Is It Skin Cancer?

Q&A logoQuestion:  I have  little thin red lines on the left side of my face.  I know that you have said it can be a broken blood vessel called spider veins, but since I’ve spent so much time in the sun, I wonder if it could be skin cancer. 

Answer:  Little red lines are the face are usually  small broken or swollen blood vessels.  They can be causes by high blood pressure, excess alcohol consumption or too much sun.   A blow to the face from a fall or even too aggressive massage can  also trigger their appearance.  But if you are concerned about skin cancer, I would definately have it evaluated by a dermatologist.  In fact, according to New York City dermatologist  and skin cancer expert Dr Ellen Marmur,  we  all should have a complete “skin  check”  every year.  After a summer in the sun,  early … Continue Reading…

Anti-Aging Clothing– Safe and Chic

Along with  Stonehenge and the ingredients of McDonalds special sauce, one of the great mysteries of life is how I can get a sunburn on my back and chest  when I’m wearing a tee shirt.  Turns out that a plain white tee offers  only an SPF5– and which drops to SPF2 when wet. This year I decided to try out  sun-protective clothing to enjoy the sunshine without  the burn.

My first  outfit  delivered on its promise.  I felt cooler and did not develop even the slightest redness during a sunny all day hike in the Hudson Valley.  And my Tilley hat that was fortified with insect repellant was so effective I wore it long into evening as I grilled chicken and corn for a dinner with friends. But the … Continue Reading…

The New Anti-Aging Suntan

I’ve really bought into the daily sunscreen routinue for  my face, neck and hands, but I just can’t deal with  my ghostly white legs.  In past years I would find the nearest  park bench and toast my legs for a little natural color.  Now that I  know about risks for melanoma, skin cancer and that the sun makes my legs wrinkled and baggy, I’m always looking for a safe, affordable and easy solution.  I’ve tried so  many– moisturizers with self tanners, self tanning sprays, tinted moisturizers and   whole body air brush tan.  I liked this one but  it cost $65 and lasted only a week– not a regular option.

This week I think  finally found a great solution.    The winner is– Sally Hansen Salon Airbrush Legs.  It’s super simple to apply, doesn’t … Continue Reading…

Sunscreen in Real Time

Now that  sun filled days are here, I am wondering  how much sunscreen do I really need to use.  Many expert recommend one tablespoon for the face and  a total of two tablespoons for  both face and body.   To test  it out, I  measured out one tablespoon  of sunblock and dumped it on a small plate.  Then I went to work, dabbing it  on my checks, nose, and chin. I avoided my bang covered forehead.   At first, things went fine.  My skin seemed very happy  with the  extra moisture  of the sunscreen.  But as I applied more and more, it started to pile up on the surface until it looked like frosting — or clown make-up.

One of my biggest concerns when using sunscreen has been wearing make-up over it.  Not infrequetly, foundation, powder or blush … Continue Reading…

Sunscreen:How Much is Too Much, Part 2

This is what one tablespoon of sunscreen looks like on my face. 

One of my biggest concerns  when using sunscreen  has been wearing make-up over it.  Not infrequently foundation, powder or blush would turn dark and orangy when applied over  sunscreen  covered skin.  Looking at this  photo,  I can’t imagine where I could actually put the  make-up.   Clearly  this one tablespoon idea is not something too many experts have actually tried out.

Moving on, I measured out one teaspoon of sunscreen and  started to put it on my face.  Starting near my eyes, I applied the sunscreen to the sides of my nose and  smoothed it out over  my chin and cheeks– and there it sat.  And sat. Rather than looking like fluffy frosting, … Continue Reading…

Sunscreen: How much is too much?

How much sunblock  do you use on your face?  Most experts recommend one tablespoon for the face and two tablespoons for the whole  body.  I measured out  one tablespoon of a favorite sunblock  and dumped it on a saucer.  Then I started to apply it to my skin. At first  things were working normally.  As I applied it,  my skin was happy to absorb it.   Then as I applied more and more,  it started to pile up on the surface until it looked like frosting. ( or clown paint). 

It certainly makes you wonder how the “experts” came up with their recommendations.  Did any of them ever actually try out this quantity  before issuing the one tab guideline.  Seriously!  Not only did I look  like Bozo the Clown, my skin began to burn and itch.  I was so uncomfortable, I was gritting my teeth until I could take the shot and  rush to wash it off.

Even … Continue Reading…

Green Tea: First Aid for Sunburn

I really enjoyed  this warm sunny weekend.  I applied my usual 30SPF  sunscreen in the morning and was off to enjoy the day.  By 3pm  my sunscreen was  long gone as I walked through the first sun-filled street fair of the season.  By Saturday night my face felt tight and burned.  In the past I would have run for a bottle of calamine lotion or aloe  gel to cool the burning sensation.  This  time I turned to a more organic and scientific remedy — a box of  Green Tea.   

There are  impressive well designed studies that show Green Tea  can protect skin cells from sunlight induced genetic damage.  I brewed up a strong cup of  Green Tea and patted  a cooled   tea bag to my face.  I don’t know if this Green Tea rinse actually  reversed  my sun damage, but  by morning  my skin felt cool and comfortable.

My terriffic dermatologist, Ellen Marmur has made … Continue Reading…