Reducing your risk for melanoma by 20 percent could be as easy as popping aspirin, at least if you’re a woman over age 50. A new study in the journal Cancer looked at melanoma in 60,000 post-menopausal Caucasian women. Over a 12-year period, women who took aspirin twice a week or more had a 20 percent lower risk of developing melanoma, the most progressive form of skin cancer.
The results applied to aspirin use only and not other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen.
Before aspirin can be prescribed to patients at risk for melanoma, clinical trial testing must be performed. Additionally, pain relievers increase a user’s risk of bleeding and pose other potentially serious side effects. The only proven method of skin cancer prevention is avoiding UV exposure and using sun protection (a wide brim hat, sunscreen and sun protective clothing).
Currently, researchers plan to do follow-up studies in younger women and men.
As always, talk with your doctor regarding your health concerns.
Disclaimer: The information provided by Coolibar and its contributors is general skin care information and should not be a substitute for obtaining medical advice from your physician and is not intended to diagnose or treat any specific medical problem.
Going to the nail salon seems like a harmless act; however, dermatologists are concerned that the newest nail trend, gel manicures, and the UV machines used during the process may contribute to skin cancer and hand aging.
The process of a gel manicure includes placing your hands in a machine that emits UVA for approximately 8 to 10 minutes. UVA rays are proven to contribute to skin aging and skin cancer. According to a segment that aired this morning on the Today Show, most customers receive a gel manicure twice a month on average. In the short-term gel manicures prevent nails from splitting and look great. In the long run, dermatologists say regular customers may be looking at aged hands and possible skin cancers down the road unless customers take skin protection measures.
Here are a few precautions you can take before heading to the salon to protect your hands and skin as much as possible:
1. Wear UV protective gloves: Wearing UPF 50+ fingerless gloves can protect your hands from over-exposure to UV light. Regular cotton gloves may still allow UV to reach the skin. If you opt to make your own fingerless gloves without UV protective material, use sunscreen underneath.
2. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen to exposed fingertips: Broad-spectrum sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Have the nail artist apply sunscreen to your hands instead of lotion. Bring along a tube of sunscreen that contains either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Both ingredients provide physical UV protection that blocks UV instantly, unlike chemical sunscreens that are absorbed by the skin and can take up to 30 minutes to protect.
3. Routinely check skin for changes around and under your nail beds: Skin cancer is preventable in many cases, and when caught early, it is highly treatable. If you spot something unusual, seek advice from a dermatologist.
Watch “Nail safety: Do’s and don’ts of gel manicures”.
Coolibar customers are very passionate about sun protection and leading healthy, sunny lives. Customer Scott and his wife Kara fit this description perfectly. After winning the 2012 Coolibar Hawaii Sweepstakes, Scott and Kara shared with us that they were already avid promoters of protecting skin, especially during vacations. We asked the couple to share their story of why sun protection is important to them and how it can make vacationing even better!
Growing up with red hair and a fair complexion was not easy in the 70’s. Sunscreen was not a priority and the medical community did not fully understand the dangers of the sun. Unfortunately I had some significant sunburns as a kid and have paid the price as an adult with two melanoma diagnosis in the past few years. Fortunately, both of my incidences were caught early, but I am still amazed at how many people (fair skinned or not) still underestimate the dangers of sun exposure.
My wife started buying Coolibar swim shirts a couple years ago for vacations and time at the pool. With young kids we spend a lot of time in the water. I remember the first time I tried on Coolibar clothing thinking, “yes I will definitely wear this!” The quality of the material, the styling, the cut and fit were perfect, very similar to high quality fitness wear. In the water, the shirts tighten to the body so you barely even notice that you have them on.
This year Kara was ordering some more clothing from Coolibar for the family trip to the Carolina coast and entered to win the trip to Hawaii. We were blown away when we won and we so grateful for Coolibar (and our parents) for letting us take a second honeymoon without the kids! Part of the award was free clothing so we ordered various items and put them to full use. I was wearing Coolibar the entire trip.
A few benefits of the Coolibar clothing we noticed were: 1) I only had to apply minimal amounts of sunscreen (face, hands, etc.), which is a nice for someone used to full sunscreen everywhere, not to mention a money saver; 2) The clothing breathes very well, so even in warmer temps I was very comfortable; 3) I am an avid diver and my wife and I both like to snorkel, which we did a ton of in Hawaii. We used the long sleeve swim shirts and swim tights as lightweight wetsuits. Even with the cooler temps of the Pacific, I was able to stay in the water for over an hour without getting cold.
Our trip to Hawaii was so memorable not only because of all the exciting excursions we went on, but it also gave Kara and I a chance to reconnect as a married couple without our three wonderful children. I know Kara’s favorite part of the trip was snorkeling with dolphins at the Puuhonua O Honaun reef just south of Kona. We swam out into 150 feet deep crystal blue water to catch up with a mother and baby dolphin that was performing acrobatics just for us. My favorite part was diving and snorkeling with the Manta rays off the Big Island. Other unforgettable moments include: paddle-boarding at Waikiki, riding scooters around Oahu to the North Shore to watch surfers tackle 20 foot plus waves, hiking to numerous waterfalls, diving with sharks, playing with a Pacific Octopus in 50 feet of water, and watching humpbacks breach almost the entire time we were there. Of all of our travels this vacation has to be at the top of the list! And we did it all in Coolibar!
After the Academy Awards Sunday evening, local Minneapolis ABC news aired a segment on the “vampire facelift” as certificates for this new Hollywood anti-aging treatment were provided to all Oscar attendees. From the eerie yet romanticized nickname, one might picture their skin looking as flawless as Kristen Stewart (pictured left), who plays vampire Bella in Breaking Dawn – Part 2.
The procedure isn’t surgical, but rather, a patient’s blood is drawn and spun in a centrifuge so platelet rich plasma separates and rises to the top. Then, it’s mixed with filler and injected into the patient’s face.
Doctors performing the procedure hope to stimulate new collagen production. With age, collagen production slows and cell structures weaken, thus skin gets thinner, is easier to damage and skin sags and wrinkles.
The procedure takes half an hour, but downtime lasts up to four days. Some patients opting for the “vampire face-lift” prefer the idea of using their own blood rather than a neurotoxin or synthetic filler.
Introduced in 2009, this system, called Selphyl, is used by approximately 350 physicians and clinics nationwide according to the manufacturer Aesthetic Factors. However, some doctors are hesitant to offer the procedure. Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Jess Prischmann said, “I just don’t think that it’s been time tested,” during her interview with local Minneapolis ABC station. She does not offer the “vampire face-lift” to her patients.
Dr. Phil Haeck, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, said in The New York Times, “There are no scientific studies [on the effectiveness], only personal attestations.” The “vampire face-lift” ranges from about $800 to $2,400 hundred dollars, depending on the patient’s needs and the physician providing the procedure.
If this procedure sounds scary to you, consider the safe anti-aging option – sun protection!
How do you feel about this anti-aging trend? Let us know on Facebook.
For those of you that don’t know me, I am Chad Grigsby and I am a professional angler on the FLW Tour – the PGA circuit of bass fishing. I have had the fortune of competing professionally full time for 11 years. That’s right, I fish for a living. I live in Maple Grove, MN, am married to Bridget and have two daughters – Isabelle, who is now five and Avrey, who is now three.
Well, the 2013 season on the FLW Tour got kick started with a great tournament. I ended up 9th. The goal, of course, is to win every time, but when you are up against the best 150 anglers in the world it is always great to be fishing for 4 days (for those who don’t know about tournament fishing, they cut the field to 20 after day 2 and to 10 after day 4). We couldn’t have asked for better weather down in Clewiston, FL where we took off from to compete on Lake Okeechobee.
After spending the last three months in Minnesota the Long Sleeve Aqua T-Shirt came in very handy to protect my Minnesota skin from the Florida sun! It also looked great on me, hey I am just sayin’. The lake was in excellent condition for flipping, which is the technique I mainly used along with some sight fishing. On the final day it is a requirement for me to wear a short-sleeved jersey, thats where the Long-Sleeved Crewneck Swimshirt did double duty of protecting me from the sun and keeping me cool in the mid-80 temps. The next stop on Tour is Lewis Smith Lake in Jasper, AL March 7-10. Be sure to check out FLW Live! to watch the weigh-in and hopefully watch me all four days!
Exposure to ultraviolet light is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer. Not only is skin cancer preventable, it is highly treatable when caught early. Because the signs of skin cancer are visible on the surface, you just need to call your doctor when you see something unusual, growing, or changing on your skin. The five-year survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 98 percent. Yet, sadly, one American dies from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, almost every hour.
A world without skin cancer is an achievable goal and the American Academy of Dermatology is committed to reducing the incidence of and mortality from skin cancer. By educating the public about how to reduce their risk of skin cancer and how to spot skin cancer, we can help change behaviors and ultimately save lives.
SPOT Skin Cancer™ is a large-scale public awareness campaign is designed to involve the public, the Academy’s membership of more than 17,000 physicians worldwide, other health organizations, media, and for-profit corporations to advance the public’s understanding of skin cancer and motivate them to change their behavior to prevent and detect skin cancer.
Coolibar is teaming up with the AAD SPOT Skin Cancer™ initiative to help raise awareness on how to prevent skin cancers as well as raise funds for their programs. As a fundraiser, Coolibar is selling Men’s, Women’s and Children’s UPF 50+ SPOT Skin Cancer™ T-Shirts. Coolibar will donate $10 from every T-Shirt sale to the initiative. Together, we can all work toward preventing skin cancers.
If you share a close bond with your significant other, you may want to consider giving them a skin exam this Valentine’s Day and asking them to do the same for you.
Melanoma and non-melanomas can be tricky to spot on one’s own skin, especially on the scalp and back. For men in particular, one third of melanomas are found on the back. Men are also much less likely to examine their own skin, and studies have shown that when skin cancer is found at an early stage, it is most often detected by a spouse or partner. Studies have also shown that couples who check one another for skin cancer tend to do so more thoroughly than people who perform skin self-exams alone.
If you find a suspicious spot on your spouse, urge them to see a dermatologist right away for proper diagnosis. Melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, the three most common types of skin cancer, are treatable when detected early. So help ensure you and your valentine are around for many Valentine’s Days to come.
Skin Cancer Warning Signs from the Skin Cancer Foundation
– A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored.
– A mole, birthmark, beauty mark, or any brown spot that: changes color, increases in size or thickness, changes in texture, is irregular in outline, is bigger than 6mm or 1/4”, the size of a pencil eraser, appears after age 21
– A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode, or bleed.
– An open sore that does not heal within three weeks.
Look for any of the warning signs when you perform a self-exam. If you notice any change in an existing mole or discover a new one that looks suspicious, see a physician immediately.
Coolibar has new prints and colors galore this spring. Choosing a print that complements your facial features can be a daunting task. Our favorite go to stylist, Bridgette Raes, knows all about choosing the right print for your complexion, so we decided to take some advice from her blog.
“When choosing prints, one must consider their own personal coloring to decide just how much bold contrast to wear.
Print Intensity – Combining two colors together in a print creates a contrast between those two colors. For example, if those two colors are extreme opposites (like black and white) you have created a high amount contrast, which gives the print a high level of intensity. If, however, the color combinations found in the print are closer in relationship to each other (a combination of soft pastels, for example) you have created a low amount of contrast between the colors and that combination has a low level of intensity.
Just like color combinations in prints have an intensity level, so does your own personal coloring. Intensity levels vary from person to person, and can be high, low, or somewhere in between, which would be referred to as medium. Your own level is determined by the relationship of contrast between your hair, skin and eyes. The model on the right has a lot of contrast between her hair skin and eyes which creates a lot of contrast or an intensity in her coloring. The model on the left has much softer features, with her hair, skin and eyes being closer in color; therefore her intensity level, would be low.
Why does this matter?
When choosing prints, it is important to consider your own personal intensity level as you’ll always look best when your personal intensity matches the intensity in the prints you choose.
When someone with a low level of intensity in their personal coloring wears too much contrast in the color combinations they choose they look drowned out. When a person with a high level of intensity in their coloring chooses a color combination that is too soft or low in contrast, they look washed out.”
Keep these guidelines in mind if you’re unsure of a print choice, but at the end of the day, if you love a print, go for it!
About Bridgette: Since 2002, Style Expert Bridgette Raes has transformed the wardrobes and styles of hundreds of clients. She is the president of Bridgette Raes Style Group in New York and author of the book Style Rx: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want. Her witty, down-to-earth and educational advice has made her a sought-after writer, spokesperson and style expert for many media outlets.
Clothing has protected people from the sun (and other elements) for tens of thousands of years. In addition to keeping skin protected, clothing can also help maintain a modest appearance, which is still important in many cultures.
Effective protection from the sun comes through a combination of clothing that covers up the skin and fabrics that block UV penetration. What’s new today is that it is possible to create sophisticated fabrics that are bright and very light-weight, yet still highly effective in blocking UV. This is made possible by adding UV blockers, such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, into the fibers of specially engineered fabrics.
The best of this combination of sophisticated fabrics made into clothing that covers up is the creation of fashionable designs that can appeal to different cultures and countries.
To what extent have these new fabrics been adopted around the globe? The original source of much of the innovation in sun protective clothing was Australia. This country has a relatively fair-skinned population, with high levels of sun exposure due to its location and the active, outdoor lifestyle of its people. In the second half of the 20th century, this combination of factors led to extremely high levels of skin cancer – with malignant melanoma overtaking lung cancer in the 1990s.
Part of the response to this problem in Australia was the re-introduction of the old idea of using clothing as protection against the sun. In particular, when at the beach or in the pool, Australians, particularly children, started to cover up using swim shirts, known as rash guards or rashies.
A federal government agency, now officially the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), developed guidelines for testing and labeling these garments. According to its website, the ARPANSA has issued over 50 million UPF rating tags for sun protective products.
In US, skin cancer rates have been increasing over the past 50 years with over a million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed annually. The Canadian Dermatology Society estimates 75,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with non-malignant skin cancer annually.
Like Australia, the well-publicized rise in skin cancer rates have prompted people in the United States and Canada to again use clothing as a primary defense against too much sun exposure. Children can often be seen wearing swim shirts while wide-brimmed women’s hats are once again in style. And for 15 years there have been guidelines for testing and labeling sun protective clothing from the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists and from the American Society for Testing and Materials based on the standards originally developed in Australia.
These same sun protective clothing standards have also been adopted in Europe by the European Committee for Standardization and the related organizations within member countries. However, in many parts of Europe, particularly within the warmer, southern countries, people still believe that tanning is a sign of being healthy and attractive. On the other hand, there is a growing awareness of the dangers of overexposure to the sun and the role of sun protective clothing, particular in northern regions such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and Scandinavia.
In Asia, many people have continued the practices of the past centuries and use clothing for modesty and protection against the sun. Sun umbrellas or parasols are very popular in countries such as China and Japan. And a number of countries, such as Indonesia, have started to adopt Australian-style swimwear. So, many people in Asia continue to be cautious about exposure to the sun in the same way they have for many generations.
Cultural beliefs about health and the sun have been an important factor in shaping the fashions we see and wear. Today, although attitudes differ around the world, in many countries we are seeing a generally increasing recognition of the importance of protection against the sun’s damaging UV rays.
Coolibar Athlete Sara Snyder recently returned from a six month 2,663 mile trek from Mexico to Canada via the Pacific Crest Trail. The Pacific Crest Trail passes through 24 National Forests, seven National Parks, five California State Parks, five Bureau of Land Management Resource Areas as well as other public and private lands. Sara shares her thoughts throughout her long hike.
Photo left: PCT trailhead at the start of Kennedy Meadows
By Sara Snyder:
A lot of people may wonder why I would choose to wake up each morning for five and a half months straight in the middle of nowhere to begin the daily routine of hiking a marathon. I can understand that curiosity, as my first few days on the Pacific Crest Trail had me asking the same sort of question.
Believe me, a lot went wrong in the beginning, from delays to running out of food and water, carrying too much weight, changing my daily miles to avoid certain folk, losing maps, broken tent poles, ripped shoes, to several physical ailments.
Everything that could go wrong, pretty much went wrong whenever it had the opportunity. The freedom I was craving so badly seemed guarded by a brigade of cactus spikes, ungodly traps and woes I had to fight for the prize. (Merely blessings in disguise, I’d always come to find out later), but at times, it would all become overwhelming. I had thought about postponing the adventure a year, and even quitting when things got really out of control, but I’d always come back to the same decision… to push through all the obstacles and fulfill my dream to hike from border to border.
There were a lot of odd moments where I sensed the universe actually wouldn’t allow me to quit, even if I wanted to. No matter how difficult things became, someone, or something would get me through the struggle.
Everything would always work out in the end and seemingly occur for a reason, no matter how crazy. Other days it felt like I’d be given the choice to leave, as if I were being tested, but I was never silly enough to do it. I knew in those times of uncertainty that there was just too much I’d regret and miss out on, so I’d continue north – the right choice of course. The only choice that made sense.
Quickly, the entire spectrum of trail life for me, to put it mildly, became addicting, just as I thought it would with a little bit of patience, hard work, and trust. At the start, I think I was more in love with the dream than the doing, but warm ups never seem to give the full impression. This I always knew. Then one day, finally conquering the monotonous desert, it all hit me. I was in fact actually doing this…and doing a pretty good job. I was impressed with myself, and began to fall hard in love with the reality, who I was turning into, as well as oddly, the taste of dirt. This is what I wanted, and this is what I got, and I was going to embrace every second of it, bad or good. It was all good now. Perfect in fact. The Sierras and Cascades were awaiting my arrival, and I was eagerly getting myself to them. I felt stronger and more confident than ever before, and even more so with every day that passed.
Each day was a new adventure filled with mystery and excitement, where expecting the unexpected became natural law. Some cold misty mornings I’d awake with the brief thought that the day would just be another routine day on the trail. Possibly nothing special, but I was proven wrong each and every time I would dare to think such a thing. From the scenery to the people, weather, wildlife and town hitches, every day was unique, challenging and memorable.
Upon reaching the Canadian border in a snowy white blur I was able to say that I never exactly doubted my capabilities; however, it definitely took a few mountain passes to rough me into great shape physically.
This journey was not only a physical endurance test, but involved a complete mental and spiritual transformation of my entire being. It had me humbled and in awe, most of the time having to rely on the kindness of strangers, which was for me, a deeply unfamiliar and beautiful experience in itself. I have stories engraved in my memory that I couldn’t even begin to ask anyone to believe if I tried my hardest. In a good way, it has completely changed my life and my character forever.
I think there are those who like to look at pictures or videos of other people doing amazing things and get lost in their stories. For whatever reason, some of these same people seem to think that they can’t ever be the person creating their own story / becoming the story. This is upsetting to me. Dreamers who make excuses as to why they think they can’t actually live should know that those who do choose to live see their dreams as the best reason to wake up each and every morning. Dreams exist for a reason. We all have them. The choice to fulfill them is personal, and what keeps me fueled. I choose to fulfill mine, because we only have so much time in the physical world. Why waste the opportunity?
You’d be amazed by what you have been missing out on.