By: Dr. A. Aurora Badia
Melanoma is a skin cancer that starts in the melanocytes, or the cells in our skin that produce the pigment that gives us our color. A melanoma can be any color including: brown, black, grey, red, blue or any mixture of these colors. Melanoma can start as a new spot on the skin, or it can grow within a mole or skin lesion that was already present.
The incidence of melanoma is on the rise, and it is important to become educated about this type of cancer. That is because if diagnosed early, melanoma has a higher survival rate.
The American Cancer Society estimates on average 41,200 people are diagnosed yearly with melanoma skin cancers in Florida. This type of skin cancer is most common in Caucasians, and the lifetime risks are 1 in 40 for whites, 1 in 200 for Hispanics, and 1 in 1000 for African Americans.
There are different risk factors for developing melanoma, some of which can be controlled and others that cannot. For example, people with fair skin, who burn easily or have freckles, are at increased risk. Also are those with red or blonde hair and/or blue or green eyes. Someone who has many moles on their body or has had a dysplastic nevus or changing mole is also at increased risk for developing a melanoma. A family history of melanoma in one or more first degree relatives such as parent, brother, sister, or child, also increases a person’s risk. Approximately 10% of those diagnosed with a melanoma, have a family history. Someone who has personally had a melanoma has approximately a 5 percent chance of developing another.
One of the preventable risk factors is ultraviolet light exposure. About 86 percent of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. UV light can damage the DNA of the cells, which can cause melanoma. Most ultraviolet light comes from sun exposure, but it can also come from tanning beds. In actuality, a person’s risk for developing melanoma doubles if they have had one or more blistering sunburns, or 5 or more sunburns from any UV source.
Prevention and awareness are key to avoiding melanoma, and so are yearly skin exams. If melanoma is detected early and is only on the surface of the skin, the overall 5-year survival rate is approximately 98% in the US. But survival rates fall if the melanoma is diagnosed later and/or the cancer has spread to regional lymph nodes or other organs.
Precautions to help prevent melanoma include:
• Use a broad spectrum sunscreen (protects against UVA and UVB rays.) Use a sunscreen with a SPF or sun protective factor of at least 30. Reapply approximately 1oz of sunscreen every 2 – 3 hours.
• Limit sun exposure during hours when the UV rays are the strongest, between 10 am and 4 pm.
• Wear protective clothing, sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat.
• Avoid tanning beds.
• Have an annual skin exam performed by a dermatologist.
• Do self skin exams, using the ABCDE’s every month, and look for new or changing moles.
A= Asymmetry One half is unlike the other half.
B= Border An irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.
C= Color Is varied from one area to another; has shades of tan, brown or black, or is sometimes white, red, or blue.
D= Diameter Melanomas usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, but they can be smaller.
E= Evolving A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.
– Dr. A. Aurora Badia is a Board Certified Dermatologist. She opened Florida Skin Center in July 2001, specializing in medical dermatology for children and adults. Florida Skin Center offers the only narrow band UVB phototherapy treatment center in the area for psoriasis and eczema, full Mohs services, dermatopathology services, and a full complement of laser, cosmetic and aesthetic services. Physician Assistant Brooke Drew assisted in writing this editorial. For more information on the event or to register visit www.floridaskincenter.com.
Seeking to share that makeup is more than just a product; it’s a form of art has been Breakups to Makeup’s motto since its inception in 2013.
The brainchild of the line, Angelique Velez, believes makeup serves as a creative outlet to those applying, and livens the spirits of those wearing it. That is why Breakups to Makeup stays on the forefront of fashion, accessories and beauty with fun collections and new quirky slogans.
With that in mind and in honor of the arrival of her first-born, Velez, is introducing B2M by Breakups to Makeup: a new line of accessories and apparel targeted toward both mommies and their little ones.
“I came up with the idea for B2M while pregnant,” Angelique Velez, CEO and Founder of Breakups to Makeup. “While it is primarily a love letter to my newborn, I also wanted to dedicate it to makeup lovers who are mommies and their little ones. To me, makeup is both a medium of empowerment and a way to stay creative and immersed in play. This collection celebrates the love that both moms and kids can have for makeup and each other.”
Initiating the launch of the line will be a mini version of the classic Breakups to Makeup bag with brand new, savvy yet kid-friendly graphics, followed by an expansion into corresponding apparel and additional accessories.
Durable and machine washable, The Mommy Bag ($15) is perfect as a tote to stash inside a diaper bag, a stand-alone clutch or a backpack insert to keep little ones organized and in style.
A staple for self-expression, Breakups to Makeup screams “Mommy’s Makeup. My Rules!” So, step out in true fashionista Mommy manner and hold your beauty essentials close at heart.
– For more information or to purchase Breakups to Makeup, visit www.breakupstomakeup.com.