Note from Dr. Sandy Skotnick, Medical Director

Welcome to the inaugural newsletter of the Bay Dermatology Centre. It is timely that the Canadian Cancer Centre released its statistics last week discussing the rise in skin cancer. I spoke on the subject on CTV national news May 28th. You may check out the link at http:// www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=371763. More alarming, the report states all cancers in Canada are decreasing with the exception of skin cancer. Over 6500 new cases of Melanoma and over 75000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are expected this year.
Why is this? I believe there are 3 reasons

1. Sunscreen use is still falling short.

A recent study from sunscreen companies’ shows sunscreen purchases usually occur after Canadians develop their first sunburn or before a scheduled trip. Be prepared! Don’t wait till you develop a sunburn. Another study recently suggested just one blistering sunburn increases you risk of developing a melanoma by 50%. There really is no excuse not to wear sunscreen. The varieties are endless; lotions, creams, sprays, sticks and alcohol gels. For example, if you are a golfer, use a spray to keep your hands clean. A runner? Sticks and gels won’t drip into your eyes once the sweat starts.

2. Tanning beds - enough said.

The World Health Organization has added ultraviolet radiation (UVR)-emitting tanning devices - tanning beds - to the list of the most dangerous forms of cancer-causing radiation. There is no reason to use a tanning bed ever. The Canadian Dermatology society has been successful in banning in many provinces, tanning bed use under the age of 18. There is a clear cut association with tanning bed use and melanoma. It is a common misconception that you will not get a “tan” with a high SPF sunscreen. This is simply not true. Sunscreens are just that - “screens”. UVL still gets through and you will accumulate colour.

3. As a society we vacation more, wear less clothing and the UV index is higher.

Let’s finish with the question I am asked the most this time of year. What sunscreen is the best? There is no best because it depends on what you as an individual are looking for. I recommend the best sunscreen companies. These companies have the best research, innovations and continue to make advances in photo-protection science. They include, Ombrelle, Vichy, La Roche Posey and Neutrogenia. Within these families the choices are many. Lastly, there is a reason for the cost differential with sunscreens, they are not all created equally. The old saying you get what you pay for could not be truer in this situation. Never skimp on your health!!

Bay Dermatology Centre offers a full range of cosmetic procedures. Referral from another doctor is not necessary to see a dermatologist at the centre for more information on one of our services. Patients can also request to meet with our laser technician who runs the laser area of the clinic to discuss any of the various cosmetic procedures offered at the Bay Dermatolgoy Centre.



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