Monday, February 24, 2014

Drinking Linked to Higher Risk of Melanoma

Drinking alcohol could make your skin more vulnerable to melanoma, according to a recent study conducted by researchers in France, Iran, Italy, Sweden, and the United States.

The researchers looked at 16 different studies involving more than 6,200 cases of melanoma. Researchers compared a patient’s alcohol intake with the risk of developing this deadly skin cancer. The study indicated that each patient’s risk of developing melanoma increased proportionally with daily alcohol intake.

According to the study, drinking more than a pint of beer or one glass of wine a day raises the risk of developing melanoma by 20 percent, and for those who drink more than four glasses a day the risk increases to 55 percent.

Scientists believe this correlation is caused by the chemical reaction that occurs once ethanol is ingested in the body. The ethanol is converted into a compound called acetaldehyde, which is believed to be a ‘photosensitizer,’ causing the skin to become more sensitive to light. This compound also generates molecules called reactive oxygen species that damage cells in a way that can cause skin cancers to develop.

Eva Negri, MD, one of the authors of the study from the University of Milan said, “We know that in the presence of UV radiation, drinking alcohol can alter the body’s ability to produce a normal immune response. This can lead to far greater cellular damage and subsequently cause skin cancer to form.”

In addition, about 3.6 percent of all cancers are attributed to alcohol drinking worldwide. Regularly drinking a pint of beer or a glass of wine is known to increase the risk of bowel, breast, mouth, oesophageal, and throat cancers. Regardless of the study’s results, it is still wise to limit alcohol intake, as it can reduce your risk of developing these types of cancers.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. For a skin cancer screening, call Greenville Dermatology today at (864)-242-5872. If you’re interesting in finding skincare products that can help protect your skin from sun damage, stop by our store for a consultation with one of our skincare experts.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Wearing Broccoli May Help Fight Skin Cancer

As a well-known superfood, broccoli has a lot of nutritional benefits. It is low in calories, high in fiber, and contains calcium, iron, protein, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

Like most cruciferous veggies—like cabbage, cauliflower and kale—broccoli also contains a cancer-fighting compound called sulforaphane. This particularly potent compound helps boost the body’s protective enzymes and flushes out cancer-causing chemicals. Sulforaphane has been known to help fight breast, bladder, liver, lung, prostate, stomach, and skin cancers.

While these benefits come from eating broccoli, a recent study has found that wearing broccoli may actually help boost your skin’s protective enzymes even more.

In a study conducted by Paul Taladay, MD, professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, researchers discovered that applying broccoli extract to the skin helped reduce UV-induced redness and inflammation.

The study involved six healthy participants, who were exposed to UV radiation on two small circles on their backs. The participants were divided into two groups: one group was treated with broccoli extract and the other was not treated. The results showed that treatment with broccoli extract lead to a reduction in redness and inflammation by an average of 37 percent and as much as 78 percent.

Researchers hope that the compound in broccoli can be used to help boost immune systems that help fight damage caused by the sun’s UV rays.

Although eating and wearing broccoli has been shown to help reduce your risk of skin cancer, it should not be used as a replacement for sunscreen. Broccoli extract does not help to absorb UV rays, and individuals should not rely solely on broccoli extract to help protect their skin.

To ensure you are keeping your skin safe in the sun, be sure to use SPF 30+ broad-spectrum sunscreen. This type of sunscreen will help block both UVA and UVB rays, and subsequently reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

At Greenville Dermatology, we offer a wide selection of sunscreen and skincare products that contain UV protection. Stop by today to browse our skin care line, or call Greenville Dermatology at (864) 242-5872 to schedule a comprehensive skin cancer screening.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 Article: Getting Rid of Age Spots

The following is a preview of an article Dr. Miller wrote for Click here to read the full article.

One of the most common complaints in the dermatology office regards age spots and how to get rid of them. Indeed, one telltale sign of aging is the appearance of the irregular brown spots on the back of the hands sometimes referred to as "liver spots" due to their brown color. No wonder many people want to try to find a way to get rid of them.

What Are Age Spots?
The medical term for an age spot is 'lentigo' (lentigines is plural). Age spots or lentigines are caused by a lifetime of sun accumulation on the areas in which they are seen. The back of the hands, the forearms, chest and face get more sun than any other part of the body which is why we see age spots more frequently in those areas.

Can Age Spots Be Prevented?
Prevention of age spots or lentigines is actually the best treatment for them. Protecting the skin from the sun at an early age and throughout life is important. Avoiding the sun during the peak hours between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., wearing protective clothing and sunscreen are all ways to not only avoid the appearance of age spots, but will protect against the formation of skin cancer as well.

How Can Age Spots Be Treated?
There are several treatments available to treat lentigines or age spots. It is important to continue preventative measures such as wearing sunscreen and protective clothing during treatment. This way new age spots are not forming as you treat the current age spots. Treatment can be initiated with over the counter creams containing hydroquinone. Prescription strength creams, chemical peels and Intense Pulsed Light laser treatments are available as cosmetic treatments for age spots.

For more information about treating age spots, click here to read the rest of Dr. Miller’s article. Visit Greenville Dermatology’s retail store today to browse our selection of topical creams for age spots, or schedule a consultation with one of our physicians by calling (864) 242-5872.