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Preventing Skin Cancer: Regular Dermatologist Visits are a Must

Preventing Skin Cancer: Regular Dermatologist Visits are a Must

We’ve written before about the importance of protecting yourself from skin damage. Wearing sunscreen, choosing UV-protecting clothing, and staying out of the sun during peak hours will keep your skin as healthy as possible. Likewise, keeping track of moles–particularly those that are asymmetrical, multi-colored, and evolving–is a great technique to help prevent late melanoma diagnoses.

However, just because you do regular mole self-examinations doesn’t mean you should stop seeing your dermatologist. A study recently released by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center indicates that physicians are more likely to find malignant moles that patients overlook, and find them earlier, which means the patient has a better chance of survival. The study shows that physician-found melanomas were up to 40% thinner than their patient-found counterparts, owing largely to the fact that dermatologists are trained to recognize smaller changes and abnormalities.

Of course, the study’s results should not discourage patients from performing regular, detailed self-examinations. Rather, patients should prioritize regular visits to the dermatologists and use self-exams to identify any moles that look abnormal. If you do find a mole that looks irregular, contact your dermatologist immediately: early diagnosis and treatment prevent skin cancer from becoming invasive.

Photo Source: Free Image Works

Dr. Zimmet Invited to Join HealthTap Medical Community

We are proud to announce that Dr. Zimmet has received an exclusive invitation to join the medical team of experts at HealthTap. Through his work with HealthTap, he will help individuals make more informed decisions about their health, connect with users both locally and nationally, and provide reliable advice relevant to dermatology.

HealthTap is a recently-founded company that aims to provide accurate medical advice online. Using a variety of medical professionals nationwide, users will be able to seek out the most up-to-date information. Through expert collaboration, research, and one-on-one interaction, physicians will be able to answer patients’ questions, suggest resources, and create individualized approaches to promoting a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Zimmet is proud to be a part of HealthTap’s cause.

Dr. Zimmet Brings Breakthrough Skin Revitalization Technology to Austin Area

Austin dermatologist Dr. Steven E. Zimmet has paired with renowned medical technology company ENDYMED™™ to bring the latest radio frequency wrinkle-smoothing technology to the Central Texas area. Dr. Steven E. Zimmet and ENDYMED™™ medical technology company have joined together to bring a new, cutting-edge skin-tightening procedure to Austin: ENDYMED™™ 3DEEP. The non-surgical treatment uses the latest, most effective radio frequency technology to smooth wrinkles, revitalize skin, and resurface problem areas on any skin type.  Read the news.

Honeysuckle Plant Shows Promise for UV Protection

During Texas summers, clouds are often few and far between. Experts recommend sunscreen and UV-protecting clothing for anyone who is spending time outside, especially during this time of year. And now, new scientific developments may make protecting your skin easier.

Researched published in the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research shows that natural honeysuckle plant extract provides a significant amount of UV protection on clothing. Furthermore, the extract remained on the clothing even after it was exposed to sunlight and laundering for a significant period of time. Though honeysuckle extract is not used to block UV rays currently, it is commonly used in Chinese medicine.

Clothing that protects individuals from the sun’s harmful rays has been gaining in popularity in recent years. Before clothing can be deemed ultraviolet protecting, it must undergo testing and be assigned an Ultraviolent Protection Factor.

The researchers claimed that this new development could pave the way for more sustainable UV-safe clothing, as opposed to current UV-blocking fabric, which often uses chemicals. Though honeysuckle-coated clothing probably won’t be in stores for at least a few years, the research certainly raises awareness that sun protection can go beyond just sunscreen.

Photo Credit:  MyNameMattersNot

Skin Scan: New iPhone App to Detect & Track Moles

During the summer, most people are acutely aware of sun damage. Long days outside without sunscreen may result in sunburns, new wrinkles, and possibly even skin cancer. If your next appointment with your dermatologist is months away but you’re concerned about possibly abnormal moles, check out the new Skin Scan app for iPhones.

Skin Scan is a $4.99 app that “scans” moles and lesions to detect if they are low-risk, medium-risk, or high-risk. The app uses an algorithm to examine the skin surrounding the mole and the mole itself to determine if the mole is an abnormal shape, size, or color. You can also track moles with the app; a mole that changes size, shape, or color could be an indication of melanoma or other skin cancers.

Skin Scan also includes another interesting feature: location mapping. When a mole is deemed low-, medium-, or high-risk, the location of the user and the results are recorded and mapped. Depending on the sample size, Skin Scan may eventually produce a fairly accurate map depicting what locations are the most dangerous in terms of skin damage from the sun.

Like most new developments in the medical and dermatological field, Dr. Zimmet urges patients to download the app with a grain of salt. It’s important to beware of false negatives, where the scan reads a normal mole that is actually not normal. Unless we understand the rate of false negatives, determined in a well-controlled study, it’s critical not to rely on the results of the scan when deciding whether or not you should see your dermatologist. So, it’s strongly advised that you have regular check-ups with your dermatologist, even if you believe that none of your moles are abnormal.

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