Melanoma Monday

Monday is Melanoma Monday. This day was designated by the American Academy of Dermatology to raise awareness about melanoma and encourage early detection. This day isn’t meant to scare people and have them shut all their blinds and live in a sunless world, it’s meant to educate people to understand to do self skin exams at home and be vigilant about getting yearly skin checks and practicing sun safety.

If caught early, melanoma is treatable but if left alone, it can be fatal. Unfortunately, we seen patients who have turned a blind eye to it, when it could have been as easy as coming in for a check. We hope you take a moment to get your skin checked with your dermatologist. And if you don’t have one, please make an appointment with me or our dermatology PA, Holly Carter today. (843)881-4440.

How to do skin self exam:

Download a mole map here:

Body Mole Map from the AAD

Staying Safe in the Sun

Are you hitting the beach this summer? Then read on…

Beach season is almost here. Yesterday, the high was already 90 degrees in Charleston, and many are hitting the water and beaches to soak up the sun. But before you head outside, know some sun safety tips that can help you. 

Skin cancer is the most common form of all cancers and it accounts for nearly half of all cancers in the US. More than 2 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are found in this country each year. 

Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer but if it’s caught and treated early, it’s almost always curable. However, if you wait too long, the cancer can spread to other parts of the body where it becomes hard to treat and can be fatal. 

The American Cancer Society estimates that at present, about 120,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed in the US in a year. In 2010, about 68,130 of these were invasive melanomas…in 38,870 males and 29,260 females.  So ladies, just like you’re vigilant about putting on the SPF please make sure your boyfriend or husband or significant other is too. 

These statistics aren’t here to scare you, they’re here to help you understand that taking care of your skin in vital. So follow these simple tips….

Sun safety tips: 

-The sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so avoid the sun at these times if possible.  
-If you do venture out during those hours, be sure to cover up with long-sleeved shirts and pants. There’s a variety of wide-brimmed hats that look very fashionable if you’re on the beach or lake.  Use a beach umbrella and wear sunglasses with UV protection. Read The Skin Cancer Foundation’s 

-A lifetime of sun exposure can cause wrinkles, freckles, age spots and rough, dry skin so when you are outside, seek shade. Practice the shadow rule and teach it to children. If your shadow is shorter than you, the sun’s rays are at their strongest.
-Use sunscreen that’s SPF 30 or higher when you’re in the sun. Apply generous amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen with physical block at least 30 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours, especially after heavy sweating or after being in the water. 
-If you are near water or sand, use extra caution as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun and can increase your chance for sunburn. 
-If you notice any changes in your skin, make an appointment to see your dermatologist. 

Germain Dermatology Stepping Up to Plate for Women’s Wellness at the Charleston RiverDogs Game

Baseball season is almost here and you’re probably scratching your head asking why I’m talking about baseball when usually I’m blogging about dermatology…well, on Saturday, May 7th dermatology and baseball will come together for a great night as Germain Dermatology teams up with the Charleston RiverDogs to present Women’s Wellness Night on Saturday, May 7 at 7:05pm at the Joe Riley Stadium. 

The entire staff at Germain Dermatology is thrilled to be a part of the Women’s Wellness Night and will be on hand to inform folks about the importance of taking care of their skin. Mimzi will be there to throw out the first pitch so get there early to cheer her on! This will be our first experience with the Charleston RiverDogs and we’re looking forward to an exciting event and we’re asking all of our Lowcountry patients to join us that evening. 

For tickets visit 

Also, another reason we really wanted to get involved is that we care about Women’s Wellness and May is Melanoma Awareness Month. With so many fans visiting the baseball fields across the country this summer, it’s crucial for them to take care of their skin and use sunscreen. Here’s some facts about melanoma from the Melanoma Research Foundation. 

If not caught early, melanoma is known to be the most deadly of all skin cancers.  
Melanoma can be successfully removed and monitored by regular skin screenings in its early stages. However, the disease is deadly in its most advanced stages as few treatment options exist. The median lifespan for patients with advanced melanoma is less than one year.
The statistics around melanoma are astounding:
  • One-in-50 Americans has a lifetime risk of developing melanoma.
  • In 2009 nearly 63,000 were diagnosed with melanoma in the United States, resulting in approximately 8,650 deaths. 
  • The projected numbers for 2010 are even higher with 68,130 diagnosis and 8,700 deaths. 
This means that every eight minutes, someone in the United States will be given a melanoma diagnosis and that every hour someone will die from the disease.   

Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States and worldwide.

  • The American Cancer Society estimates that the risk of developing invasive melanoma in the United States is 1 in 41 and 1 in 61 for men and women, respectfully. 
  • The incidence of people under 30 developing melanoma is increasing faster than any other demographic group, soaring by 50 percent in young women since 1980. 
  • Melanoma primarily affects individuals in the prime years of life and is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common cancer in adolescents and young adults 15-29 years old. 
  • Although melanoma is most common in Caucasians, melanoma can strike men and women of all ages, all races and all skin types. The mean age for diagnosis of melanoma is 50, while for many other cancers it is 65-70 years old. 

We hope to see everyone out there on Saturday, May 7th for Women’s Wellness Night presented by Germain Dermatology at the Charleston RiverDogs game at the Joe Riley Stadium. 
Play Ball!