It’s Skin Cancer Season, Let’s Check What You Know

skin cancer preventionIn the high altitudes and sunny skies of bend are endless opportunities for fun: hiking, mountain biking, rafting, kayaking, bouldering, golfing, picnicking, and tons of other things. Unfortunately, all of this time spent outdoors is inviting another unwelcome guest to come to the party — skin cancer.

Now that winter is over and we’re all outside all the time, maybe it’s time for a refresher on skin cancer. And, remember, if you see a spot that changes color or shape, it’s time to come see us at Deschutes and let us take look at it.

UVA vs. UVB or both?

Sunscreens can be confusing. But it’s really not that complicated. You need a sunscreen labeled “broad based” or for “both UVA and UVB rays.” Initially, the thinking was that only UVB rays were dangerous, as those are the rays that affect the epidermis. UVB rays cause sunburns. But now we know that UVA rays are doing their damage from below. They penetrate into the dermis, the skin’s second layer, causing skin aging and the beginnings of melanoma and other skin cancers. So, while UVA rays don’t make you peel, they could be doing even worse things in the dermis.

How much SPF is needed?

SPF is an area of confusion. People think that the more SPF the better, and they pay through the nose for it. But the reality is that over an SPF of 30, the difference is only a couple percent in sun blocking ability. Those SPFs that claim 50 and higher are probably just setting you up to pay more.

If you get skin cancer you die.

Although it is the most common cancer worldwide, skin cancer isn’t the biggest killer. Most skin cancers, if detected early enough, are all treatable with surgery. That’s why yearly visits to Deschutes are necessary, so we can spot the cancers and pre-cancerous spots before they progress.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer

This is true. It is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. More than 8,500 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with it every day! Probably double that or more are undiagnosed.

Sunscreen prevents skin cancer

Nope. Sunscreen helps block the rays than lead to skin cancer, but just because you have on sunscreen doesn’t mean you can spend every waking minute in the sun without repercussions. Sun damage is cumulative.

If you have lots of moles, you have a higher risk of melanoma

Although moles don’t usually turn into skin cancer, there is a correlation between moles and developing melanoma. People with moles, especially large ones, have a higher risk of melanoma. The rough number is 50 — if you have more than 50 moles on your skin, your risk of skin cancer is higher.

So, you don’t need to stay out of the great outdoors in Oregon, but you do need to pay attention to your skin. Yearly skin checkups with the pros at Deschutes need to be on your to-do list. Call us at 541-330-0900 to make an appointment.




Actors Need Doubles, Not Your Chin

KybellaDoubles usually aren’t bad. Certainly not in baseball or for the famous actor facing a tricky stunt. But when it comes to your chin, doubles are the enemy — double chins.

We all like to think “other people” have double chins, people like Chris Christie or Jobba the Hut, but the reality is that most of us have some excess baggage under the chin.

Now, if the term double chin makes you cringe, go ahead and call it submental fullness. That’s the clinical term for “double chin.”

When you consider how prevalent double chins are, it’s surprising the aesthetic industry hasn’t paid more attention to the problem. Short of surgery — a facelift or neck lift — there’s really been little else you could do to get rid of a double chin.

Now that has changed with Kybella®, a prescription medicine available from Deschutes. Kybella® is the prescription brand name for an injection formulated with deoxycholic acid that dramatically improves the appearance and profile of moderate to severe fat below the chin, the proverbial double chin.

You’re not alone with that double chin

If you have a little submental fullness going on, you’re not alone. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery conducted a survey in 2015 and found that 67% of people said they’re bothered by a double chin. That’s two thirds of the country! And people in the survey were equally bugged by their double chin as they were about wrinkles and other signs of aging.

There are a variety of factors that play a part: the pull of gravity, simple intrinsic aging (where decreasing production of collagen means the skin has less underlying support), genetics (some people simply have looser skin below the jawline), and weight gain. All of these factors cause our skin to droop. And because the skin under the chin has no underlying bone or muscle beneath it, it’s even more obvious when it becomes lax and hangs downward.

Enter Kybella®

Surgery was the only way to address your double chin, but that changed in 2015. In April 2015 the FDA approved Kybella®, the only injectable treatment to improve the appearance and profile of a double chin.

The basis of Kybella® is deoxycholic acid. Deoxycholic acid is a naturally occurring molecule in the body whose job is to aid in the breakdown and absorption of dietary fat. When injected into the fat beneath the chin, Kybella® (and its deoxycholic acid) destroys the fat cells. After those cells are gone, there is no longer a storage mechanism to accumulate fat in the area. Once gone, your double chin shouldn’t return.

Multiple treatments yield the best results

At Deschutes we customize your Kybella® treatments. Some patients see the results they want after two to four treatments; others require six. The number of treatments will depend on the amount of fat stored under your chin, along with your desired final profile. Each treatment is spaced four weeks apart.

Kybella® has no side effects and requires no recovery time. As with any injection, there can be some swelling at the injection sites, but that passes quickly.

Because Kybella® destroys the fat cells, results are permanent. However, if you gain weight, submental fat can return.

Doubles are for Bruce Willis in Diehard 7, not your chin. Call us at 541-330-0900 and ask us about Kybella®.