Archives

Apply Sunscreen Educate Others Sunscreens and Lotions

FDA Sunscreen Label Changes Postponed

Sunscreen Label Changes

Consumer, beware of misleading sunscreen labels in your local drug stores this summer. Last Friday (May 11, 2012) the Food and Drug Administration announced it will no longer force sunscreen manufactures to change their labels to better inform consumers by June 18, 2012. Manufactures now have until December 2012, a six month extension, and smaller manufactures will have as long as December 2013. The decision to extend the deadline stemmed from a concern that sunscreen demand would outweigh supply of sunscreen if bottles had to be removed from shelves due to inaccurate labeling. This gives sunscreen manufactures more time to change over to the new guidelines without diminishing supply.

Over the summer, expect to see labels that state “waterproof”, “sweatproof” or “sunblock”, even though dermatologists claim them to be misleading. Board Certified Dermatologist Jamie Davis, M.D, says, “No sunscreen blocks 100% of ultraviolet radiation from the sun, so calling it sunblock provides a false sense of security to consumers. Also, the SPF rating on sunscreen only rates UVB (burning) rays, not UVA (aging) rays. Consumers will need to look for labels that state ‘broad spectrum’ on the bottle for UVA and UVB protection and at least a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 plus to prevent sunburn and skin cancer.” On new labels, only sunscreens with an SPF 15 or higher that also pass a broad spectrum test will be able to claim “prevents skin cancer”. A mix of old and new labels will appear on the shelves throughout summer as some manufactures have already changed their labeling standards.

To protect skin, Dr. Davis recommends purchasing sunscreens that are SPF 30 or higher, broad spectrum and water or sweat-resistant. Also look for active ingredients zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Apply at least a shot glass full to exposed skin (not applying enough is a common mistake). Continue to reapply throughout the day. For the best protection, members of the American Academy of Dermatology recommend using sun protective clothing as the primary form of protection in the sun including a wide brim hat, sunglasses and clothing with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 50.

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.

No Comments
Expert Rx Routinely Check Skin Videos

Free Skin Checks on Melanoma Monday + Tanning Mom Skit

Is your FREE SKIN CHECK scheduled? Today, the first Monday of May, is Melanoma Monday and dermatology offices across the country are offering free skin checks as a reminder to get your annual exam. A yearly skin check promotes good health and skin cancer prevention, today and all year long.

It is currently estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. When caught early skin cancer is highly treatable, and is often preventable.  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.

You can search the website of the American Academy of Dermatology and their SPOT initiative to find a free screening near you.

Exposure to ultraviolet light is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.  If you could reduce your risk of skin cancer by just seeking shade, wearing sun protective clothing and sunscreen, and avoiding tanning beds, wouldn’t you?

Ask your loved ones to commit to keeping their skin safe and getting a skin check.

Now, if we could just convince Tanning Mom that her bronzed skin is not good for her.  Watch the Tanning Mom skit from Saturday Night Live.

No Comments
School sun safety SunAWARE

Gearing Up for Skin Cancer Awareness Month

May has been declared Skin Cancer Awareness Month by the Centers for Disease Control. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon according to the American Cancer Society. Take advantage of the wealth of skin cancer prevention resources available next month so you can become SunAWARE and help prevent and detect skin cancers.

1. Start out May with a free skin cancer screening.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) designates the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday (5/7/2012). Dermatology offices often provide free skin cancer screenings. Find a free skin cancer screening on the AAD website or by calling your local dermatology office.

Additionally, this year, the AAD will launch their SPOT Skin Cancer™ public education initiative on Melanoma Monday. The initiative aims to educate the public about skin cancer and promote positive behavior to prevent and detect skin cancer. SPOT Skin Cancer™ also will position dermatologists as the experts in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer.

2. Walk or run to support skin cancer research.

Register to walk or run and raise money in support of skin cancer research through the Melanoma Research Foundation. Search for an event in your area, or create your own Miles for Melanoma event. Miles for Melanoma events take place across the United States and are hosted by volunteers.

3. Register to win school sun hats from Coolibar.

Coolibar is giving away up to 50 school sun hats to five winning classrooms across the United States. Download the contest form or enter online. Contest deadline is May 11, 2012.

4. Kick off your summer with Don’t Fry Day.

The Friday before Memorial Day (5/25/2012) is deemed Don’t Fry Day by The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention. The purpose is to remind everyone to protect your skin while enjoying the outdoors.

5. Pledge to follow these simple steps of SunAWARE to prevent and detect skin cancers all summer.

Avoid unprotected exposure to sunlight, seek shade, and never indoor tan.

Wear sun protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses year-round.

Apply recommended amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sunburn protection factor (SPF) greater than or equal to 30 to all exposed skin and reapply every two hours, or as needed.

Routinely examine your whole body for changes in your skin and report concerns to a parent or healthcare provider.

Educate your family and community about the need to be SunAWARE.

If you have any ideas, suggestions or events on skin cancer prevention, please share them with us.

1 Comment
Expert Rx Inside Coolibar

The Best Dermatologist Recommended Methods of Sun Protection

For the past 9 years Coolibar, the nation’s leading sun protective clothing manufacturer, has conducted a survey among the nation’s dermatologists during the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), to determine their recommendations for the best methods of sun protection.

Research results from the 70th Annual Meeting, the largest meeting on record, held in San Diego, CA, March 17-19, 2012 revealed a unified response. The overwhelming majority of American dermatologists now believe that UPF clothing should be the first line of defense in sun protection followed by sunscreen.  This attitude is held by 95.1% of American dermatologists (+/- 1.2% at the 95% confidence level) and is based on 1,265 survey participants.

“We know that the most effective sun protection comes from using a combination of methods including sun protective clothing and hats as a foundation plus sunglasses and sunscreens,” said John Barrow, founder and president of Coolibar.  This year’s survey results highlight the importance of including sun protective clothing in summer wardrobes and come on the heels of the new guidelines for sunscreens from the FDA.

In addition to clothing, the top 10 sunscreen brands recommended by U.S. dermatologists were revealed.  A mix of mass market brands combined with specialty brands are listed in order of the frequency with which they are recommended to patients:

  1. Neutrogena
  2. Aveeno
  3. Elta
  4. La Roche-Posay
  5. Blue Lizard
  6. Coppertone
  7. Vanicream
  8.  SolBar
  9. CeraVe
  10.  Eucerin
No Comments
Parenting School sun safety SunAWARE

Elementary Schools Consider No Hat No Play Policy

Does your child wear a hat on the playground during recess? If not, your child is not the only one. Many elementary schools in the U.S. ban students from wearing hats on school grounds. As a result, children are left exposed to the sun during peak ultraviolet radiation hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

In Australia, schools and daycares have a strict “no hat, no play” policy, meaning children cannot go outside to play unless they’ve slapped on a hat (a wide brim or legionnaire hat). Evidence suggests that childhood exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds contributes significantly to the development of skin cancer.  As a result of the rise in skin cancer rates, in 1998 the Cancer Council Australia launched the national SunSmart Schools program to promote good sun protection habits in childhood.

The Slip Slop Slap Seek and Slide campaign in Australia started by the Cancer Council Australia in 1980, originally just Slip Slop Slap until 2007, is the core message of the SunSmart Program. Slip on a t-shirt, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek shade and slide on sunglasses is the message they remind children and parents of through public service announcements played on television and in classrooms. The hats children wear are also not ordinary baseball caps as they offer very little protection, but rather wide brim hats or legionnaire hats. The SunSmart program now has over 2,500 schools and 3,500 childcare centers participating across the country. This campaign is widely credited as playing a key role in the dramatic shift in sun protection attitudes and behavior over the past two decades in Australia.

Australian SunSmart Schools and Day Cares have a written sun protection policy meeting minimum standards relating to curriculum, behavior and the environment. They also work to increase shade and reschedule outdoor activities to lower UV times of the day. Finally, they teach children about sun protection. These are all simple standards American schools can replicate.

Hats can be provided inexpensively to schools through fundraising or discount programs such as the Coolibar School Sun Hat Program, which offers a 50% discount to schools purchasing children’s hats. As an educational resource, the SunAWARE acronym is available in the U.S. to help educate children about sun protection and skin cancer prevention, in addition to books such as “SunAWARE Hits a Home Run”. Our kids are outdoors when UV is strongest, and while the damage may not appear initially, there is much greater chance severe skin damage will emerge down the road.

1 Comment
Inside Coolibar What our customers say

Dermatologists Agree We Need to Prevent Skin Cancer in Style

Dermatologists agree that style is just as important as long lasting UPF 50 coverage when it comes to choosing sun protective clothing. This was a frequent comment at this year’s American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting in San Diego, California. Dermatologists often recommend sun protective clothing to patients with sun sensitive conditions, such as skin cancer, but claim patients more often comply when sun protective clothing looks like normal clothing that’s “in-style”. After hearing numerous comments from dermatologists at the AAD Annual Meeting last weekend, Coolibar sun protective clothing has great news for those looking for “stylish” sun protective clothing.

Sun protective clothing has evolved over the last decade. What was once seen as a medical device for those with sun sensitive conditions is now common practice for families and individuals looking to stay healthy and covered under the sun versus using sunscreen alone. Coolibar has spent 10 years producing moisture wicking, breathable, natural feeling fabrics along with stylish fashions for people to wear during outdoor activities.

Coolibar clothing designer Alicia Pizzo has over eight years of experience designing women’s clothing. Since coming to Coolibar in 2011, Pizzo has worked to create more flattering styles that still provide the skin coverage people want. Pizzo says, “During the AAD Annual Meeting, we wanted to get as much feedback as possible from dermatologists on our new UPF 50+ styles.” New styles showcased, available on www.coolibar.com starting tomorrow, included nautical print dresses, skirts, and tops for women and girls. “All feedback was extremely positive,” says Pizzo.  Dr. Michelle Tarbox, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Saint Louis University, liked the new styles so much that she purchased a new UPF 50+ Polo Dress on the spot.  “I love this polo dress, it has a flattering feminine fit  and modern styling with a young hip look to it, but still provides full sun protective coverage of the upper body and the legs down to the knees. You would never guess looking at the garment that it is designed for sun protection. After the Meeting, I wore the dress all day and was impressed with how comfortable and cool it was and also by how many compliments I got on it!”

Julie, Heather, Alicia AAD12
Coolibar employees Julie Ziminske, Heather Olson, and Alicia Pizzo at the AAD Meeting.

Other dermatologist who stopped at the Coolibar booth continued to express their excitement toward the new sun protective styles. Some women even debated how to accessorize the new looks. Ideas included wearing the navy stripe pattern with red wedges, red jewelry accents and a simple white sun hat.

Collage of New Coolibar ZnO Stripe Prints

Paralleling dermatologists’ interest in stylish sun protective clothing at this year’s AAD Meeting, skin cancer prevention was a hot topic. SPOT Skin Cancer™, a new initiative designed to raise skin cancer awareness to a new level while positively positioning dermatologists as uniquely trained doctors treating life-threatening diseases, was introduced during the Meeting. The campaign is using an attractive bright orange on all campaign material versus the color black that’s currently associated with skin cancer and “spot” patterns that represent moles.  The Academy says, “With SPOT, the Academy is bringing all of its skin cancer public education efforts under one consistent brand identity for maximum impact.” SPOT will be launched to the public on Melanoma Monday, May 7, 2012.

1 Comment
Events

Dermatologists and Nurses: We’ll see you soon!

At Coolibar, we like to keep in close touch with the physicians and nurses who help educate those dealing with a number of skin conditions that cause sun sensitivity. That’s why each year we attend the two principal conferences for dermatologists and dermatology nurses, and this year is no exception.

If you’re attending the DNA Annual Convention in February or the American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting in March, stop by and chat with Coolibar! All of our sun protection experts will be there in full force answering questions, showing new 2012 apparel and maybe even handing out special items.

 

 

DNA Annual Convention
When: Thursday, February 16, 2012 – Saturday, February 18, 2012
Where: Denver, CO
Event site: http://dna.annualmeeting2012.org/

 

 

 

 

AAD Annual Meeting
When: Saturday, March 17, 2012 – Monday, March 19, 2012 at 5:00pm.
Where: San Diego, CA
Event site: http://www.aad.org/meetings-and-events/annual-meeting

All of us at Coolibar look forward to seeing you there!

http://www.coolibar.com/

No Comments
SunAWARE Videos

Does a Tan Make you More Beautiful?

According to a recent survey by the American Academy of Dermatology, the answer is “yes” for many teens and young adults in the United States.  When asked if they think people look more attractive with a tan, a large percentage of respondents (66 percent) answered yes, especially indoor tanners (87 percent).

The survey found that a vast majority (86 percent) of Caucasian teen girls and young women who tan indoors do so for the sake of vanity despite knowing the health risks.  Young Australians, on the contrary, have begun to shift their perceptions on beauty and tanning.

The Aussie tan is officially no longer cool. At least not among the 12-17 year old age group who’ve grown up with the slip, slop, slap message.  New research by the Cancer Council has revealed young Australians are rapidly changing their attitude towards tanning, with fewer than ever seeking the bronzed look.  The council’s national sun protection survey conducted last summer shows the preference for a suntan among 12-17-year-olds has steadily dropped to 45%, proof that a public health campaign can be effective.

Below is the well-known Australian Slip!Slop!Slap! advertisement from the Cancer Council Victoria with Sid the Seagull, launched in the 1980’s. Just say these simple words – slip, slop, slap. Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat.

 

 

No Comments
Avoid UV & Seek Shade Parenting SunAWARE

Should Teens Tan? California Says No.

Should teens be able to decide whether or not to use tanning beds? According to Aim at Melanoma Foundation, using a tanning bed before the age of 20 doubles a person’s risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Even more staggering is that 28 million individuals in the U.S. use tanning beds each year despite the statistics, which includes 2.3 million teens.

On Sunday, October 9, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill making California the first state to prohibit minors from using tanning beds. The only exception is if a minor obtains written consent from a medical professional that they’re tanning due to a medical condition. This law will go into effect on January 1, 2012. Multiple health organizations including the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) are praising the governor for taking action.

In 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, placed tanning beds in its Class 1 carcinogen category.  Cigarettes, plutonium and ultraviolet radiation from the sun are in the same category. Just like the law protects minors from the negative health effects of cigarettes, this new law in California is a way to protect teens from the negative health effects of using tanning beds. Dermatologist Ann F. Haas, MD, FAAD, past president of the California Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery says, “Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for the last 30 years, with the most rapid increases occurring among young, white women, 3 percent per year since 1992 in those ages 15 to 39. We pushed for this legislation in the hopes of stemming that rise and encouraging other states to follow California’s lead and prohibit the use of tanning devices by minors to reduce the incidence of skin cancer in the U.S.”

Prior to the ban, the state allowed those between 14 and 17 years of age to use tanning beds with parental consent. Thirty-one other states have similar laws restricting minors from using tanning beds without parental consent. The remaining 18 states have no restrictions. This is frightening not only because teens who tan put their health at risk, but also because adolescents choosing to tan are still developing their decision making skills and may make bad or uneducated decisions that will affect their quality of life down the road.

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), “based on the stage of their brain development, adolescents are more likely to: act on impulse or engage in dangerous or risky behavior. Adolescents are also less likely to: think before they act, pause to consider the potential consequences of their actions and modify their dangerous or inappropriate behaviors.”

“These brain differences don’t mean that young people can’t make good decisions or tell the difference between right and wrong”, states an article on the AACAP website.  “It also doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be held responsible for their actions. But an awareness of these differences can help parents, teachers, advocates, and policy makers understand, anticipate, and manage the behavior of adolescents.”

On top of the cognitive development argument, there is a lack of awareness on the dangers of tanning. “Many parents may not be aware that melanoma is the most common skin cancer in children, followed by basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas,” Dr. Thomas Rohrer, Secretary of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. Many tanning salons tout that tanning beds are safer than outdoor tanning as they use UVA rays or that it’s good to get a base tan before vacationing in warm regions.  These claims are false. UVA rays (aging rays) are not safer than UVB rays (burning) rays and numerous studies have proven this. Additionally, getting a base tan before a sunny vacation is equivalent to the sun protection of a SPF 3 or less, and the AAD suggests using SPF 30+ broad-spectrum sunscreen and sun protective clothing for adequate sun protection.

Based on this information, would you be comfortable having your teen use a tanning bed? For every parent residing outside of the state of California, that’s for you, or your teen, to decide.

Michigan news broadcast with dermatologist insights on tanning beds.

6 Comments
Expert Rx

Dermatologists, More than Pimple Popping M.D.s

Dermatologists are medical doctors who specialize in treating skin, hair and nails. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), at any given time, one out of every three people in the United States suffers from a skin disease.  Many skin conditions cannot be cured or relieved with over-the-counter treatments. For skin conditions that are out of your control or you’re not sure what to do about, make an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist. Depending on your specific skin problem, you may even wish to search for a dermatologist online and find a doctor that specializes in specific areas, such as cosmetic procedures, skin cancer or skin of color.

Dermatologists are way more than “pimple popping M.D.s”, which according to the popular ‘90s sitcom Seinfeld is all the profession is good for. They save and improve lives every day by helping people get control of their problematic skin, hair and nail conditions.

Seinfeld Clip “Pimple Popping M.D.s”

Still not sure if you should seek medical attention? Here are some of the top reasons to see a dermatologist.

Acne. For acne that is not responding to an over-the-counter skin treatment, a dermatologist can determine which kind of prescription skin treatment would be most effective for your acne and lifestyle.

Eczema. Many people suffer from eczema, a chronic condition characterized by irritation, itchiness, and flaky patches of skin. A dermatologist can help find ways to manage this condition and, if necessary, will prescribe medications.

Skin cancer. An annual full body skin exam performed by a dermatologist is especially important if you are in a high-risk group (fair skin, had bad sunburns, especially blistering sunburns, skin that burns or freckles rather than tans, 50-plus moles or atypical moles). In addition to regular screenings, you should see a dermatologist if you notice a change in the shape, size or coloring of any of your moles. A dermatologist can remove some or all of the suspicious tissue, then examine it under a microscope for cancerous cells. Skin cancer does not discriminate. All ages and races are susceptible to skin cancer.

Wrinkles, dark spots and scars. If you are concerned about minimizing skin damage or caring for aging skin, a dermatologist can suggest products or lifestyle changes that reduce your exposure to damaging elements. They can also perform cosmetic procedures to reduce visible signs of aging and scars.

For almost any condition that affects your appearance (skin, hair and nails) you can seek a dermatologist for advice and treatment. For a complete list of the conditions dermatologists treat, please visit the AAD website.

Take care of your skin, your largest organ. Remember, everyone needs sun protection, but those with skin conditions may be even more sensitive to the sun. When talking with your dermatologist, ask him or her about photosensitivity (a negative skin reaction to UV rays) and get sun protection recommendations.  Using sun protective clothing, wide-brim hats, sunglasses and broad-spectrum sunscreen regularly can reduce visible signs of aging and help prevent skin cancer.

Photo courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives.

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.

2 Comments