Oh, How We Love and Hate the Sun!

skin cancerLiving in a sweet place like Bend, Oregon who wants to be inside all the time? In the winter we’re skiing at Mt. Bachelor. In the summer we’re hiking The Sisters, kayaking down a river, or golfing.

Unfortunately the sun’s not so keen on us being out under its influence every day. It beats up on our skin, causing various mutations in the skin as it tries to cope with the ultraviolet rays bombarding it. Skin cancer is the two words we don’t want to hear, particularly not melanoma. But pre-cancerous growths also result from the sun damage.

What are pre-cancers?

Pre-cancers are scaly or crusty skin lesions that, as the name implies, are the skin’s response to sun damage prior to becoming skin cancer. Pre-cancers are scaly or crusty skin lesions that appear on the places we get the most sun exposure. Pre-cancers often appear as elevated growths that may be rough in texture, often resembling warts. If left to their own devices, pre-cancers can one day become squamous cell carcinomas, the most common form of skin cancer.

Why do they develop?

Most of us know now that the sun is the culprit behind most of our wrinkles, not to mention skin cancers. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet rays damage and break down the fibers in the skin called elastin, making the skin lose its elasticity and firmness. With more and more damage, the skin loses is immune function and begins to develops skin cancers and pre-cancers.

What do we do with pre-cancers at Deschutes?

We have various ways of dealing with these scaly little devils at Deschutes.

Chemical peels — Peels cause the outer layer of the skin to peel away, including pre-cancers. Healthy skin then grows to replace it.

Cryosurgery — This is a fancy term for freezing these unwanted growths with liquid nitrogen. If you’ve lived in Bend long enough, you’ve become very familiar with Mr. Liquid Nitrogen! Once frozen, pre-cancers peel off.

Topical creams — In recent years, a few drugs have been found effective at stimulating the body’s immune reaction to target pre-cancers and skin cancers and kill them. Fluorouracil, a chemotherapy drug, can also work in a cream by blocking the cellular function of the pre-cancers.

Photodynamic therapy — We first apply a cream or injection to the growth and bomb it with laser light to nuke it.

Curettage — This is a fancy way to say “cutting them out.” Because pre-cancers don’t grow deeply downward, curettage usually doesn’t cause much bleeding.

The key to keeping pre-cancers, and skin cancer, at bay is a yearly skin check-up with the team at Deschutes. We love the outdoors as much as you do! Call us at 541-330-0900 for an appointment.



This is Needling You’ll Actually Like

microneedlingAll of us have friends who are expert needlers, giving us the business about any misstep in life. While their utterances can be amusing, there is another type of needling that is actually beneficial — microneedling at Deschutes.

At Deschutes we use the Rejuvapen microneedling system for treatment of wrinkles and scars. The procedure is technically called percutaneous collagen induction therapy.

How does microneedling work?

The concept behind microneedling is to create a response in the body that is the same as when the body receives a wound. When the skin is injured the body rapidly gets to work repairing it. In addition to the platelets that close the wound off from any more blood loss, the body is also rebuilding the skin by producing new collagen and elastin for the area. Collagen is responsible for the skin’s support, keeping it firm and tight. Elastin makes the skin supple.

In Rejuvapen microneedling, 12 tiny needles are located in the tip of the microneedling pen. When used over the target area, the needles produce microscopic holes/channels down into the skin. These heal in just a few hours, but the body perceives them as injuries and elevates collagen and elastin production in the area to compensate.

This has two benefits. First, it stimulates the healing response. Second, these short-lived channels down into the skin are great for the application of topical gels and creams to penetrate below the surface of the skin.

What do we treat with microneedling?

  • Fine lines and deep wrinkles around the eyes, mouth, and forehead
  • Deep lines and crepe-like texture across the face can be firmed
  • Coarse, sun-damaged skin
  • Acne, burn, and surgical scars
  • Stretch marks
  • Overly large pores

We use a topical numbing cream prior to your treatment, so you feel no pain. And your recovery is minimal.

Interested in addressing some of those fine lines and skin issues? Call us at 541-330-0900 and let’s talk about microneedling.