May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month

Facial Treatments show skin cancer prevention benefits.

Skin cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer in the United States.  UV-radiation triggered by the sun is absorbed by the skin, causing mutations at the cellular level. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and basal cell the most common.  It is important to have regular skin screenings to determine if you are at risk or effected by skin cancer.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. It is the perfect time to assess your skin cancer prevention regimen.

A study from the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Medical Center in California, proved that chemical and laser peels, as well as other facial resurfacing techniques, were successful in treating a widespread forms of pre-cancer. Pre-cancer shows up in the form of crusty growths on areas of the skin frequently exposed to ultraviolet radiation.

Changes in shape, size and color should be taken seriously. The ABCDE rule helps to recognize changes in pigmented areas on the body.  This acronym stands for: Asymmetry (one half of the mole doesn’t match the other), Border irregularity, Color that is not uniform, Diameter greater than 6 mm (about the size of a pencil eraser), and Evolving size, shape or color. Many of these areas become squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), the second most common type of skin cancer.

Facial resurfacing treatment is traditionally done for cosmetic purposes; the study suggests, that facials can have real skin cancer prevention benefits. Pre-cancer lesions are typically treated with liquid nitrogen, which freezes them and they fall off. In this study, patients were instead treated with one of three facial treatment methods; a chemical peel, a topical cream or a CO2 laser peel.

All three treatments where successful in reducing the number of basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Though the study was conducted on a small sample of 24 participants, it shows the medical benefits of these techniques.

In addition to making your skin look healthier and younger. A visit to the spa for a facial can jump start your skin cancer prevention efforts. For more information about facial treatments at Palestra, call (704) 342-4660.

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