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Posts Tagged ‘dermatologist san fernando valley’

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How to spot a melanoma

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

“What do I look for?” is a common question I get asked. Some of you have heard of the ABCDE rules (Asymmetry, irregular Border, Color, Diameter, Evolving).

Yeah, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah…one of my favorite quotes from a derm I know. I don’t find the ABCDE rule that helpful because there are plenty of benign lesions which would fit these criteria. My favorite way to explain it is “The Ugly Duckling” rule. Look at your moles, the ones that stick out like the ugly duckling are the ones usually to be concerned about. The most sensitive criteria tends to be color (black, very dark brown/black), though there is a rare variant of melanoma known to be colorless or red.

75% of melanomas arise spontaneously without a pre-existing mole, and they can arise quickly. Every year I find some of my established patients I’ve been checking for yearly for years all of the sudden present with a new black lesion, sometimes in the earliest stages, or already invasive. Scary. The good news is that melanomas caught in the earliest stages have an excellent prognosis.

In addition, anyone with a personal or family history of skin cancer, should not only worry about themselves, but also their family members. Remind them to get checked as well!

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Hats for sun protection

Friday, August 19th, 2011

In addition to sunscreen and antioxidants, hats are so very important to protect the face from skin cancer, sun damage and brown spots. I found a place that I really like for fashionable sun hats. I will rename it “that hat stand at the Grove near the Greek restaurant” better known as “Woodland Embroidery.” I couldn’t help buying a couple hats from them last time I went to the Grove. It is located near Marmalade and the Taschen store. For guys, I think you are out of luck. Most guys don’t like wearing wide brimmed hats, but I hear from one of my patients that Larry David keeps his bald head pristine on the golf course with a wide brimmed goofy hat.(My assistant chatted with him in the elevator about a month ago but didn’t get to discuss his sun protection habits!) It is so very important especially for men to protect their ears, temples, cheek sides and scalp. Every month I cut out many horrible squamous cell carcinomas which can be deadly. These areas are prone to recurrence and a higher rate of metastasis.

This is a good hat but misses the ears and cheeks

[caption id="attachment_367" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="This is a better hat with a wider brim"][/caption]

This is an ideal hat

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