DATELINE: COHASSET AND PLYMOUTH, MASS…
The duo shared their expert knowledge of sun safety and melanoma (the deadliest form of skin cancer) prevention with more than 100 DNA members at the DNA’s 27th Annual Convention held in San Francisco on March 6th.
They discussed how skin cancer is most commonly caused by overexposure to sunlight, or artificial UV radiation and recommended that everyone follow SunAWARE, an acronym coined by Mary and John Barrow, authors of Sun Protection for Life: Your Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy and Beautiful Skin. SunAWARE stands for:
Avoid unprotected UV exposure any time and seek shade
Wear sun protective clothing including hats and sunglasses
Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen prior to UV exposure and reapply every two hours
Routinely check your whole body for changes in your skin and report suspicious changes to a health care practitioner.
Educate your family and community about sun protection.
Dr. Eisen taught that anyone can develop melanoma anywhere on their body and that new and changing moles should be evaluated. He also shared five tips on how to identify potentially dangerous moles or melanomas:
Moles that are asymmetric, where one side of the mole does not match the other.
Moles that have edges that are irregular, ragged or blurred.
A mole that has more than one color, with shades of black, brown, red, white, blue or tan.
Moles that are larger than a pencil eraser.
Moles that bleed, itch or change in appearance.
“Certain types of moles have a higher risk of becoming malignant melanomas. Melanoma can be deadly because it can spread to other parts of the body. But, it may be cured in its early stages. It’s very important to take preventative measures such as those outlined in SunAWARE and to watch for changes in the skin and follow up on questionable or changing moles with a dermatologist as soon as possible,” explained Dr. Eisen.
Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation
The Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation, located in Hingham, Mass., delivers a comprehensive sun safety and melanoma awareness program, free of charge, to school children in Massachusetts. Led by Maryellen Maguire-Eisen, RN, MSN, the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation’s “SunAWARE” program is delivered to children in elementary and secondary schools and teaches both skin cancer prevention and early detection. The foundation has won the 2009 American Academy of Dermatology Gold Triangle Award for their two new children’s books, Pretty Prom and Lake Vacation. For more information, contact 781-875-1SPF (1773) or visit www.melanomaprevention.org.
Dermatology Nurses’ Association
The Dermatology Nurses’ Association is a professional nursing organization with the mission of promoting excellence in dermatologic care. To learn more about the DNA, visit the website at DNANurse.org.
South Shore Skin Center
Founded in 1984, South Shore Skin Center is one of Massachusetts’ most progressive dermatology practices offering a wide range of medical, surgical and cosmetic services.
South Shore Skin Center’s cosmetic services include Fraxel re:pair and re:store; Gentle YAG, innovative Laser, IPL (Intensive Pulse Light), Thermage and treatments for age spots, acne scarring, birth marks, tattoos and more. The practice also offers a full range of affordable anti-aging services including Botox, wrinkle fillers, Microdermabrasion, laser skin resurfacing and chemical peels.
South Shore Skin Center offices are located at 223 Chief Justice Cushing Highway, Suite 202 in Cohasset, Mass. (781) 383-3340, and 45 Resnik Road, Suite 102 in Plymouth, Mass., (508) 747-0711. For more information, visit their website at www.southshoreskincenter.com.