Sun Protection Isn’t a Part Time Job~ Germain Dermatology

Think you’re safe? Think again. 
Cold weather, cloudy days and even being in the car does not prevent UVA rays from damaging your skin. More and more studies are showing exceedingly more damage on persons left side of their face from sun exposure just from time driving! Wearing sunscreen DAILY is essential in protecting the delicate skin on your face from skin cancers, discoloration and aging. 
Sun protection doesn’t have to be heavy and inconvenient- thanks to Colorescience and Germain Rx Sunscreen products sun protection is easier than ever. 
Order online or stop by and check out the array of products offered to keep your skin healthy and radiant. 

Sunscreen 101~ Germain Dermatology

So you’re out of sunscreen… you run to the store to buy more before a nice Saturday at the beach… but there are literally hundreds of brands, varieties and kinds to choose from these days- how do you know what to purchase?

At Germain Dermatology we more than understand the confusion of information and overwhelming task of buying sunscreen especially when you are searching for the right protection for your little ones, but we are here to help.

Here is what to look for and avoid and to seek out when refilling before greeting the Summer sun:

– Look for sunscreens or sunblocks labeled mineral or physical opposed to chemical. While there are many speculations and opposing facts on whether chemical sunscreens can do harm or long term damage Dr. Germain suggests it is always better to be proactive and cautious when it comes to your health and your protection.

– Avoid oils and most gels. Most oils do not contain sufficient amounts of sunscreen and usually have an SPF of less than 2. Gels and oils also tend to sweat off easier requiring more frequent applications.

– ALWAYS go with a ‘Broad Spectrum’ variety (also labeled as UVA/UVB protection or Multi-Spectrum). Broad spectrum sunscreen protects against UVB and UVA radiation giving you the best protection. Non Broad Spectrum sunscreen does not protect against UVA rays which cause premature aging and wrinkles. The SPF level is only related to the protection of UVB rays so even high levels can still allow UVA damage.

– Look for UVA-blocking ingredients including zinc oxide which blocks the reflection of the sun more successfully than ingredients like titanium dioxide.

– SPF of 30 is adequate protection when reapplied and used properly. Dr. Germain suggests using 30-50 SPF on a daily basis, year round. An SPF 15 product blocks about 94% of UVB rays; an SPF 30 product blocks 97% of UVB rays; and an SPF 45 product blocks about 98% of rays. Sunscreens with higher SPF ratings block slightly more UVB rays, but none offers 100% protection leaving SPF 30 as the dermatologist recommended standard.

– Apply MORE and often. Most people apply from only 0.5 to one milligram per square centimeter of skin.  Consequently, the actual SPF they achieve is approximately 1/3 of the labeled value.

The Battle Continues~ Fighting Melanoma with Germain Dermatology

While the efforts to fight skin cancer and melanoma are ongoing and making great strides the statistics are still terrifying. Germain Dermatology hopes each of you take this information and make a conscious decision to fight the facts and prevent yourself, and your family, from becoming a statistic. Only 10% of all people with melanoma actually have a family history of the disease~ Sun Safe practices can truly save lives.

  • It is estimated that more than 8,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer every day, Melanoma making up 1% of all Cancer Cases. 

  • In 2016, it is estimated that there will be 76,380 new cases of melanoma in the United States and 10,130 deaths from the disease.

  • People under the age of 45 account for 25% of all Melanoma cases. 

  • Melanoma is the third most common cancer among women ages 20-39 and the second most common cancer in men ages 20-39.

  • There is a 200% increase in Melanoma since 1973 with Melanoma rates in the United States doubling from 1982 to 2011.

  • About 132,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization.
Get your skin checks, use san safe practices and spread the awareness to those you love! 

San Diego Hats NOW AVAILABLE at Germain Dermatology

It’s hard not to want to bask in the beautiful Spring sunshine after enduring even our mild Winter months, but we must remember that UV rays are harmful and the risk of skin cancer is real.

For some extra stylish sun protection stop by Germain Dermatology and check out a variety of San Diego Hat Co. hats & bags. These wide brimmed, ultra chic hats are the perfect accessory to any beach day or summer outing offering amazing protection from harmful rays.
Wearing a hat when outdoors, anytime of the year, helps protect sensitive skin such as your scalp and tops of your years from UV rays. It also protects your eyes from squinting resulting in less wrinkles. Remember to slather on your sunscreen each day and add an extra touch of glam + protection with a great hat! 

Prevention & Early Detection Can Save Lives

May marks the month of Melanoma Awareness. Unfortunately, even with an extreme effort to increase prevention, Skin Cancer has still continued to rise over the past 30 years. Currently it is reported that one in five Americans will develop Skin Cancer over their lifetime- by 2015 that rate goes up to one in 50 Americans! Frightening!
Cancer of the skin is by far the most common of all cancers. While Melanoma accounts for less than 2% of skin cancer cases it causes a large majority of skin cancer deaths. The American Academy of Dermatology has estimated that there will be about 139,870 new cases of melanoma in 2014.
While it does seem people are taking more serious steps towards sun safety (better sunscreens on the market, more fashionable hats for the beach, regulations on tanning beds, etc) the numbers continue to rise. This is largely in part due to the lack of early detection. We cannot stress enough how important an annual skin check with a dermatologist or medical professional is.It can save your life. 
Rates among younger women are rising due to a youth spent basking on the beaches, or worse, in a tanning bed and not having their skin checked consistently. Even if still set on enduring harmful UV rays having suspicious spots seen and removed early can make all the difference. If at age 17 you have an undetected melanoma but you didn’t start seeing a professional until your mid 20’s that cancer has had 5-8 years to spread and infect your lymph nodes or worse. 
What looks normal could be Suspicious to a professional.
The five-year survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes, or other organs, is 98%; however, the five-year survival rates for regional (lymph nodes) and distant (other organs/lymph nodes) stage melanomas are 62% and 15%, respectively.
Rates are also rising among elderly men. Most of these patients have spent years in the sun through work, military service or hobbies such as golfing or fishing. 20 years ago it was not encouraged as strongly as today to see a dermatologist routinely, nor was the testing as accurate and simple- therefore resulting in elderly men seeking dermatological care much later in life. 
Visit Dr. Germain for your Check-Up
No matter your age, race or lifestyle PLEASE perform skin self exams and consult a professional at least once a year for a skin check.  
Be smart with your skin! 
Visit our 2013 Awareness blog for more ways to be sun safe!

Be ‘In the Know’ when Choosing Sunscreen for the Season

With the Charleston beach season approaching it is important to be up-to-date with the facts for 2013 sun protection and summer skin care. In 2011 the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) presented significant changes to sunscreen products. These changes were made in order to help us purchase the correct products for the protection we desire.
One of the most important adjustments was a stricter ruling on which products where allowed to present as “Broad Spectrum” on labels. Broad spectrum sun protection protects against UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays can prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkles and age spots, and can pass through window glass. UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburn and are blocked by window glass. If the products do not pass the broad spectrum testing they must now be labeled with “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert: Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.”
Another key update to labels is the time (in minutes) the sun block will protect you during swimming or sweating. Waterproof, sweat proof and the term sun block is no longer accurate. This will greatly help with knowing when to reapply to be sufficiently protected from the sun’s ray.
When applying sunscreen use enough to generally cover all skin that is not covered by clothing or not protected by UV shielded clothes (as we have mentioned before the sun’s rays can penetrate lower quality swimwear and materials). The American Association of Dermatology suggests, “Follow the guideline of “one ounce, enough to fill a shot glass”, which dermatologists consider the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body. Adjust the amount of sunscreen applied depending on your body size.” Make sure to apply AT LEAST a 30 SPF DAILY, and apply to dry skin AT LEAST 15 minutes before going in the sun.
We want everyone to enjoy our beautiful Charleston Summers, but to do it safely. When choosing sunscreen make sure to read the labels and choose the right one for your lifestyle and skin type. Germain RX offers a wide variety of Sunscreens for your specific skin type, including this wonderful Sheer Sunscreen for optimal protection with a hardly there feel.
And when preparing for a day out don’t forget about your lips! Lips are prone to skin cancer as well- purchase your chapstick with just as much caution and reapply often.