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Learn how to Reduce your Risk of Skin Cancer

As summer approaches, a topic that is on the lips of dermatologists everywhere is skin cancer. This type of cancer currently outnumbers all others, affecting one in five Americans and killing thousands every year – and that number reflects non-melanoma skin cancers only.

What is heartbreaking about the number of annual skin cancer deaths is that this disease is preventable. UV exposure is the identified cause in approximately 80 to 90 percent of diagnosed cases. Additionally, early intervention can make an enormous difference in the prognosis of most skin cancers.

Protecting Yourself

The staff at Riverside Medical Arts is committed to active participation with patients through which the number of skin cancer cases can be decreased. There are three distinct steps to skin cancer prevention. These are:

  1. summer skin carePractice sun-safety. This means wearing appropriate sunscreen and seeking shade during peak hours of sunlight. Indoor tanning should also be avoided.
  2. Learn the art of self-examination. The more familiar you are with your own skin, the more quickly you will be able to notice a suspicious growth. Any change that occurs in a growth or mole should be evaluated by your dermatologist.
  3. Have an annual skin cancer screening. Professional skin cancer screenings have led to a fifty-percent reduction in melanoma deaths, according to a study found in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

What are we Looking for?

During self-examinations and professional skin cancer screenings, the goal is to identify abnormalities in the skin. This may sound difficult, especially if you have quite a few moles, like most people. However, certain characteristics have been identified as suspicious. These include:

  • A marked change in color, size, or texture
  • Large diameter, ¼ inch across or more
  • Jagged or irregularly shaped edges
  • Any new mole or growth (which is not a new mole, but a sign of sun damage)
  • Itching, bleeding, oozing, crusting, or painful growths
  • Sores that will not heal

When in doubt about the appearance of a growth on your skin, your best plan of attack is not to “wait and see” but to see right now. Schedule a visit at Riverside Medical Arts for your annual skin cancer screening.

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Winter Skin Care Tips

Even if you live in an area where snowfall is rare, lower temperatures, dry air, and chilly wind can take a toll on your skin during the winter months. Dry, traumatized skin in the winter can lead to eczema flare-ups, flaking skin, and more. Keep reading to find out how to protect your skin from the winter weather.

Keep Making Moisturizer A Priority

Moisturizer should already be a part of your daily skin care routine, but it is extra important in the winter when the air is cold and dry. Be sure to apply moisturizer to your face and neck in the morning and keep lotion ready for your hands and legs. You may also want to use a retinol cream or special moisturizer when going to bed at night.winter skin tips at riverside medical spa in st. george utah

Remember That Sun Damage Is Still Possible

Cold weather may make sun damage seem far away, but sun damage is still a real possibility in the cold weather, especially if you’re out skiing or snowboarding in high altitude areas. Wear sunglasses and sunscreen when spending time outside this winter to avoid sun damage.

Sleep With A Humidifier

Keeping a humidifier in your bedroom can help your skin stay moist during the cold winter nights.

Bundle Up, But Avoid Coarse Fabrics

Extra layers can help keep moisture in your skin, but avoid coarse fabrics like wool and itchy sweaters. If you’re going to be wearing something that is coarse, layer it over cotton so your skin doesn’t get irritated.

Limit Time In The Hot Water

Hot showers and long baths may be soothing, but they’ll sap the moisture from your skin and your hair—especially during the cold winter months. Keep your showers to 10 minutes a day so that your skin can stay soft and smooth.

The following tips can help you get through the winter months with smooth, happy skin. To learn more about taking care of your skin and looking your best all winter long, schedule a consultation at Riverside Medical Arts where we specialize in dermatology and other cosmetic treatments that can help you look and feel your best.

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Eczema Basics

Eczema St. George UT | Riverside Medical ArtsEczema is an all too common, and irritating skin condition that can be painful and frustrating. Keep reading to learn more about how you can keep your skin healthy and relieve irritation.

What is eczema?

Eczema is a skin condition that is often referred to as dermatitis. People with eczema often have flare ups of red, itchy, dry, flaky skin and they get frequent uncomfortable rashes. Rashes can occur all over the body, but they are more common near the elbows, wrists, and knees. Adults and children are vulnerable to eczema and some infants even experience rashes on their faces or necks.

Common symptoms of eczema include swelling, cracking dry skin, itching, redness, peeling, and blistering. Eczema can be hereditary or it can be a response to an allergy. Flare ups also often occur in the winter when the air is cold and dry.

Avoiding Flare Ups

If you think you may have eczema, you should consult your dermatologist. There are a few things you can do to prevent flare ups. The first step is to find out what triggers them for you. Consider getting checked for both food, and environmental allergies. Keep careful track of when rashes appear and track your diet and activities to see if you notice anything that makes your eczema worse. Most people with eczema are better off avoiding extreme temperatures and anything that causes inflammation.

People with eczema should usually avoid:

  • Itchy fabrics such as wool
  • Excessive exposure to pet dander or pollen
  • Stressful situations
  • Scented lotions, soaps, and other hygiene products

Treatment Options

Eczema can be uncomfortable, but there are treatment options available. In some cases, lifestyle and diet changes can significantly improve your condition (particularly if you have allergies). Some people use antihistamines to combat symptoms of eczema. Other treatments involve preventing inflammation throughout the body and restoring the barrier function of the skin. Treatments for eczema also often involve topical steroids and creams.

If you’d like relief from eczema, schedule an appointment at Riverside Medical Arts to find out what is contributing to your flare ups and decide on a treatment plan.

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Skin Cancer After-Care

skin care st george utah | skin cancer | Riverside Medical ArtsIf you have gone through a bout of skin cancer, you’re probably wondering what you can do to prevent it from coming back. You want to treat yourself as carefully as possible to make sure you’re doing everything to maintain the best health possible. Some of the best after-care instructions you can get are suggestions for maintaining skin healthy on a daily basis. If you implement a great daily skin care regimen along with advice from your personal doctors, you have an excellent chance of enjoying beautiful skin again.

The majority of skin products are less effective than what you can get with pharmaceuticals. Although many cosmetic products associated with top name brands have great reputations to go along with their high prices, their products are also found to be ineffective and disappointing. You’ve already collected plenty of medical bills from resolving past issues.

Take the time to research products that are offered over the counter. Keep your skin safe from harsh conditions and extreme sunlight. Don’t frequent tanning salons. The last thing you want to do is go sunning on a beach or using a tanning bed, inviting skin cancer to return. Ask your doctor if he or she can recommend the perfect product for you. You may have to spend a little extra money getting the products that’ll work best for you. The important thing is to spend that extra money on products that actually work and do what you need them to.

Check the labels on any product you plan to put on your skin. You’ll want to check for antioxidants and ingredients that will lend to excellent skin health. Take advantage of the laser treatments, chemical peels, waxing, and any other skin care your doctor suggests.

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