The ABCDE's of Melanoma

When it comes to melanoma, the world's most serious type of skin cancer, early detection is imperative. It can be cured if found and treated early.

Here are the types of skin markings on the body to look for in an easy way to remember we call, the ABCDE's of Melanoma. 

A- Asymmetrical Shape: Melanoma lesions are often irregular, or not symmetrical, in shape. Benign moles are usually symmetrical.

B- Border: Typically, non-cancerous moles have smooth, even borders. Melanoma lesions usually have irregular borders that are difficult to define.

C- Color: The presence of more than one color (blue, black, brown, tan, etc.) or the uneven distribution of color can sometimes be a warning sign of melanoma. Benign moles are usually a single shade of brown or tan.

D- Diameter: Melanoma lesions are often greater than 6 millimeters in diameter (approximately the size of a pencil eraser).

E- Evolution: The evolution of your mole(s) has become the most important factor to consider when it comes to diagnosing a melanoma. Knowing what is normal for you could save your life. If a mole has gone through recent changes in color and/or size, bring it to the attention of a dermatologist immediately.

Credit: Sunburn Alert Instagram

Credit: Sunburn Alert Instagram

If you see one or more of these markings on your skin, make an appointment with a dermatologist immediately. Catching melanoma early can make the difference between life and death. See your dermatologist regularly for skin screenings. 

Please note: Not all melanomas fall within the ABCDE parameters so visit your dermatologist regularly to catch any potential issues early.

Protecting Your Skin Year Round

...especially while driving! According to a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, nearly 53% of skin cancers in the US occur on the left, or drivers’, side of the body. Scientists have found that front windshields block an average of 96% of UV rays; however side windows only block an average of 71% of UV rays.

Learn how to stay sun protected this fall and winter season by clicking here

PRESS: Featured on ABC News Brisbane

Wearable UV-sensitive stickers take guesswork out of knowing when to reapply sunscreen

By Jessica Hinchliffe at ABC News Brisbane

Could a sticker on your hand be the key to reducing sunburn each summer in Australia? The new wearable UV indicator is undergoing testing at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane.

It is UV sensitive and changes colour when the time comes to reapply sun protection, taking the guesswork out of how often you should apply sunscreen.

Dr Elke Hacker from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation said the pilot study would test the usability of the patches.

"Usually we put on a lot less sunscreen than we should which provides inadequate protection," she told 612 ABC Brisbane's Spencer Howson.

Dr Hacker said the sticker must be covered in a thin film of the sunscreen."The sticker has dyes in it that are sensitive to UV light and they change colour when the sticker deteriorates in the sun," she said.

"That tells the person that the thin film of sunscreen is no longer blocking UV and that it's time to reapply."

Making a difference to future skin cancer rates

Dr Hacker said the stickers could play a role in preventing skin cancer.

"Two in three Australians will have a skin cancer cut out before they turn 70.

"We have a huge battle with skin cancer on our hands and every sunburn increases your rate of skin cancer. "Applying sunscreen at a better rate and a better concentration ... really does make a big difference now to our future skin cancer rates."

There are currently several companies around the world trying to create similar stickers. The QUT team is working with a young engineering group in Canada to try and come up with the perfect patch.

"The patches work in and out of the water, but for us here in Australia we want to make sure they work in saltwater," Dr Hacker said.

Commercial possibilities

The team will also be studying the behaviour changes of people wearing the stickers to see if they improve their sun protection behaviour.

"It's a novel approach. You don't need to get your phone out, you just need to look down and see the colour change," Dr Hacker said.

She said she believed many sunscreen brands would be interested in the stickers once they satisfied safety standards.

"We envisage in the future that when you buy your sunscreen bottle it will have several of the patches on the label that you can peel off and use," Dr Hacker said.

"This device seeks to give real-time information that can help change unhealthy sun exposure habits." The team is encouraging people under 30 to try the stickers for a week between now and December.

Read the entire article here

5 Tips To Protect Your Skin This Fall

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Sun damage can occur throughout the fall and winter months. Ultraviolet A and B (UVA and UVB) are the cancer causing rays - and UVA is present year round. The sun reflects off snow and can penetrate deep into the layers of the skin.

Here's 5 tips for staying sun protected during the cold months ahead:

1. Stay away from tanning beds.

2. Wear sunscreen daily. We recommend a full spectrum of SPF 30+ to use on your body and face.

3. Reapply every two hours.

4. Wear sunglasses and a hat.

5. Get your skin checked annually by a dermatologist.

How will you protect your skin? Share below!

Staying Sun Safe This Fall

Fall is officially here! Cozy sweaters, pumpkin spiced lattes, crisp air and beautiful leaves. It's a season of utmost beauty. You can now put away your bathing suits and beach towels, but can you also retire your sunscreen? The answer is NO.

Sunscreen protection shouldn't be associated with summer. It should be a year long routine factored into your daily regimen.

Sun damage (aka sunburns) can occur throughout the fall and winter months. How? Ultraviolet A and B (UVA and UVB) are the cancer causing rays --- and UVA is present year round. Meaning, you can get sun damage on a cloudy, snowy or rainy day.

Continue your daily sunscreen routine and reapply every two hours! Our Body Stickers are a great way for you and your children to remember when it's time to reapply.

Step 1: Apply Sticker: Peel sticker from its backing and apply firmly to the back of hand with printed side up leaving enough space to insert 2 fingers.

Step 1: Apply Sticker: Peel sticker from its backing and apply firmly to the back of hand with printed side up leaving enough space to insert 2 fingers.

How will you stay sun protected this fall season? Share below!

Choosing Stronger Sunscreen Would Reduce Women's Melanoma Risk

By Andrew M. Seaman

(Reuters Health) - "The number of women affected by the deadliest form of skin cancer could fall by almost a fifth if they all used sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher, a new study suggests."

"While it may seem obvious that sunscreen with a higher SPF would protect against skin cancer, the study's lead author said past research produced conflicting results, in part because many sunscreen users don't apply sunscreens properly."

"In addition, said Reza Ghiasvand of the University of Oslo in Norway, people often don't reapply sunscreen as recommended. As a result, they end up with sunburns that increase their risk of melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer."

Read the entire study here

Credit: Reuters Health