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Starting kids early

Published January 14th, 2016

Today Dr. Bilu Martin spoke to third graders at the Aventura City of Excellence School (ACES) for career day about skin and how to take care of it.  While it's great for kids to learn smart sun protection habits early, sometimes adults need a little reminder, too!  Remember, excessive sun exposure causes brown spots/sunspots, wrinkles, broken blood vessels, pre-cancerous spots and most importantly, skin cancer.  Here are the tips Dr. Bilu Martin shared with the kids:

1. WEAR SUNSCREEN!  Every. single. Day.  Even if it's cloudy or rainy out, as the UV rays can pass through clouds.  Even if you are "only driving around" because the UV rays also pass through car windshields.  A good sunscreen is broad spectrum (blocks UVA and UVB rays), is at least an SPF 30, and contains physical blocks- titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.  At Premier Dermatology, MD, we love EltaMD and Skinceuticals sunblock. 

2. REAPPLY SUNSCREEN.  Every two hours, and after swimming or excessive sweating.

3. USE ENOUGH SUNSCREEN.  A teaspoon full for the face, and a shotglass full for the body.  That's a lot of sunscreen!  If using a chemical sunscreen, it should be applied 30 minutes before heading outside, so that it can be absorbed into the skin.  Physical sunblocks can be applied right before going outside.

4. AVOID THE SUN DURING PEAK HOURS.  Try to spend time outdoors before 10 am and after 4 pm.  UV rays are stronger and more damaging between 10 and 4.

5. SEEK SHADE.  Trees and umbrellas are our friends.  Try to play and have activities in the shade.

6. WEAR SUN PROTECTIVE CLOTHING.  Sunglasses are important to shield eyes from UV damage.  Hats should be worn, but they need to have a brim that extends out over ears and the neck for full protection.  Sun protective clothing (shirts, pants, long-sleeve swimsuits) should have an UPF (ultraviolet light protective factor) of 50.  

Teach your kids to develop safe sun habits early.  Prevention and early detection saves lives!

New Year's Resolutions

Published January 3rd, 2016

It's a new year.  Time to detox, reflect, and re-new.  Many of us make the most common resolutions, such as working out/losing weight, saving money, and working harder.  Even though we start out strong in January (check out how many people are at the gym this week), resolve can wane by mid-March.  Here are a few resolutions that you actually may enjoy keeping!

Resolution # 1: Drink More Coffee
Hello, Starbucks.  Women who drink three cups of caffeinated coffee a day can reduce their risk of basal cell carcinoma by up to 20 percent, compared to those drinking less than a cup monthly.  These results are based on a large population study: over 113,000 adults who took part in the U.S. Nurses' Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. A lesser decrease in risk was seen among coffee-drinking men.

Resolution #2: Drink Red Wine
This is not permission to finish a bottle of malbec.  A small glass of red wine a day contains resveratrol, which is a potent antioxidant found in grapes.  And yes-- like the SkinCeuticals Resveratrol that we carry at Premier Dermatology, MD!  Antioxidants fight free radicals in our skin and body, which are harmful and play a role in skin cancer and aging.  A moderate amount of alcohol has also been found to be heart-healthy and raises levels of "good" cholesterol, or HDL.  Of course, women who are pregnant/nursing or those with medical conditions should not drink alcohol. 

Resolution #3: Eat Dark Chocolate
In a recent study, German researchers gave 24 women a half-cup of cocoa enriched with flavonoids daily. After three months, the women's skin was better protected, less red, and had a smooth appearance after exposure to ultraviolet light. The researchers think the flavonoids, which absorb UV light, help protect and increase blood flow to the skin, improving its appearance.  Plus dark chocolate contains more of those good antioxidants!

Resolution #4: Wear Your Sunscreen
I have to throw this one in: I've said it before and I'll say it again: sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen to prevent skin cancer and the signs of aging. 

Happy 2016 and here's to a year of great health and gorgeous skin!

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