Could that Spot Be Skin Cancer? ~ Holistic Dermatology

Could that Spot Be Skin Cancer?

Itching is caused often by allergic reaction, and sometimes by various chemicals that set off a reaction. For instance, various kinds of bites from insects, various kinds of plants that cause allergic contact dermatitis like poison ivy. So when you have itching it’s a sign that something is going on that needs to be remedied or avoided. And it’s really important to think back about what was going on when the itching started and what was going on the few days before the itching began in case it was something you contacted that you contacted which set it off with a delayed response.

So, finding out the cause of an itch is a detective game that you are the deputy detective in, and you need to start looking back at what was going on, and put that information together so you can present it to your doctor or you dermatologist.

Now if this has been a complex long term problem, it can take some real serious detective work, and this is when digging in deeper to the causes can make a real difference, using holistic dermatology.


How Does Your Dermatologist Know if it’s Skin Cancer?

How Does Your Dermatologist Know if it’s Skin Cancer?

What are the dangers of diagnosing your own skin problem? Well, the first point is you may get the wrong diagnosis. Not good if you have melanoma. Or basal cell carcinoma. You might be trying to link it up to some picture on the Internet or something you saw in a book and just be off.

You might, as a result, have some condition that gets worse before it has a chance to be taken care of properly. The second point is that when a dermatologist looks at the skin condition, he thinks there are a number of different possibilities. It may be that one of the possibilities is that it’s lower on the list that you might miss when you’re looking online.

There is always the possibility that the skin condition might partake of more than one actual diagnosis and may have something in between. Finally, it’s possible that there are underlying problems that are involved that you will miss when you just come across the name of a condition. This is something where somebody who takes a more integrated or holistic viewpoint can be very helpful.


Do Sunscreens Really Block the Sun? ~ Natural Dermatology

Do sunscreens really block the sun?

Curious about natural dermatology for aging and cancer prevention? One of the reasons that I’m such an advocate of hats and clothing is that sun screens don’t really block the sun.  They do take the sun’s energy and change it into a more harmless form of energy so that there is not a sun burn, but still some of that energy gets through.  That energy can cause damage especially if you apply sunscreen on and then spend a lot of time out in the sun.

With just sunscreen, you get some of that energy coming through all day long that can be causing aging, and even potentially future skin cancer.  It’s important to remember that even the metallic sunscreens like zinc and titanium are usually zinc and titanium salts, they’re not the metal.  You do get some energy coming through, even using those. It’s very important to remember that you need other kinds of ways of blocking the sun.  The sun screen is just an added benefit to protect against reflected rays.


Absolute Best Protection Against Skin Cancer ~ Best Natural Skincare

Absolute best protection against skin cancer

The best protection against skin cancer is to protect yourself against sunburns. Sun exposure, even without burning, could possibly contribute to that, but the worst is to use sun exposures and have so much damage that the skin can’t handle it, which usually results in redness and irritations of sunburn. In order to do that, you really need to use more than just the sunscreen.

You need to time your outdoor activities if you are fair skinned, so that you are outside before 10 or 11 in the morning or after 4 in the afternoon. It is also important to be under shade such as an umbrella or overhang of a building and also to use sun protective clothing because that protects better than sunscreens.

Sunscreens should be used in addition to protecting against the reflected light from water, sidewalks or sand. This is the start of best natural skincare.


What are the Chances that Spot is Skin Cancer? ~ Natural Skincare

What are the Chances that Spot is Skin Cancer? Natural Skincare Tips.

Have you been in the sun lately? There’s a lot of different kinds of skin cancer. If you are older and you had a lot of sun exposure and you have rough spots on your forehead and scalp and exposed areas of the body, that’s a good chance that they are pre-cancerous.

Nothing terrible or dangerous necessarily, but definitely something to treat before they get worse.  If you have a spot that is bleeding or breaking down, it has funny colors to it.  It could be something more dangerous and is definitely worth checking out.  There are a lot of different kinds of spots on the body and most that really are benign, but it takes a skilled eye to figure out which is which.

If you have a spot that just doesn’t seem right, or has something unusual about its appearance, or the way it feels, it’s a good idea to get checked out by the Dermatologist for natural skincare.


What’s the Right Amount of Sun Exposure for You? ~ Restorative Dermatology

WHAT’S THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF EXPOSURE FOR YOU ~ RESTORATIVE DERMATOLOGY

There are people who argue that you should get no sun exposure at all.  I’m not in that camp, as you can tell by my suntan.  However, I do protect myself as much as I can when I am outside.

I am a Mediterranean skin type with brown eyes and I can deal with ten or fifteen or twenty minutes of sun exposure with no problem. If I get a lot more sun exposure, I’ll get red. It’s the beginning of the season when I haven’t been outside it all. I’ll get even a chance at burning my skin, so I’m very careful with that. Now if you have light skin, you’re one of those types from whose family descends from the northern climates, then you could probably take less sun than that.

If your skin is darker, you can deal with even more sun, and not have a burn or as much damage. Remember our skin makes vitamin D. So the places that are family descended from determines how much sun we need to get through in order to make enough vitamin D. I think it’s important that you understand how much it takes to give yourself a little bit of vitamin D production, which could be ten or fifteen minutes on the side as an average, for an average person, say a Mediterranean skin type and from that, gauge how much sun you get, but certainly well before the time where you would turn red.


What does the FDA now say about Tanning Beds?

modern solarium bedFor some, a combination of good sense, protective genetics, and good luck protect them from skin cancer–even with an outdoor lifestyle.

I was on the beach in Sarasota recently, and I stopped by a group of kite surfers to inquire about what wetsuit I might need for a swim. They were adamant about protecting their skin with wetsuits and rashguards so that they don’t get any more (squamous cell) skin cancers.

Damage leading to skin cancer (and skin wrinkling) is often done by sunlamps to those who are too young to think about long term effects, or those who are mis-informed by the industry selling the lights or the tanning. While light exposure does lead to vitamin D production, and a little exposure can increase melanin production, I agree that legislation should be passed to better inform of the dangers and protect those under age from causing long term damage to their skin.

As a physician, I support of Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed rule titled, “General and Plastic Surgery Devices: Restricted Sale, Distribution, and Use of Sunlamp Products.”

I commend the FDA on its leadership in regulating sunlamps and for taking this important step to protect the public health. It is estimated that indoor tanning causes upwards of 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year. In fact, using indoor tanning beds before age 35 can increase your risk of melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – by 59% and the risk increases with each use.

Be sensible about the sun, and protect yourself and your fellow Americans.

To your health,

Dr. Dattner

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine


Skin Cancer: getting drunk and falling asleep in the sun?

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Scientists set about to do a meta-analysis of 16 different studies, covering 6251 cases of skin cancer.

They found a 20% increase in the incidence of melanoma in patients who drank alcohol on more than an occasional basis.

Unfortunately, the studies do not eliminate the possible relationship of sun exposure time. So it is possible that those with increased melanoma related to alcohol either hung out outside too long, or… fell asleep out in the sun.

Here is a link to the study.

To your health, 

Dr. Alan M Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine


Got Viagra? Check. Got melanoma? Maybe.


6a00e55255b462883401a3fd227564970b-300wiA prospective study published in the June 5th 2014 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), had some ominous correlations. It was carried out with matched controls from the years 2000 to 2010, on 25,848 men, who had no previous history of skin cancer.

The study showed an increase in melanoma in me who used sildenafil, the chemical in Viagra. There was not an increase in the incidence of the two other major skin cancers, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, suggesting that this was not caused by other factors. Factors such as increased sun exposure, in those who took sildenafil. Those who used Sidenafil had roughly twice the liklihood of developing melanoma compared to those who did not. 

Mechanisms of activity of suggest that sildenafil by the nature of its activity as a phosphodiesterase activity inhibitor, may act like the gene activation (BRAF) that is known to be related to increased invasiveness of melanoma.

This study suggests possible association with the use of Viagra regarding risk of developing melanoma, but is too limited to absolutely prove this association. (Even after studying 25,000 men.) It is, however, a caution that use of Viagra, even once, may cause serious side effects that last more than 4 hours.

To your health,

Dr. Alan M Dattner, MD
Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine

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Citations 

JAMA Intern Med. 2014 Jun 1;174(6):964-70. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.594.

Sildenafil Use and Increased Risk of Incident Melanoma in US Men: A Prospective Cohort Study.

Li WQ1Qureshi AA2Robinson KC3Han J4.


Sunlight Controversy: How much sun is enough? How much is too much?

6a00e55255b462883401901b9799c7970b-200wiThe controversy over sunlight benefit versus danger rumbles on, with new data on both sides of the question.  From the American Academy of Dermatology meeting, two very different pieces of information stand out favoring cautious sunlight protection.  A study recently reported showing an increase in the incidence of melanoma for people who had used tanning beds before the age of 35.  Early damage from excessive light exposure shows up later.
Other studies reported showed that exposure to two times the MED (the minimal amount of light necessary to cause redness of the skin) caused 100 times the amount of messenger RNA for collagenase (the enzyme which breaks down collagen in skin.)  Collagen is the fibrous substance which gives the skin its shape and strength.
Breakdown of collagen is associated with aging and wrinkles.  One half the amount of sunlight necessary to cause redness increased the collagenase activity fourfold.
Furthermore, even one tenth the amount of sunlight exposure necessary to cause redness caused some increase in collagenase activity.
All of the data which was presented demonstrated the various aspects of the process of sun damage leading to aging, at the molecular level.  The speaker is a respected authority on the science of skin aging , so the data appears valid.  I have reviewed other studies in the past which show similar findings, which also lends credibility to his argument.  I will discuss the benefits of sunlight and vitamin D production in later blogs, which inform the other side of this
controversy.  If you sign up for my monthly newsletter, I will email you the top five tips to minimize the effects of solar damage.
Regardless of controversy, sun exposure is a double edged sword with both benefits and dangers.  Living a full life exposes us to both those benefits and dangers; finding the right balance and using protective supplements and
topical antioxidants is the best we can do.To your health,

Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology
New York, New York

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As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.