DO ANTIOXIDANTS EXACERBATE MELANOMA?

As a general matter, antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, and supplements are considered to be beneficial to health. These compounds (including vitamins A, C, and E, and beta-carotene, selenium, lutein, and lycopene) help prevent cell damage in the body by neutralizing the effects of highly reactive “free radicals” produced by oxidation. However, past research suggests that antioxidants may promote lung cancer, and more recent investigation indicates that free radicals may actually double the rate of melanoma metastasis. Unlike the lung-cancer studies, antioxidants did not affect the primary tumor. Instead, the antioxidant boosted the ability of the tumor cells to metastasize, which is a serious problem because metastatic melanoma is typically not curable with surgery.

Prior to adding supplements to your regular diet, be sure to consult with a medical professional. Some vitamins should be taken in restricted amounts subject to your health and medications you may be taking. When it comes to your skin, we are here to provide you with the best professional advice available.  It is never too early to address the condition of your skin. We look forward to assisting you.

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board-Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Research involving antioxidants and melanoma (the most dangerous form of skin cancer) is now focusing on the question as to whether beta-carotene, vitamin E, and other antioxidants in sunscreens and suntan lotions might pose a metastasis risk as well.

Posted:

SOME GOOD NEWS

While it has been widely reported that the incidence of melanoma (the most aggressive form of skin cancer) among U.S. adults has increased over the past four decades, pediatric melanoma has been on the decline. Researchers found that, over a recent six-year period, the number of new cases of melanoma in children has decreased by 12%. It was also found that treatable melanomas on the trunk and upper extremities of children were increasingly being detected when they were most treatable. This downturn in cases of pediatric melanoma at the same time the adult cases of melanoma are on the rise indicates that parents are getting the message to protect their children’s skin from the sun’s potentially harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

These days, more attention is being given to protecting young children’s skin against the harmful rays of the sun. The skin is the largest organ of the body, and preventive measures help ensure that it remains as healthy and cancer-free as possible. Regular checkups are important. To schedule an appointment, please call Elmhurst Dermatology at (630) 832-2111.

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board-Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Pediatric melanoma is rare (five to six children per million), but the effects of excessive UV-ray exposure are cumulative and pose even a greater threat when exposure begins  at an early age.

Posted:

THOSE RAISED BROWN BUMPS

Older adults may grow alarmed when they see a wart-like skin growth that looks like it may be skin cancer. While this common skin growth may look worrisome, it is benign. In fact, “seborrheic keratosis” can look like warts, moles, actinic keratoses, and skin cancer, but they are differentiated by their characteristic waxy, “pasted-on-the-skin” appearance. Ranging in color from white to black, most are tan or brown and look like a dab of warm, brown candle wax on the skin. They start as small, rough bumps that slowly thicken and develop a warty appearance. If they become irritated (due to rubbing against jewelry or clothing), or patients deem them to be unsightly, the dermatologist can remove seborrheic keratoses.

Seborrheic keratoses are common and generally increase in number with age. They tend to run in some families. Seborrheic keratoses don’t become cancerous, but they can look like skin cancer. When you have any dermatological problem, please call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY for an appointment. Medical, surgical, and cosmetic options are all addressed with careful, researched approaches as we make every effort to provide optimal outcomes.

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board-Certified Dermatologist

P.S. If a seborrheic keratosis is difficult to distinguish from skin cancer, the dermatologist will likely have it biopsied.

 

Posted:

MEN LIVING ALONE FACE RISK

It seems that marital and habitation status can affect a man’s risk of dying from melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. According to recent research, single men of all ages face a higher fatality risk from melanoma than other patients partially because their cancer tends to be more advanced when they are diagnosed. Researchers also found that older women who lived alone often had more advanced melanoma at the time of diagnosis. However, their single status had no bearing on women’s melanoma survival rates. These findings clearly indicate the need to convince single men and older women to commit to more frequent comprehensive dermatological exams for earlier detection of melanoma.

Dermatologists recommend being proactive about your skin health by having a regular full-body skin scan for benign and cancerous lesions. By examining your skin from head to toe, front to back, a dermatologist can analyze areas of skin that you cannot see and diagnose a variety of skin conditions. Call 630-832-2111 to schedule a scanning appointment at ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY. We will check your skin for lesions and areas of discoloration and monitor changes in your skin from year to year. New and established patients are always welcome at our office located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7. We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. In the absence of an observant spouse, partner, or friend, single individuals are less likely to spot signs of skin cancer on places of their bodies that are hidden from their view.

Posted:

ALARMING INCREASE IN SKIN CANCER INCIDENCE

Over a recent four-decade period, there was a nearly eight-fold increase in the overall incidence of skin cancer among middle-aged U.S. men and women. More specifically, the incidence of skin cancer among Caucasian, non-Hispanic adults ages 40 to 60 increased 4.5-fold among men and 24-fold among women. In particular, women between the ages of 40 and 50 showed the highest rates of increase seen in any group, while women aged 50 years and older displayed a significant increase in melanoma. Most attribute this increase to the popularity of tanning beds, beginning in the 1980s. If there is any good news to report, it is that the overall chances of surviving melanoma increased by 7% for each year of the study.
Although it is encouraging news that the chances of surviving melanoma have improved in recent years, skin cancer is still a serious threat to your well-being. You can help protect yourself by paying close attention to unusual changes in your skin. If you have any questions or concerns, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGYat 630-832-2111to schedule a consultation. We have many options for treating skin cancer and other skin conditions. Our office is located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7, where we welcome new patients. We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients.

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Melanoma affects 75,000 Americans and results in nearly 9,000 deaths annually.

 

Posted:

COMMON CONTACT DERMATITIS CULPRIT

Anecdotal reports involving tiny fissures and cuts on thumbs and fingertips have led to the discovery of a commonly used preservative as being the root cause. Methyliso-thiazolinone is an ingredient that is routinely used in products ranging from liquid soaps and shower gels to washing-up liquids, skin moisturizers, and even baby wipes. Manufac-turers of these products use methylisothiazolinone to prevent the growth of bacteria and yeasts; however, it has been found to cause allergic reactions in increasing numbers of individuals. The incidence of contact dermatitis (inflammation of the skin caused by contact with an irritating substance) due to methylisothiazolinone is so wide- ranging that the American Contact Dermatitis Society named it Contact Allergen of the Year in 2013.

If you suffer from contact dermatitis, the most important thing is to stop using whatever’s causing the reaction right away. This may be enough to fix the problem. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can also help ease inflammation. If you notice a change in your skin, please call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. Listening carefully to patients, explaining diagnoses and treatment options, and developing treatment plans in close consultation with patients is how we provide excellent dermatologic care. Our clinic is located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7.

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. Discontinuing the use of products containing methylisothiazolinone will eventually lead to healing of skin showing symptoms of allergic reaction to the preservative.

Posted:

IDENTIFYING MOLES

While most adults have between 10 and 40 common moles, those with more than 50 common moles have a greater chance than others of developing a dangerous type of skin cancer known as melanoma. Most moles do not become cancerous; however, if the color, size, shape, or height of a mole changes, or if it starts to itch, bleed, or ooze, the dermatologist should be consulted. It is considered a good idea for those with suspicious-looking moles to have their moles mapped. This involves having the dermatologist examine the patient’s skin from head to toe and chart the location, appearance, and size of each mole, making it easier to spot changes that can be early signs of skin cancer.

Melanoma is a serious form of cancer that can spread quickly but is curable if caught early. Melanoma is usually found on women’s legs. In men, it’s more common on the torso. To schedule a consultation, please callELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. All diseases of the skin, hair, and nails – from warts to skin cancer – are addressed in our clinic with close attention to detail. We are located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7.
Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist

P.S. A “dysplastic” nevus (an unusual, large, flat, asymmetric mole) is not necessarily cancerous, but is more likely to be so than a common mole.

Posted:

NO RELIABLE SHORTCUT TO MELANOMA DIAGNOSIS

As smartphone applications abound and users increasingly rely on them to perform tasks ranging from conducting vision exams to keeping track of calories consumed, dermatologists strike a note of caution. According to research involving four smartphone applications that claim to be able to distinguish between benign lesions and melanoma, results were found to be “highly variable.” Interestingly, three of the apps relied on algorithms to make the determination, while the fourth relied on a remote evaluation by a dermatologist. The diagnosis success rate ranged from 6.8% to 98.1%, with the highest score coming from the dermatologist. This study shows that something as important as a melanoma diagnosis should not be left to anyone (or thing) less than a professional dermatologist.

Technology has changed how we gather information.  However, a smart phone application is not a substitute for a board certified dermatologist.  If you notice unusual moles on your skin or experience skin discomfort, please call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111 to arrange an evaluation.  We follow the latest medical standards and create customized, comprehensive treatment programs.  Our office is located at 103 N. Haven, Suite 7, Elmhurst.  We strive to provide the highest quality care to our patients

Todd T. Davis, M.D.
Board Certified Dermatologist 

P.S. The three melanoma-diagnosing apps generated by algorithm mentioned above missed the diagnosis on 30% or more of actual melanomas, classifying them as “unconcerning.”

Posted:

FASTER WOUND HEALING

Chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, venous leg ulcers, and bedsores typically take weeks or even months to heal. If so, prolonged healing time gives rise to the risk of developing potentially life-threatening complications. Fortunately, there is a treatment available, called “debridement,” which can dramatically reduce healing time. Essentially, debridement involves the removal of dead tissue and debris that stand in the way of healing. There are various forms of debridement, including surgical (using a scalpel or scissors), mechanical (pulling dead skin off through various means), enzymatic (using enzymes and chemicals to dissolve tissue), and autolytic (using the body’s own dead tissue-dissolving ability). Because debridement is not suitable for all cases, consultation with the dermatologist is essential.
At my practice, we have special expertise in a wide variety of conditions affecting the skin, hair, and nails. We offer a full range of dermatology services, from general to specialized care. Whether you have questions about your skin’s health or are looking for a way to improve your appearance, call ELMHURST DERMATOLOGY at 630-832-2111. Our office is conveniently located at 103 N. Haven Suite. We strive to provide the highest care to our patients.

 

Todd T. Davis, MD
Board-Certified Dermatologist

 

P.S. Because patients with peripheral arterial disease cannot undergo debridement (because the treatment can worsen wounds), revascularization may be considered to improve blood flow.

Posted: