ONCE BURNED, TWICE SHY?

The American Cancer Society reports that about 76,690 new melanomas will be diagnosed in the United States this year, and nearly 9,500 people are expected to die of the disease. Hearing these statistics, one might think that melanoma survivors would do everything they could not to become a member of the latter group. Yet, dermatologists are dismayed by new research showing that more than one melanoma survivor in four (27.3%) admitted to never wearing sunscreen when they go outdoors on a warm, sunny day for more than one hour. They do so in spite of the fact that the risk of a second primary melanoma is nine times greater among survivors than the risk of melanoma in the general population.

The warning signs of skin cancer may include changes in the surface of a mole, scales, bleeding, as well as tenderness, itchiness and pain. If you have any signs to suggest a skin disease, see a medical specialist. If you do not have a dermatologist at this time, we are accepting new patients. To schedule an appointment, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. Our office is conveniently located at 103 N. Haven Suite. We are accepting new patients. We strive to provide the highest care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Just as some smokers continue smoking after a lung-cancer diagnosis, melanoma survivors may continue to expose themselves to UV radiation (the primary cause of melanoma) because they are addicted to sun exposure.

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PICK YOUR POISON (PLANT)

Nearly all of us are advised as children to avoid poison ivy and poison oak plants, exposure to which can cause blistering, itchy rashes. Contact with a secretion of allergenic oil or sap triggers an allergic reaction in the skin known as “allergic contact dermatitis,” which can appear within two to ten days of exposure. While poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac are most recognized as causing this problem, there are other plants with the same potential. These include flowers such as marigolds, chrysanthemums, poinsettias, and philodendrons, as well as the leaves of tomato plants. While the allergic reaction will usually resolve within ten days, the dermatologist can prescribe topical steroids to help with the itching and burning sensations.

Skin allergies can take several forms and are due to various causes. If you think you may have a skin allergy, seek medical advice for diagnosis and treatment. For additional information about today’s column, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. We provide all full breadth of dermatological services and most insurance plans are accepted. Our office is conveniently located at 103 N. Haven Suite. We are accepting new patients. We strive to provide the highest care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. If you wash immediately with soap and water, it is possible to rid yourself of the oil of poisonous plants. After 10-15 minutes, half of the oil will come off; after an hour, none will come off.

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