Skin Cancer To Skin Health
You’ve just had your annual skin check and had a skin cancer removed, what do you do now? Do you sit back and wait for the next skin cancer to appear or is there something you can do to lessen the risk of getting another skin cancer? Can you rejuvenate your skin back to a healthy skin state? Dr Sally Shaw from Peninsula Skin Cancer Centre discusses restoring your sun damaged skin back to a healthy skin state and the treatments available to you at your local skin cancer clinic.
Maintaining skin health involves more than an annual skincheck or molemap at your skin cancer clinic. There are preventative treatments available that can restore your skin health and lessen your risk of further skin cancers.
An annual skin check is promoted as the best way to combat skin cancer, but there are additional preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of having a skin cancer reoccurrence.
With 95% of skin cancers due to accumulated sun damage, most patients who are diagnosed with skin cancer will also have an overall poor skin health. Sun damaged skin usually appears reddened and dry with raised actinic keratotic lesions that have a propensity to turn into skin cancers.
“If we can treat the actinic keratoses, maintain skin health and protect the skin from further sun damage, the risk of subsequent skin cancers can be reduced” said Dr Sally Shaw, skin cancer expert at Peninsula Skin Cancer Centre.
“Medical grade field treatment for sun damaged skin includes PhotoDynamic Therapy, Ingenol mebutate topical cream, medical microdermabrasion and chemical peels” said Dr Shaw. “These treatments will remove the damaged surface skin cells and also improve the overall appearance of the skin. The patient will need to follow a skin care regime and protect their skin from further sun damage with daily sunscreen use and covering up in the sun” she said.
“There are also some over-the-counter skin repair creams available at the pharmacy. Look for a cream that contains retinol to promote skin repair and creams with alpha hydroxyl acids (AHA’s) or salicylic acid to promote exfoliation of dead skin cells.“
“Studies have also shown that vitamin B3 has an anti-cancer effect and can be taken orally or rubbed on the skin. Most sunscreens now have vitamin B3 (in the form of nicotinamide) as an ingredient or the effective oral dose is 500mg of Nicotinamide per day.”
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