolic acid, Tend Skin which clears razor bumps, Kinerase which helps sun damaged skin,The NeoStrata Company, which specializes in skincare carrying items such as masks, body treatments, and kits targeted specifically for ones skin concern.

Always ask your dermatologist what products are best suited for your needs.


Skin Cancer

Southwest Skin and Cancer

Southern Utah Dermatology and Surgical Arts

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Twitter: @sarahisaacson1

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.




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1 Comment

  • Yuk July 16, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Dat ain’t no good eatin’

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