August 2014 Newsletter for Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte (DSC)

Melasma: Tips to make it less noticeable

Are you bothered by brown or brownish-gray patches on your face, which tend to darken during the summer? This month’s video explains what you can do to fade those patches, even in the height of summer. You’ll be able to use many of the tips right away.

Melasma: Tips to make it less noticeable (2:05)

Related Resources

What Dermatologists Tell Their Patients

Some women develop melasma when they become pregnant or take birth control pills. For these women, melasma often fades when they deliver or stop taking birth control pills.





Office News


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ZO Store is back!

Zo Medical

  • Revised and expanded original protocols
  • New guidelines for the safe use of hydroquinone
  • New alternative to hydroquinone
  • Improved patient results and compliance

Call to make an appointment with our esthetician to discuss this new line for your skin!  Then, you can go to our online store and order products whenever you need them.

We carry Zo Medical in our office.Prescription products must be purchased in our office (Melamin, Melamix and tretinoin).  You can purchase all other products from the Zo Medical or Zo Skin Health from the online store.  You will need an access code that will be given after a discussion with our esthetician.

Dermatology in the News


Sunscreen and melanoma: What the research really shows
If you’ve heard that sunscreen cannot protect you from melanoma, don’t toss your sunscreen just yet.

Yes, it’s true that a research study about sunscreen and melanoma was published in the journal Nature. What this study really tells us is that sunscreen plays a role in preventing melanoma.

To learn more about this study and 2 important takeaways that can help you prevent skin cancer, read American Academy of Dermatology statement on sunscreen and melanoma.

Sunscreen policy leaves mom seeing red
In one Texas school district, kids need a doctor’s note to use sunscreen. This policy caused one girl to get badly sunburned during a field trip. Her mother was so upset that she contacted the media.

In speaking with the media, the girl’s mother said the girl’s grandfather had died of skin cancer earlier this year. She also said, “This ban is harmful to children.” The Academy agrees. The Academy encourages all schools and summer camps to allow children to have and use sunscreen without restriction.

Texas mom outraged because her daughter’s school won’t allow sunscreen

Academy resources:

Is tanning addiction real?
Tanning can make you look older than your true age. It can cause skin cancer. So why do so many people tan?

A recent study adds to the growing evidence that tanning can be a real addiction for some people. Earlier studies reached the same conclusion. In this most-recent study, scientists found that daily exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light boosted feel-good hormones in mice. When the exposure stopped, the mice had withdrawal symptoms.

To learn more about this study and tanning addiction, go to Mouse study supports notion of ‘tanning addiction’.
Academy resources:

Cosmetics Firm, FTC To Settle False Advertising Allegations.
The Wall Street Journal (7/1, Stynes, Subscription Publication) reported cosmetics firm L’Oreal SA disclosed its US unit agreed to settle with the FTC allegations it falsely advertised its Lancôme Génifique and L’Oréal Paris Youth Code skin care products could provide anti-aging benefits by targeting genes of users.

Under the settlement, the FTC noted the company is banned “from claiming that any Lancome or L’Oreal Paris branded facial skin-care product targets or boosts the activity of genes to make skin look younger, unless the company has ‘competent and reliable scientific evidence’” to support the claims, according to the Los Angeles Times (7/1, Sacks). The paper noted L’Oreal “said the advertising campaigns ‘were discontinued some time ago.’”

Sunscreen offers incomplete protection, study finds
Sunscreens with a protection factor of 50 protect only against immediate damage, but allow radiation to penetrate the skin and damage melanocytes, according to a study in the journal Nature. Sunscreen reduced DNA damage and delayed the development of skin cancer, but did not protect genes against all damage in the study. “This work highlights the importance of combining sunscreen with other strategies to protect our skin, including wearing hats and loose-fitting clothing, and seeking shade when the sun is at its strongest,” study author Richard Marais said. Science World Report (7/15)

Survey: Patients choose dermatologists for skin cancer, laser surgeries
A survey of 354 adults found that 73.4% would prefer that a dermatologist excise skin cancer from their back instead of a having a plastic surgeon, primary care physician, general surgeon or advance practice nurse perform the procedure. The survey also found that 69.8% would choose a dermatologist to evaluate and biopsy a troubling facial lesion, 62.7% would choose a dermatologist to perform skin cancer surgery on the face, and 56.3% would choose a dermatologist for laser procedures. The survey results are published in the journal Dermatologic Surgery. Healio (free registration) (7/18)

Dermatologists Using Threefold Approach To Help Erase Signs Of Aging On Hands.
Dermatology World (7/1, Angelucci) reports that “as increasing numbers of patients seek cosmetic therapy to turn back the clock, they often neglect an obvious site of aging — their hands,” which “also develop fine wrinkles and lose volume as a person ages, exposing tendons and veins.” The piece notes that “nevertheless, dermatologists are successfully using a threefold approach, addressing pigmentation issues, volume loss, and sometimes even prominent veins, to help erase the signs of aging on their patients’ hands.”

Dermatologists offer pre- and post-beach treatments
Many patients seek laser hair removal before summer, but hair is not the only thing some patients want removed. Others ask dermatologists for treatments to remove tattoos and reduce cellulite and rejuvenate skin. Though summer may be busy, more patients seek dermatologic care in the fall in an effort to undo sun damage, says dermatologist Paul Frank. USA Today (7/13)

Parents Urged To Tell Children Tanning Is Not Healthy, Desirable.
In a piece for the Gannett News Service (7/28), Christine Fellingham writes that “teens overwhelmingly equate tans with attractiveness.” An American Academy of Dermatology survey last year “found that 80 percent of those under 25 said they looked better with a tan.” But, according to Fellingham, “It’s time for parents and teens to get the message and to pass it on to their children and friends: ‘Real tanning’ is not healthy or desirable. It’s the opposite of that.”

Healthy Eating, Exercising, And Sleeping Well May Reduce Cellular Signs Of Aging.
(7/30, Sifferlin) reports that a study published in Molecular Psychiatry suggests that “stress makes our bodies age faster, but thankfully we can combat that with healthy eating,” exercising, and sleeping well. Investigators “looked at 239 post-menopausal women for a year and found that for every major life stressor they experienced during the year, there was a significant shortening in their telomere length.” However, the investigators found that those “who ate a healthy diet, exercised and slept well had less shortening of their telomeres.” HealthDay (7/30, Thompson) also covers the story.

Acting Surgeon General Offers Call To Action On Skin Cancer Prevention.
Coverage of acting Surgeon General Dr. Boris D. Lushniak’s call to action on skin cancer prevention continued, with two national news broadcasts covering the story for a total of more than four-and-a-half minutes, in addition to some major newspapers and websites. NBC Nightly News (7/29, story 2, 2:25, Williams) reported, “In the 143 year history of the office of the Surgeon General, this has never happened. It’s an urgent warning about skin cancer, prompted by a 200 percent increase since the 1970s,” with the “sharpest rise…among young people.” That is “what led” Lushniak “to declare today, for the first time ever, that UV radiation is bad for people and all people need to take immediate action.”

In the ABC World News (7/29, story 3, 2:15, Sawyer) segment, ABC News’s chief medical editor Richard Besser, MD, said, “In previous generations, it was the Surgeon General leading the charge against smoking. Today’s message? Avoid all forms of tanning.”

Itching, Pain On Suspicious Skin Lesions May Indicate That The Area Is Cancerous.
On its website, Fox News (7/24, Kwan) reports that research published in JAMA Dermatology suggests that “itching and pain on suspicious skin lesions may indicate that the area is cancerous.” Investigators “studied 339 laboratory-confirmed skin cancer lesions from 268 patients.” The investigators “found that nearly 37 percent of skin cancer lesions are accompanied by itching, while 28.2 percent involved pain.”

HealthDay (7/24, Dotinga) reports that the researchers found that “melanoma lesions were the least likely to be painful or itchy,” while “other skin cancers, especially basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, were more likely to be itchy or painful.”

Study: IPads May Contain Allergy-Inducing Metal Nickel.
The AP (7/14, Tanner) reports on a report published in Pediatrics, which suggests that the iPad “may contain nickel, one of the most common allergy-inducing metals.” According to the report, “it was an Apple iPad that caused an itchy body rash in an 11-year-old boy recently treated at a San Diego hospital.” The AP notes that “nickel rashes aren’t life-threatening but they can be very uncomfortable, and they may require treatment with steroids and antibiotics if the skin eruptions become infected, said Dr. Sharon Jacob, a dermatologist at Rady Children’s Hospital, where the boy was treated.”

Surgeon general issues call to action on skin cancer prevention
Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak said skin cancer is a major public health threat requiring immediate action and called on parents and schools to encourage safe behaviors in children, elected officials to provide more shade at parks and sporting events, and colleges and universities to prohibit indoor tanning beds on campus. “Tanned skin is damaged skin, and we need to shatter the myth that tanned skin is a sign of health,” Lushniak said. He noted that indoor tanning is particularly harmful because “the concentrated burst of high-intensity UV rays” is more intense than natural sunlight. CNN (7/29), Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.)/The Associated Press (7/29), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (7/29)




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