• Why You Need to Wear Sunscreen in the Winter

    Young Couple On Ski Vacation

    When it’s cold and snowy outside, it’s second nature to wear a scarf, heavy jacket, and snow boots. However, for most people, putting on sunscreen isn’t part of their winter ritual. Even though the sun may not appear to shine as brightly in the winter months, it is still emitting ultraviolet rays, the type of invisible radiation that causes sunburns, premature aging, and skin cancer.

    Summer is considered the high season for ultraviolet radiation, but the sun’s UV rays are still quite strong in the winter months. In fact, certain winter-related factors can actually amplify the strength of ultraviolet radiation. For example, snow can reflect up to 80 percent of UV rays and altitude can increase UV strength by 10 to 12 percent. Even on cloudy days, 80 percent of UV rays can still reach the ground. This means that regardless of the day’s forecast, people should always wear sunscreen anytime their skin will be exposed to the outdoors.  

    Call (801) 266-8841 to schedule an appointment with Swinyer – Woseth Dermatology . Our Salt Lake City dermatology practice specializes in treatment of diseases and conditions of the skin, hair, and nails. 

  • The ABCDEs of Melanoma

    Melanoma

    Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, as it is characterized by cancerous growths originating in the basal layer of the skin. The majority of melanomas are brown or black in color, but they can also appear skin-colored, pink, or red. The key to preventing the spread of cancer to other parts of the body is recognizing the signs of melanoma and seeking early treatment .

    Asymmetry

    Usually, moles and other skin growths are harmless. However, anyone with more than 100 moles is at a greater risk for developing melanoma. For this reason, it’s important to be very familiar with your skin and learn to recognize any changes to the shape or size of your moles. If you were to draw a line through a particular mole and the two halves don’t match, then it has an asymmetrical shape and is a sign of melanoma.

    Border

    Melanomas tend to have uneven borders, with the edges being scalloped or notched in appearance. Ordinary moles, on the other hand, tend to have a consistent, even border.

    Color

    A mole with varying shades of brown, tan, or black is a warning sign of melanoma . However, melanomas can also be red, blue, or white in color.

    Diameter

    Though melanomas may appear smaller when first detected, they are usually larger in diameter than the size of the eraser on your pencil. This means a melanoma is usually larger than 1/4 inch or 6 millimeters. 

    Evolving

    It’s incredibly important to know what your moles look like ordinarily, so that you can recognize any changes to the shape, size, or color. Any change in a mole’s physical appearance can be red flag for melanoma. In addition, symptoms like bleeding, itching, and crusting signal the need to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.

    Dr. Swinyer of Swinyer – Woseth Dermatology is the founding president of the Intermountain Dermatologic Society as well as the Utah Dermatology Society. Our practice specializes in treating diseases and conditions involving the skin, including skin cancer treatment. To schedule an appointment in our Salt Lake City office, call (801) 266-8841.

  • One Man’s Experience with Melanoma

    Melanoma is a serious type of skin cancer that takes the lives of nearly 10,000 people every year. As long as you apply sunscreen regularly and monitor abnormal moles, you can avoid the serious risks associated with melanoma.  

    In this video, an Air Force pilot named Taylor Todd discusses his experience with melanoma. A mole on the top of Taylor’s head turned out to be cancerous, and Taylor had to have the mole and surrounding area completely removed. Taylor used to be hesitant to put on sunscreen, but now he applies it frequently.

    If any of your moles seem abnormal, don’t hesitate to call Swinyer – Woseth Dermatology at (801) 266-8841. Dr. Swinyer and Dr. Woseth are dedicated to treating skin cancer and providing other skin care services to Salt Lake City residents

  • What You Need to Know About Skin Cancer

    hand, magnifying glass and skin

    According to the Skin Cancer Foundation , skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, affecting more than two million people each year. Furthermore, one in five Americans develops skin cancer at some point in his or her lifetime. Though the abnormal skin cell growth often develops from exposure to the sun, it can also occur on areas in the body that aren’t ordinarily exposed to sunlight.

    Symptoms

    Skin cancer often develops in areas frequently exposed to sunlight, including the scalp, face, lips, neck, and chest. In cases where melanoma develops in people with darker skin tones, the cancer cells are more likely to develop in places not frequently exposed to the sun. Signs of melanoma include a large, brown spot with darker speckles, a mole that changes color or size, as well as small lesions with irregular portions that are red, white, or blue-black.

    Causes

    Cancerous cells develop when there is a mutation of the DNA within the skin cells. Eventually, the mutation causes the cells to grow out of control, forming masses of cancerous cells. In cases of skin cancer, the cancerous cells first develop in the top layer of skin called the epidermis. Ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight or commercial tanning lamps causes much of the DNA damage associated with skin cancer cells. However, other factors, like exposure to toxic substances, can also lead to skin cancer.

    Risk factors

    Even though anyone can get skin cancer, people with less melatonin in their skin are at a higher risk. As a result, people who are blond or have red hair and fair skin are more likely to develop skin cancer than someone with a darker skin tone. In addition, people with a history of sunburns are at an increased risk for skin cancer.

    If you’re concerned about any noticeable changes in your skin’s appearance, then you should schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. Dermatologists specialize in treating diseases and conditions involving the skin, hair, and nails. Call (801) 266-8841 to schedule an appointment with Swinyer – Woseth Dermatology of Salt Lake City.  

  • Improving Your Appearance with the Power of Lasers [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Do you have pesky, unwanted hairs that always grow back no matter how many times you pluck, shave, or wax them away? Do you have a birthmark or skin discoloration that you wish you could make disappear? If so, lasers can help you improve your appearance and boost your self-confidence. Laser hair removal is the second most common cosmetic procedure in the U.S., and offers 90% permanent reduction in unwanted hairs. For port wine stains, scars, and other skin conditions, the Vbeam laser is a great option, as it can safely and effectively minimize and even eliminate these unwanted discolorations. Check out this Infographic from your Salt Lake City dermatologist to see how laser technology can help you look and feel your best. Please share with your friends and family, and always practice good skin care.  

    Improving-Your-Appearance-with-the-Power-of-Lasers-Infographic-01

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