“PLEASE USE SUNSCREEN!” If Not for Us, for Hugh Jackman
Yada yada yada sunscreen. We know, you’re tired of hearing it. But if you won’t listen to us, how about a sunscreen public service announcement from Wolverine? Or Jean Valjean?
The actor Hugh Jackman is known for his rugged Aussie good looks, his superhero physique, and his Broadway show-stopping musical pipes. But in the past couple of weeks it’s Jackman’s skin that’s made news, as the Golden Globe and Tony award winner took to Instagram with a selfie of his bandaged nose. Confessing he’d just had surgery to remove a fifth basal cell carcinoma, Jackman took the opportunity to plead with his fans and followers: “PLEASE USE SUNSCREEN and get regular checkups.”
We applaud Jackman and second his appeal. And we want to take an opportunity of our own to dispel a couple of sunscreen myths that showed up, unfortunately, in the comments under his Instagram post.
Myth #1. Real men don’t use sunscreen. Jackman has confessed to falling for this one. In his home country of Australia (which has some of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world) the outdoor lifestyle and tough-guy Ozzie spirit don’t put much stock in UV protection or skin care. Jackman is hoping his example will help change that.
Myth #2. Sunscreen causes cancer. This dangerous myth showed up far too frequently among responses to Jackman’s plea. Commenters claimed skin cancer rates have only begun increasing since sunscreen use has been recommended. Wrong! More awareness and more frequent skin checks, with earlier diagnosis and treatments, are what’s behind rising skin cancer rates–and cures. Also, the damage now showing up as skin cancer in adults was more than likely done years ago, before sunscreen use was popular. There is also a lot of dangerous misinformation out there about the chemicals contained in sunscreens. Contrary to myth, these are not carcinogenic! You may have a sensitivity to particular chemicals that causes irritation or an allergic reaction. In that case, choose what’s called a physical sunscreen–one that uses minerals to block sun damage without irritating sensitive skin.
Myth #3. The best sunscreen is “natural” coconut oil. Coconut oil is indeed natural, and contains lots of good fats. But slathering fat on your skin doesn’t protect it from UV damage any more than slathering olive oil on chicken breasts before grilling them protects the meat from cooking. Back in the day, when tanning was in dangerous fashion, sunbathers often used coconut oil, cocoa butter, baby oil (mineral oil), and other fats to speed the browning of skin. All tanning did, though, is damage–leaving behind premature aging, wrinkling, dark spots, and a highly increased risk of developing the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma. (Myth #3a–that skin cancer can be cured by applying a paste of coconut oil and baking soda to the lesions–is an even more dangerous offshoot of this misinformation.)
So take it from Hugh Jackman. Please use sunscreen (talk to us about the product that’s right for you, and how to apply it effectively) and get regular checkups (call us now, so you don’t forget). Wolverine’s nose knows!
Image source: Wolverine promotional poster, Marvel Entertainment
TNS Essential Serum: Must-Have of the Month
SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum is at the top of our list when patients ask for powerful anti-aging in a single product. Here’s the pitch for this true essential, just in time to take advantage of an exciting manufacturer’s promotion!
What does TNS Essential Serum do? The real question is What doesn’t it do? When applied morning and evening to the face–plus the neck and chest, if you wish–TNS Essential Serum renews and rejuvenates all skin types, reducing the appearance of wrinkles and enhancing skin’s texture and tone. Results are visible at 30 days, and optimal at 90 days.
Why is TNS Essential Serum described as an “all-in-one” product? One pump dispenses two separate products from side-by-side chambers: TNS Recovery Complex and APS Corrective Complex. Blend with your fingertips and apply, for a revolutionary combination of a naturally secreted growth factor protein, peptides, antioxidants, skin brightener, and hyaluronic filling spheres that trap moisture on the surface of the skin like tiny sponges.
Just what is TNS? The secret of SkinMedica’s TNS Essential Serum is Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media (TNS), a physiologically balanced, naturally secreted and stabilized growth factor that doesn’t just cover up wrinkles–it actually stimulates the growth of younger, healthier skin cells. In studies, 92% of users rated their skin as healthier and younger looking.
PDT: Manage Your Skin Damage Now
It’s PDT time! No, not Pacific Daylight Time, though that will be upon us soon. In dermatology, PDT stands for Photodynamic Therapy. But it could just as well stand for Pretty Darn Terrific, because this effective, low-risk outpatient treatment is one of the best ways to head off squamous cell skin cancer. Because PDT requires strict avoidance of visible light–whether from sunlight or bright interior lights–for 48 hours before and after treatment, this is the ideal time of year to schedule Photodynamic Therapy.
Who Needs PDT?
PDT has a variety of applications in dermatology, but today we’re talking about its use in the elimination of the precancerous lesions known as actinic keratoses (AKs). AKs, which are more common in light-complexioned people with a higher tendency to sunburn, are spots of UV-damaged skin. They appear as reddish, brown, or tan bumps on frequently exposed skin such as the face, lips, scalp, and hands. The lesions may scale or crust over, and they don’t heal or go away by themselves. Untreated AKs have a high potential to become cancerous–and there’s no way to predict whether that development will be swift or slow.
What Is Photodynamic Therapy?
PDT uses a combination of a topical solution and exposure to blue light to destroy the damaged cells that make up AKs. The solution, Levulan Kerastick, is applied directly to the areas of skin damage. As it is absorbed into the skin’s layers, the solution forms a chemical that makes the damaged areas particularly sensitive to light. Then the patient (wearing eye protection) is exposed to BLU-U blue light for about 17 minutes. The blue light targets the sensitized areas and destroys them, leaving healthy surrounding skin unaffected and clearing the way for healthy new cell growth.
The most common side effects of PDT are stinging, burning, and peeling at the treatment site, similar to the effects of a bad sunburn. To avoid or minimize these effects, the patient must avoid exposure to visible light for 48 hours before and after treatment. That means covering up completely when you have go outside, and keeping the lights low inside. Sunscreens are not effective protection against the light sensitivity PDT creates.
The PDT Bonus
In addition to its cancer-prevention power, Photodynamic Therapy leaves skin healthier and younger looking. And unlike many cosmetic treatments, PDT for the destruction of precancerous lesions is a medical procedure covered by most health insurance plans. To learn more about PDT and actinic keratoses, and to see a video about the treatment, click here. And contact us today to learn whether you are a candidate for PDT, or to find out more about its uses in treating acne and rosacea and in cosmetic rejuvenation.
Manage your skin damage today, before the clock springs ahead!
Our treatment suites are equipped with the latest dermatological lasers, for advanced, safe, comfortable treatment of your skin's medical and cosmetic needs. Our in-house Acne Treatment Center offers complete care for all ages and acne stages. We offer a full line of skin care products designed to suit your unique...View More