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Posts Tagged ‘sunscreen’

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Skin Cancer Awareness month

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

HAPPY PLACE


YUM

Skin Cancer Awareness month is coming to an end and another Don’t Fry Day has passed. Shielding your skin from the sun, however, is a year-round project here in LA. I cannot emphasize to you enough how important it is to wear a hat, sunscreen and get regular exams. Even though younger people may not notice any problems before their 50’s, these problems do accelerate as we get older especially in those with any Celtic heritage. That being said my patients are of all ethnicities and skin types. Many people who think their “Mediterranean” skin will protect them seem to forget that their heritage may have other skin types that make them more susceptible to skin cancer. Even people with Asian and African-American backgrounds can get skin cancer. It is very common in those with HIspanic backgrounds as well. In ethnic skin types, I see these cancers being missed until they’ve gotten to a substantial size. I’ve caught quite a few melanomas on routine exam even though these patients had no prior history, no other skin cancers and normal exams in the past.

I have not been as active on this blog for many months but hope to get back into it. I’ve been more active on my Twitter account @drshim_derm which I never thought would be enjoyable but I’ve found some great people to follow. I only started that to follow my kid’s classroom not realizing it would be my practice’s main source of social media. I hope you can follow me there as well! I plan to post at least once to twice a month here as well though! I’ll have to find weird moments to do it, like at 4 in in the morning. This I think, is becoming my new normal. I’m only awake now because I’ve been worried sick that my cat got eaten by a coyote while we were out of town. We looked everywhere for her this afternoon, but alas, she came out of nowhere at 3 in the morning to welcome us back and now cannot stop talking to me!

We paid a visit to San Francisco where I lived way back when. My kids really did not want to go, but I was touched that one of my girls edited my photo. I guess she had a good time! I highly recommend a trek out to the Sutro baths where there is a new parking lot and visitor’s center, have this incredibly awesome Little Gem salad at Sutro’s in the lower level of the Cliff House. Make a trek for ice cream at Swenson’s and if you have energy, take a walk at Tennessee Valley trail in Marin, a flat, but 1 hour long walk each way. The hike is too long for most elementary school kids (I think I’ve turned my kids off from hiking, even longer than Runyon) but I did see quite a few people out with their kids. The path is mainly, but not entirely paved, and not too far from the Buckeye Roadhouse in Mill Valley where I recommend you sit in a booth in the bar area.

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Are you wearing your hat these days? And the Two Degrees of Dr. Richard Bennett and Elisabeth Shim

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Kudos to Dominic Purcell for showing how it is done:
This is how it's done

A little over a year ago, Dr. Bennett was mentioned twice in the international news, the Daily Mail UK, for his work with two actors on network TV. They wanted to show everyone how skin cancer is so common. Today I found out I took care of a teacher at our daughters’ school over a decade ago. How’s that for Back to School Night? I even found a basal cell cancer on Santa Claus! (OK I can’t tell you the details on this one, but trust me, it’s true!) Everyone in LA is 1 or 2 steps removed from our office, I think. It’s better than Kevin Bacon! But Kevin can win this contest if we all make better use of our hats, zinc oxide-based sunscreens and our local dermatologist to screen us for precancers before they need us.

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Posted in Comedy, Entertainment, Mohs surgery, Skin Cancer, sunscreen | No Comments »

Beware of the BBQ

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Did you know that aerosol sunscreens are flammable? It’s tempting to use them in the hot summer but they can lead to serious burns. If you do use one realize that they are also harmful to inhale. Always check for water resistance also, since it gets hot in the summer, some sunscreens do not have the ability to protect well after sweating or swimming. As you already know, I have a bias towards zinc oxide suncreens, such as the one from my company Verdure. In any case, sprays can be useful for hairy areas and for quick protection. Realize though that your skin is absorbing all of those chemicals through the skin, both the sunscreen ingredients as well as the inactive ingredients.

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Spring, glorious Spring

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

I loved talking to my kids’ kindergarten classes about skin and the sun. They were so curious and had tons of questions. I taught them about the structure and function of the skin, sun safety and Vitamin D. I didn’t tell them that sun is all bad, but that because of where we live, we need to protect ourselves.

I could’ve talked to them all day, but alas, I only had a half-hour. I tried to avoid talking about skin cancer, but they kept being drawn to “What is that black thing?” (illustration of melanoma).

I’ve been looking like a hot mess lately and haven’t been getting great sleep, still avoiding much makeup. But I still get compliments on my skin at least!

Happy Springj!

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Beware the BBQ!

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Did you see the burns on the guy from the East Coast who sprayed on Banana Boat sunscreen and caught on fire from his BBQ? Only to be nearly one-upped by the guy who swallowed a BBQ grill brush bristle and had emergrncy surgery.

Apparently the bristle accidents are not uncommon. The bristle was completely camouflaged by the hamburger meat.

Also, you should marinate the meat before you grill it to reduce the amount of carcinogens created by the flame up of the fats. I actually first learned about these carcinogens during a summer school project in high school. they are most linked to colon cancer.

OK, I’m still hungry though. I haven’t had a burger in over a month, haven’t been to Apple Pan or In and Out for at least a year. Hard to believe. I think I will cave soon!

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Vitamins and cancer

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Can’t remember where I read this, but folic acid may cause cancer. Also, carrots (beta-carotene) may increase lung cancer risks in smokers. I find the latter hard to believe, but there was some mechanism by which this made sense. There is also a lot of controversy about whether it is better to avoid antioxidants during chemo or radiation since their mechanism of action sometimes involves the creation of free radicals.

Of course, when you’re pregnant folic acid is a must. You can’t really avoid folic acid in multivitamins either, so what are we supposed to do with this information?

Broccoli has been shown to prevent colon cancer and skin cancer (Go Verdure Matte Moisturizing Physical Sunscreen with Antioxidants!) . We are told to keep eating more plant based foods to prevent cancer and obesity. Of course, many of these crops are laden with pesticides unless they’re organic. Even with effort, I can’t eat 100% organic.

Fish is supposed to be good for you. But with mercury, this horrible oil leak and whatever toxins/drugs are spilled into our water supply does this mean that I am permitted to eat more Happy Meals and In-and-Out burgers?

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