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.
I want to tell you about some of the fascinating things about hair care I learned as I review my notes from the American Academy of Dermatology Conference recently.
At a really interesting seminar on hair disorders, speakers covered basic biology, rare disorders, and common conditions affecting the hair. The hair shaft, made up of strands of protein, is covered by a “cuticle” of overlapping scales which protect and hold together the shaft.
Activities such as over-brushing removes the scales making up the cuticle and allows the shaft to come apart, making the shaft frizz and become weak. Scratching the scalp or hair has the same effect. The result is broken hairs and the impression that hair is not growing. Some conditioners and combing products are available with special lubricants
which reduce friction and reduce the removal of the cuticle scale.
Heating Wet Hair
Another way to damage the cuticle layer is to wet the hair and then heat it with a curling iron or a hair dryer that
is too close. The overheated water turns to steam inside of the hair shaft, forming tiny gas bubbles which cause the “cuticle” to burst off. It was really fascinating to see this close up with a scanning electron photograph showing a lot of bulges from the gas bubbles forming in a wet, heated hair. Hair treated this way looks frizzy, smells burned,
and breaks easily.
Be gentle with your hair and it will look good and serve you well.
The activities of the summer, spending time in the water, wind, and sun, can sometimes trigger a flare-up of dry skin. Chronic dry skin can have many possible underlying causes.
Patients come to me for holistic skin treatment when they don’t want to use conventional medicine, and I address dry skin, among other conditions often by changing the diet, adding nutritional supplements, and changing the products you use on your skin. Learning about what makes your skin dry or irritates is a highly individual process that an integrative physician can help you with.
However, I have one tip for occasional dry skin that works great. If you regularly use a moisturizer, always apply it immediately after bathing or showering. This seals in the moisture your body has just absorbed and leaves skin feeling soft and healthy.
Also be sure to reduce the use of hot water, soap, and detergents on scaly skin, so that you don’t wash out the lipids that keep your skin naturally moist.
I am pleased to announce that I have been appointed as a member of the Advisory Board of the American Botanical Council, a leader in providing objective information on the various uses of herbs in both healing the body and in commerce I will act as an expert advisor on herbs and the skin.
Herbs are very helpful for a variety of skin issues. Many of the herbs I have been using for years are just now appearing in products on the exhibit floor of the American Academy of Dermatology national meeting. For example, licorice and curcumin are being incorporated into anti-inflammatory herbal preparations. Green tea extract and red wine resveratrol are being used as part of the antioxidant mix in anti-aging products applied to the skin.
I look forward to sharing more with you in the future on natural and herbal skin care.
The American Botanical Council (ABC) announces the addition of several new members to its Advisory Board. These esteemed individuals — with diverse academic backgrounds ranging from analytical chemistry, oncology, and pharmacognosy to environmental science, aromatherapy, and Traditional Chinese Medicine — are committed to promoting healthier living through herbal and plant-based medicine. Advisory Board members volunteer their time to peer review articles that appear in HerbalGram, HerbalEGram, HerbClips, and various ABC publications. Additionally, HerbalGram editors seek feedback and advice from Advisory Board members on issues such as research questions, article ideas, ABC policies, book reviews, and much more.
The new Advisory Board members include an oncologist, a cardiologist, an endocrinologist, a dermatologist, a nurse/aromatherapist, a nutritionist, a doctor of acupuncture and oriental medicine, a mycologist, a geneticist, two pharmacognosists, two family practice physicians, two natural product chemists, and two environmentalists.
“We are deeply grateful to include these experts on the ABC Advisory Board,” said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal. “For many of these individuals, receiving official ABC Advisory Board status simply formalizes an already established, long-term relationship in which many of these friends and colleagues have been contributing their time and expertise to ABC and many of its publications as expert peer reviewers. The wide spectrum of scientific and clinical expertise held by these individuals as a group reflects the increasing complexity and sophistication of the modern herbal movement and of ABC’s vital nonprofit educational mission.”
I recently was a featured speaker at a conference for holistic skin care professionals, teaching them the basics of my nutritional treatment of skin conditions. the conference title was the AHSCP Holistic Skin Care Conference 2012, held in Kalamazoo, Michigan and sponsored by Elina Organics.
The title of my presentation was, “The scientific basis for treating inflammatory conditions of the skin with natural therapies.” This is part of my effort, along with my blog, upcoming chapter, and upcoming book, of helping more people to understand how important it is to employ Holistic Dermatology in helping people improve their skin.
Check out a copy of Prevention Magazine this month; I’m quoted in the current November 2012 issue of Prevention, in their article, 10 Things to Eat for Perfect Skin.
I discuss the relationship between eating sugar and the accelerated breakdown of the collagen and elastin in the skin, leading to wrinkles. Sugar binds to proteins in the skin forming Advanced Glycation Endproducts (or AGE’s). These AGE’s stimulate enzymes that chew up to collagen and elastin, leading to sagging skin. Check out the article for the full story. (Prevention, Nov 2012, p 52)
Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine
Vitamin D is back in the news, with recent studies showing that fewer people need Vitamin D supplements, according to new FDA guidelnes. I disagree with these new guidelines because they’re based on a study I find sorely lacking:
For example, there was unfortunately no examination of Vitamin D and bone health in this study. Also, the effect of higher vitamin D levels on boosting immunity in such a way as to counteract autoimmune disorders was neither mentioned, nor investigated.
The studies also purport that lower levels of Vitamin D did not affect overall mortality in a totally mixed and kidney disease population. They even mention that Vitamin D was associated with kidney disease and some cancers.
Such studies with no regard for the complex underlying way a supplement acts on the human body (and specifically immune system and bones) can only serve to confuse physicians and the general population. Until I see careful studies of people with different illnesses, and studies that contradict what has been shown in the immune system, I will continue to consider the new lower vitamin D levels recommended as insufficient for certain individuals with disorders of the immune system.
What’s worse, this kind of study and the headline stories about the supposed conclusion of this meta-analysis in the press could harm hundreds of thousands of people who actually do need more vitamin D because of the condition they have or the condition of their immune system. For example, another recent study showed that people with pneumonia had better survival if they had higher Vitamin D levels, and that the benefits depend on the type of Vitamin D taken (Vitamin D3 possibly being superior to D2).
We will keep you up to date exploring the many aspects emerging on this important vitamin, Vitamin D, as it relates to the skin and the immune system.
Almost like a bad Halloween movie, data (re-)emerged in the press recently that both chicken and rice may be contaminated with arsenic.
Why? Well, turns out that arsenic is used in chickenfeed in the US to prevent certain diseases and make the chickens’ flesh pink. Arsenic finds its way into rice that is grown in soil where crops like cotton were grown before with arsenical pesticides.
Arsenic-based pesticides are also used in potato and tobacco farming, so groundwater and wells near those farming areas may also be contaminated by arsenic. Arsenic is a cumulative poison that builds up in the body, and has been linked to formation of skin cancers as well as cancers inside the body. Wouldn’t you think that a government so conscious about health and health costs would figure out how to get the arsenic out of such basic foods?
For nearly 3 decades, my colleagues in the world of Integrative Medicine and Holistic medicine have been warning about the consequences of excessive antibiotic use, calling for the use of more probiotics and other measures to prevent the consequences of antibiotic use in the digestive system, including yeast overgrowth.
Protocols suggested include probiotics as the foundation for treatment of gut issues. Use of probiotics by physicians for problems associated with antibiotics goes back much further than our three decades, but during the recent 30 years or so, probiotics use seems to have been forgotten by the majority of doctors practicing in this country.
The traditional medical establishment seems to have rediscovered probiotics an article printed in JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association)–at least for the condition of diarrhea, which would be a more obvious manifestation of antibiotic overgrowth of yeast and other resistant organisms.
I welcome this study in a popular journal, even though it lacks a prominent mention of the possible relationship to yeast overgrowth from antibiotic use and the other synergistic measures that would help with this problem. Perhaps someday, integrative physicians like myself will be recognized as clinical pioneers than as quacks. And to the authors of the article who have recently explored this treatment, I must add, “You don’t say; what a surprise!”
It gives me pleasure to announce that I will be featured in a radio interview on the topic of nutrition and the skin on the Kathleen Show, which will be aired in a handful of selected cities throughout the US on different days, from Thursday, Feb 25 through Sunday, February 28, 2010.
Please see the link below for city, time and station, and let your friends and relatives in those cities know about the show if it is not near you. The program airs in Philadelphia PA, (Thursday) Madison WI, Providence RI, Reading PA, Fairbanks Alaska, Astoria Oregon, Grand Junction CO, Eureka CA and Minneapolis/St. Paul MN.
I feel honored to follow such notables as Dr Andrew Weil, legendary Maya Angelou, women’s health pioneer Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Michael Roizen, best-selling author of the YOU series co-authored by Dr. Mehmet Oz, as well as award-winning journalist and author Michael Pollan, as guests on Kathleen’s radio show. This link will allow you to hear the show when it gets posted as a webcast available to hear online in a few more weeks. I believe that you will find the interview both enjoyable and informative, packed with tips on how to better care for your skin naturally. Be sure to not only enjoy it yourselves, but to pass on the link to share it with others who will benefit from the free and useful advice Kathleen gleans from me. http://www.thekathleenshow.com/Listen/tabid/56/Default.aspx
I will post a link to my guest page from the show in a week or two, when my interview will be available for download.
To your health,
Dr. Alan M. Dattner
New York, New York
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.