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Archive for September, 2010

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Basal cell carcinomas increasing in Europe

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Basal cell carcinomas have increased about 7% per year in Europe from 1991 to 2007 according to a study from the Netherlands. There has been an increase in both the least aggressive (superficial) and most aggressive (infiltrative) types.

http://www.medwire-news.md/66/89386/Dermatology/Basal_cell_carcinoma_on_the_rise_in_Europe.html

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Skin Cancer Screenings

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

This year I participated in 2 screenings. One for the Skin Cancer Foundation in La Canada Flintridge and another for Sun Precautions Santa Monica. I screened about 60 people and found a lot of suspicious lesions.

Thanks to the staff involved with both screenings which were well-organized and fun.

Skin Cancer Foundation Road to Healthy Skin

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Botox for teens?

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Recently, there was much publicity about teens wanting Botox.  Is this a good idea? In my opinion, probably not.

Botox works by inhibiting muscle movement. Though muscle movement leads to wrinkles, it may also affect skin tautness because we somewhat rely on these underlying muscles to hold our foreheads up, to help our tears drain, etc. Will early Botox lead to early sagginess? There is no proof, but maybe.

Also, what are we saying about society and self-esteem that we are that obsessed with our looks at such an early age?

I think it is appropriate for someone in their late 20’s to begin Botox if they really have strong wrinkles between the brows or in the crow’s feet area.

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Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

I recently gave a one hour lecture on squamous cell carcinoma of the skin to the USC Dermatology residents. Although many patients are familiar with melanoma being a potential killer, SCC can be deadly as well if caught too late, mismanaged, or with simple bad luck.

The shame of it all is that like melanoma, it is highly curable in the earliest stages. Unlike melanoma, we do have solid proof that sunscreen can make a difference. Unfortunately, we have at least one patient a year who either succumbs to this disease, or comes very close to it. We have seen a number of difficult and aggressive tumors, particularly in older white men and transplant patients.

It is always helpful to come in for a yearly check-up and to not ignore or pick off scaly lesions. The precursor to many SCC’s are precancers called actinic keratoses and are easily treated with freezing or chemotherapeutic creams.

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