Posts for tag: Sun Damage

By Z Dermatology
December 03, 2018
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Sun Damage  

 

Call it what you will: elephant skin, paper-thin skin or grandma skin—it’s all the same, and it’s all crepey. “Crepey skin is one of the most difficult signs of skin aging to prevent because it has so many different causes and can occur on so many different parts of the body,” says New York dermatologist Macrene Alexiades, MD. But, just because your skin is starting to have a mind of its own and lacks the firmness it used to have, doesn’t mean you have to live with it like that.

Why Your Skin Ages

As you enter your 40s, the thinning of your skin accelerates. This isn’t a change you’ll see overnight—it’s likely to take weeks, or even months, for the texture of your skin to transform. Melbourne, FL, dermatologist Anita Saluja, MDsays there are a few elements that cause skin to become crepey. “The sun, a loss of collagen and elastin, and a decline in moisture due to aging, can all cause changes in texture.” Crepey skin becomes more pronounced when there’s a significant amount of fat loss in the area (from aging or weight loss). “Chronic use of medications like steroids can also be a causative factor,” adds Dr. Saluja. A decrease in female hormones, which leads to dry skin, contributes to crepiness on the arms and thighs more so than the face. Hormonal replacement therapies may help improve the look of the skin.

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What it Looks Like 
Skin that has turned crepey is thin, loose and flaccid with a certain degree of sagging. Sacramento, CA, dermatologist Suzanne Kilmer, MD, says that crepey skin doesn’t look nearly as thick or plump as younger skin does. Often compared to the thinness of a piece of paper or a crêpe, it’s the thinning of the dermis and epidermis that make skin look like this. “Crepey skin differs from other types of skin aging,” says Dr. Alexiades. “It first appears as an increase in skin markings, which look like little dots around the hair follicle that start to merge into linear or diamond-shaped marks and connect the dots together.” Over time, the subtle creases and pores in the skin slowly become exaggerated as the breakdown of collagen and elastin becomes more evident. From there, skin folds accumulate and skin starts to thin out. Whereas a stretch mark is the cause of a dermal tear in the skin and a loss of elastin, and a wrinkle forms from repeat motions in one area, crepey skin is more so the result of a lack of skin thickness.

Who it Effects
Everyone is susceptible to crepey skin, but some skin tones and types are more likely to experience it than others. Anyone who’s prone to sun damage and has little melanin in their skin—think fair- and lighter-toned types—and those who bake in the sun or use tanning beds, may see signs of it faster or more intensely. Certain ethnicities, such as Latinas, African Americans and Asians, inherently have thicker skin than others, which may hinder the effects of crepiness to some degree.

By Z Aesthetic Dermatology
December 26, 2017
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Sun Damage  

This Woman Hasn’t Used a Tanning Bed in 40 Years, But Is Paying the Price Now

Photo Credits: ShutterStock | Model Used for Illustrative Purpose Only

“They said it was nothing to worry about.” Rochester resident Elaine Sheaf clung to those eight fateful for almost 20 years while the mole on her face continued to grow in size, shape and irregularity—only to find out it was actually malignant melanoma (a likely result from her tanning-bed habit as a teenager). “From 1995 to 2013 [the mole] had grown from a small, Domino-sized dot to a round an inch,” Sheaf tells DailyMail.

After seeing a dermatologist when she noticed a sore on the mole, it was confirmed to be skin cancer. Over the next four years, Sheaf would undergo surgeries, biopsies, skin grafts and the devastating news that the stage-four cancer had also spread to her lungs. Sheaf says that shortly after she would arrive home from a surgery, she would notice a “little black speckle at the bottom” and call the hospital back. Doctors would reply, “that needs to come off immediately,” and she would go in for follow-up surgery where surgeons would have to cut even deeper into her face “and shave some of the cheekbone away,” she explains. “Now, even with makeup on, if I turn sideways my face is indented because my cheek has been cut away.” (Images can be seen here.)

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Looking back at her destructive habits, Sheaf says that she and her friends would use tanning beds for hours at a time in their 20s, often staying in them for an hour at a time, only taking a break for a drink. “You really have to be careful—I wish I’d known.” Studies show that overexposure to UV rays during this time period (namely childhood and teenage years) greatly increases the chances of developing skin cancer later in life. As a result, recent legislation has been introduced stateside to prevent minors from using tanning beds until they are over the age of 18.

But the U.S. government isn’t the only voice hoping to make a difference and prevent Sheaf’s story from happening to someone else. Now, she is urging others to stay away from tanning beds, to get into a dermatologists’ office, and to never be afraid to ask for a second opinion. “If you are worried about a mole or something on your skin, don't let [doctors] tell you that it's fine,” Sheaf says. “If I had done that I wouldn't be here now. Stand your ground because I should have done that 20 years ago.”

By Z Aesthetic Dermatology
September 05, 2017
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Skin Cancer   Sun Damage  

Photo Credits: Getty Images | Model Used for Illustrative Purpose Only

 

Annual dermatologist appointments are vital for general skin health, but more importantly, they’re a great way to catch signs of skin cancer before it spreads. Unfortunately, the signs of skin cancer can be hard to spot on your own, and one woman’s experience is proof of that.

Manicurist Jean Skinner recently posted online about a skin cancer scare one of her client’s faced, The Sun reports. During a routine manicure with a client, Skinner claims that she spotted a black vertical line, running along the center of her client’s nail bed, alerting her that something was very wrong.

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“I did not want to frighten [the client] but I told her she needed to see her doctor immediately,” said Skinner in her Facebook post. “She called me today to tell me that yes, it was a very aggressive melanoma that has already spread to her lymph nodes.”

 

Image courtesy of Facebook.

 

According to the post, other nail technicians had “diagnosed” the client’s marking as a lack of calcium or an innocent blood blister. However, this particular abnormality was a sign of something much worse. The Melanoma Research Foundation calls this type of melanoma Acral Lentiginous Melanoma (ALM). It often “appears like a dark spot, bruise or streak under the fingernail or toenail” and is “found most often on the thumb or the big toe.”

 

As illustrated by this case, it’s so important to check yourself for any odd changes in your skin—especially in places like the nail beds or hairline. So, if you see any peculiar changes to your nails, don’t dismiss it as harmless—as the saying goes, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.