• Why Do Skin Cancer Rates Vary by Age Group?

    Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Prevention and early detection are the best ways to overcome this disease, no matter your age. 

    New Cases of Skin Cancer 

    According to the American Cancer Society (ACS)nearly 100,000 new cases of melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—are expected to be diagnosed in 2019. It’s important to note that other forms of skin cancer, including basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas, are actually more common, but because nonmelanoma skin cancers are not required to be reported to cancer registries, it is difficult to estimate the true number of new cases. The most recent study of these occurrences estimated that 5.4 million cases were diagnosed among 3.3 million people in 2012. 

    Skin Cancer by Age Groups 

    Melanoma diagnoses have been on the rise for the past 30 years, but trends differ by age group and genderHere are some of the reasons for this as hypothesized by the ACS: 

    • Under age 50, skin cancer is more prevalent in women than in men. This could be due to young women sunbathing and visiting tanning booths more frequently than men. 
    • By age 65, skin cancer rates in men double, and by age 80, they triple. This is caused by the increased likelihood for men of retirement age to engage in more outdoor recreational activities. 
    • From 2006 to 2015, the incidence rate of skin cancer increased by 3 percent among both women and men in the 50-and-older age group, but it remained stable among those under age 50. This might be because, aknowledge of skin cancer risk grows, the younger population is starting to take more effective precautions against it. 
    • From 2007 to 2016, the mortality rate for melanoma declined by about 2 percent per year in adults age 50 and up. The rate decreased by about 4 percent per year in the under-50 age group. Greater attention to the importance of early detection could be the reason for lower mortality rates among younger people. 

    How to Reduce the Risk of Skin Cancer 

    The probability of developing melanoma increases with age because sun damage accumulates over the years. Your skin doesn’t reset each summer—every sunburn and even every tan you get raises your risk as the years pass. While family history is a factor, especially for melanoma, a majority of skin cancer cases could be avoided if people practiced better sun protection. Here are some tips to help prevent skin cancer: 

    • Apply sunscreen every day. 
    • Wear protective clothing and sunglasses. 
    • Seek the shade. 
    • Avoid sunbathing and tanning booths. 
    • Perform self-evaluations once a month and visit a dermatologist once a year. 

    Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology offers skin cancer screenings and treatments to help keep you healthy and well. If it’s been more than a year since your last visit, please contact us at 801-682-4715 to schedule a consultation with one of our Salt Lake City dermatologists. 

  • What You Can Do to Reverse Sun Damage

    The weather is finally cooling off here in Salt Lake City, but your summertime activities may have left a lasting mark on your skin. Long after the sunburn fades, your skin could continue to suffer from dryness and age spots. While prevention is the best medicine, it’s also possible to reverse some signs of sun damage that have already occurred. Here’s how. 

    Treat Bad Sunburns 

    You may think tanned skin looks beautiful, but this is a sign of sun damage. Your skin amps up melanin production as a natural defense against UV rays. So if your skin is burned and peeling, this means your skin is so injured that your body must rid itself of the damaged cells. 

    Unfortunately, there’s no quick fix for a nasty sunburn. As you wait for your skin to heal, you can find relief by applying aloe vera and taking cool showers. Stay out of the sun, and refrain from picking at or exfoliating your peeling skin. You could cause scarring if you remove the skin before it’s ready, so just let it shed naturally.  

    Be mindful of the makeup you wear as well. Firm brushes and acne-fighting ingredients can irritate burned skin, so opt for soft makeup sponges and lightweight mineral powder until your skin heals. 

    Soothe Dry Skin 

    Overexposure to UV rays can cause your skin to dry out, even if you don’t develop a sunburn or sunspots. To reverse the appearance of a dull, dry complexion, exfoliate your skin once or twice a week (as long as you aren’t sunburned). Topical vitamin C and E are also helpful for repairing damaged skin cells. 

    Also, just because the temperature drops in the fall doesn’t mean your risk of getting sunburned disappears. Continue wearing sunscreen in the autumn and winter anytime you spend more than a few minutes outside. If you’re prone to dry skin, choose a moisturizing product to help smooth out your skin’s texture. 

    Lighten Sun Spots 

    Dark spots on your skin can come in many forms, including freckles, moles, birthmarks, and sunspots. These are all examples of hyperpigmentation resulting from high concentrations of melanin. Sunspots are larger than freckles or moles, and they usually appear othe parts of the body that get the most sun, including the face, hands, and arms. 

    To help sunspots fade naturally, try adding topical vitamin C to your daily skin-care routine. This antioxidant can help heal your skin, though it takes at least a month to notice results. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) photofacial therapy is a fast, effective method to help treat blotchy, discolored and sun-damaged skin. One to three sessions is all you need to revitalize your appearance! 

  • How Botox Can Make You Look Years Younger

    People have been searching for the ever-elusive fountain of youth for centuries. Wmay never find the secret to immortality, but Botox injections are the next best thing. This treatment slows the aging process and keeps you looking young for years to come. Even if you’re older when you receive your first treatment, Botox is shown to take years off your appearance. Here’s how this cosmetic treatment can help you move through life more gracefully. 

    What Does Botox Treat? 

    When you look in the mirror, you notice different types of wrinkles. Static wrinkles are those you can see when your face is at rest. Dynamic wrinkles are the ones that appear when you make a facial expression, such as smiling, frowning, squinting, or raising your eyebrows.  

    Botox treats the lines and creases associated with muscle contractions. When you receive a Botox injection, these muscles relax temporarily, allowing you to make expressions with less noticeable crow’s feet, frown lines, and other dynamic wrinkles. 

    Anti-Aging Benefits of Botox 

    Botox injections have been around for decades, but until recentlythey were thought to be nothing but fleeting, superficial fix for vain starlets. However, now dermatologists understand that more long-term benefits also exist for anyone wishing to slow down the aging process. Here are some of the more permanent effects Botox can have on the body. 

    Increased skin elasticity 

    Botox does more than simply relax your facial muscles—it also promotes increased elasticity. When your skin is more elastic, it rebounds readily rather than sagging in response to gravitymaking the skin less wrinkly as a result. 

    Dermatologists have observed that even deep wrinkles that aren’t fully erased by Botox become less severe with ongoing treatment. In a study published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, scientists discovered that Botox can increase skin elasticity by 30 percent. The effects peaked at two months and then diminished after four months. This could mean that, when used as an ongoing cosmetic treatment, Botox could keep your skin as supple as someone in their 20s even as you approach 50, 60, or 70 years old! 

    Reduced wrinkle formation 

    Having more elastic skin doesn’t just make the appearance of existing wrinkles less pronounced—it also helps reduce the formation of new wrinkles. After all, the treatment isn’t merely skin-deep—it penetrates the underlying muscles as well.  

    Relaxed muscles can’t contract, which is what causes deep furrows to form around your eyes and mouth as the years go by. This long-term anti-aging effect of Botox makes it a popular treatment for patients who want to lock in their youthful appearance even as they get older. 

    Clearly, Botox provides both short- and long-term benefits that make your skin appear younger, smoother, and tighter. The treatment can turn back the clock and hold it there if you continue to receive injections regularly. 

    For more information about Botox, or to schedule a consultation, please contact Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology in Salt Lake City at 801-682-4715. 

  • Why You Need Laser Hair Removal

    Removing unwanted body hair can be a hassle. You have several hair removal options to choose from, but some are clearly better than others. After all, when it comes to banishing body hair for the long haul, nothing does the job better than lasers. Compare your options here to see if laser hair removal could be right for you. 

    Less-Than-Ideal Hair Removal Options 

    It’s easy to spend too much money and effort on hair removal methods, most of which are temporary, time-consuming, and painful. For example: 

    • Shaving is a popular hair removal option, but the results are disappointingly temporary, lasting no more than a day or two. Razor burn and ingrown hairs are also problematic. 
    • Waxing lasts a little longer, but it can be an incredibly painful process, especially in sensitive bikini and underarm areas. Then, the treatment area may itch uncomfortably when the hair starts to grow back. 
    • Plucking is effective for small areas such as the eyebrows, but it’s tedious and not suited for larger areas of the body. 
    • Creams are also available that dissolve hair in minutes, but they tend to leave an unpleasant smell behind. 

    Then, There’s Laser Hair Removal 

    While it’s more of an investment than other methods, the longevity of laser hair removal is incredible. This semi-permanent option banishes hair for months at a time so you can confidently go about your day without worrying about stubble, itching, ingrown hairs, or other unpleasant side effects of other hair removal options. Plus, your morning routine will go much faster when you don’t have to worry about removing unwanted hair on a daily basis. 

    What to Expect from Laser Hair Removal 

    There’s no such thing as completely painless or permanent hair removal, but laser treatments are the closest thing ever invented. You can expect up to 90 percent hair reduction after just a few quick sessions, and only occasional touchups needed after thatRemove unwanted hair from any area of your body, including your back, chest, legs, bikini line, underarms, entire arms, neck, or face. There’s no limit to the places you can treat! 

    As for the discomfort level, most patients rank laser hair removal between painless shaving (as long as you don’t nick yourself with a dull blade) and unbearable waxing. When the laser beam zaps hair from the treatment area, it feels like a rubber band repeatedly flicking against your skin. The length of each session varies depending on which parts of your body are being treated. For instance, the lower legs—one of the largest treatment areas—takes about 25 minutes for both legs. 

    So toss your razors, shaving cream, tweezers, and hair removal creams, and say goodbye to time-consuming, costly trips to the waxing salon! Laser hair removal is just what you need to help you look your best, and treatments may be more affordable than you think. To learn more, or to schedule your first session, please contact Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology in Salt Lake City at 801-682-4715.