Welcome to Precision Dermatology's blog. In this section, Dr. Shvartzman will be making blog posts along with answering patient questions.
5 Ways to Protect Your Skin Outdoors
Posted by Leonard Shvartzman August 2, 2017
Sun exposure is the most preventable risk factor for all skin cancer, including melanoma. We must pay attention not only to the climate in which we live, but also how we spend time outdoors. Here are some ways to help decrease your risk of skin cancer when spending time in the Florida sun:
If you do not own a hat, it is a great idea to consider purchasing one. We recommend a wide-brimmed or “farmers” hat, one which will help protect your face and neck from the sun.
Sunscreen provides your skin with a chemical barrier against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Generously apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher that provides broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Re-apply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
3. Cover Up With Clothing
Although most people tend to wear less clothing during the summer, this is not always in our best interest. When possible, wear sun protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts and pants, preferably with UV protection. Coolibar is a great brand which produces UV protective clothing.
4. Seek Shade
The sun is strongest during “peak hours”, which are the hours between 10AM and 4PM. Try to limit the amount of time you are in the sun during these hours. For example, start doing lawn work/gardening in the early morning or evening. Protect yourself and your children from sun exposure seeking the shade during peak hours.
Although many people choose their sunglasses for style, they also protect our eyes. When purchasing sunglasses, look for a sticker or tag indicating 100% protection from UV rays. You should also consider large sunglasses. Oversized or wrap-around style glasses help cut down on UV rays entering the eye from the side of your face.
Skin cancer prevention partly requires that we take responsibility for the health of our skin. The Florida sun may be strong, but proper preparation can keep us and our families safe. For a list of websites you can utilize to help with skin cancer prevention, please visit our Useful Links page.
Posted by Angie Hubbard May 27, 2016
Dr. Shvartzman and all our staff would like to extend their gratitude for the large number of thank you cards we have received during the month of May. Each and every card is currently on display on Dr. Shvartzman's desk. We are sometimes unable to thank each patient personally but would like to use the website as a platform to show our appreciation.
Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Posted by Dr. Leonard Shvartzman May 9, 2016
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. It is also one of the most preventable forms of cancer. Since May is skin cancer awareness month, I feel that now is a great time to share some skin cancer prevention guidelines:
Do not burn - A persons risk of melanoma doubles if they have had more than five sunburns at any point in their life.
Avoid tanning beds - Ultraviolet radiation is a proven human carcinogen and sunlamps found in tanning beds emit 12 times the amount of harmful UVA rays than a patient would receive from the sun. In individuals that use the tanning bed before the age of 30, the risk of melanoma increases by 75 percent.
Seek the shade - The sun is strongest between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM. We call these "peak hours". Try to limit the amount of time you spend in the sun. For example, I always suggest patients perform their lawn work and gardening in the late afternoon/early evening.
Use sun protective clothing - If you are out in the sun during peak hours, cover up with clothing. This includes a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sun protective clothing. Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants whenever possible.
Apply suncreen - Use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen SPF 30 or higher every day. Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before going outdoors, and re-applied every two hours.
Have annual skin checks - Be sure to see your dermatologist annually for a skin exam.
Most Common Forms of Skin Cancer
Posted by Dr. Leonard Shvartzman September 9, 2014
Here in Florida, where sunshine abounds, we get exposed to large quantities of ultraviolet rays, causing irreparable and cumulative changes to the skin. Over time this results in photoaging and skin cancer. Photoaging changes include sun spots, freckles, and wrinkles, which can be effectively treated cosmetically. Today, however, I will address the two most common types of skin cancer and how to spot them:
Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) - a skin cancer that is usually slow growing and mostly occurs on the head and neck. BCC can bleed spontaneously or after minor trauma when present for a long time because it develops small superficial blood vessels and thinning of the overlying skin. These lesions are usually not painful and may thus be quite extensive when the patient comes for an appointment. Very effective forms of treatment exist for this tumor. These include micrographically controlled (mohs) surgery, excisional surgery, and sometimes topical creams or radiation.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) - a skin cancer that can grow much more rapidly than a BCC (see above) and also mostly occurs on the head and neck. SCC tends to be painful due to its rapid growth and, at its fastest, can double in size about every three weeks. Unlike BCC, this type of skin cancer, if left untreated for a prolonged time, can metastasize, or spread to distant lymph nodes and organs. Multiple effective treatment methods exist for SCC, and it is important to not neglect these tumors for long.
The bottom line: if you have a non-resolving lesion of the skin for longer than about a month, it may benefit from a quick evaluation.
ABCD's of Melanoma
Posted by Dr. Leonard Shvartzman August 15, 2014
The office construction is going well, and we are here every day seeing a few patients. Thanks to everybody for your support.
Today, I would like to discuss the ABCD's of melanoma. If you have a pigmented lesion on the skin that has any one of the following three qualities, please contact us:
A- Asymetry (The lesion is not round or oval. When cut in half through the middle, one side does not look like the other)
B- Border (The lesion has an irregular, scalloped, jagged border rather than a smooth one)
C- Color (The lesion has more than one color; oftentimes light and dark brown, but sometimes also black or burgundy)
D- Diameter (The lesion is at least 5mm in it's greatest diameter; about the size of a pencil eraser)
Remember, sun dammage is cumulative, like a cab meter, your skin will appreciate protection at any age.
Posted by Dr. Leonard Shvartzman August 6, 2014
Since it is summertime, I feel that one of the most pertinet topics is sun precautions. Fair individuals who burn easily are the most at risk for developing skin cancer. To protect themselves, these people should try to do the following:
1. If possible, avoid direct sunlight during peak hours of 10:00am - 5:00pm.
2. Wear sunprotective clothes that are available at department stores and surf shops (such as Collibar, Rash Guard, Solumbra). These, in general work very well but can be a little warm.
3. Wear a brimmed hat.
4. Use sunscreen on all exposed skin surfaces including the face,ears, back of hands. Use sunscreens with at least a 30SPF and reapply every two to three hours.
Remember, redness and subsequent tanning is the skin's response to injury from the cancer causing ultraviolet rays. Be safe.
Hello and Welcome
Posted by Dr. Leonard Shvartzman August 5, 2014
This is my first blog post!
The practice is coming along nicely and I hope all of our valued patients are impressed. This blog is meant to highlight important developments in dermatology and to serve as an informal question and answer forum.
1550 Riverside Avenue, Suite A, Jacksonville, FL 32204 | 1209 Park Avenue, Orange Park, FL 32073