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Treating Dry Winter Skin

With record low temps across the US this week, it’s the perfect time to discuss caring for dry winter skin. Cold weather, dry air and low humidity can cause problems for your normal skincare routine. It’s important to take extra care of your skin this time of year so we’ve compiled a few tips to make it easier.

Coolibar medical advisor Dr. Jaime Davis of Uptown Dermatology in Minneapolis knows the effects cold, dry air can have on skin. She recommends turning down the heat on your shower and using a fragrance free ointment or cream during the winter, instead of a lotion. Davis also suggests keeping the moisturizer in the shower, to seal in moisture. “Keep it right in the shower and sort of squeegee off the excess water, but put your moisturizer on immediately after you turn the shower water off.” This technique will help retain moisture in your skin.

WebMD had some more helpful hints to help keep skin moisturized and healthy.

  • Always wash your face before bed. Cleansing at night is important.
  • Use a soap free cleanser, they are made of milder ingredients and will prevent dry skin.
  • Skip scrubbing your skin. Believe it or not, scrubbing can irritate your skin, making it even worse!
  • Pat yourself dry. Rubbing can cause abrasion to your skin.
  • Moisturize daily. Moisturize 2-3 times a day to prevent dry skin.

Winter, the dry skin season, is tough on your skin but taking better care of yourself will make it a little more manageable. Goodbye dry, itchy skin!

Read more Coolibar tips on treating dry skin. Shop Coolibar Moisturizers.

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Apply Sunscreen

American Dermatologists Reveal Top 10 Sunscreen Brands

MINNEAPOLIS, July 1, 2013Coolibar, the nation’s leading sun protective clothing manufacturer, conducted a survey to reveal the top 10 dermatologist recommended sunscreen brands. The survey was conducted at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) from March 1-5, 2013 in Miami Beach, FL.  Neutrogena and Aveeno top the list as perennial favorites followed by La Roche-Posay, Elta and Vanicream in the top five.

We had a record number of 1,572 dermatologists weighing in on the most reliable sunscreens recommended to patients as part of their sun safety education.

“Optimal sun protection comes from a combination of sun-protective clothing and sunscreen,” said John Barrow, founder and president of Coolibar.  “Coolibar remains committed to educating the public on sun safety and ways to prevent the risk of skin cancer and avoiding the  damaging affects of the sun. “

A mix of mass-market sunscreens combined with specialty brands are listed in order of the frequency with which they are recommended to patients:

  1. Neutrogena
  2. Aveeno
  3. La Roche-Posay
  4. Elta
  5. Vanicream
  6. Coppertone
  7. Blue Lizard
  8. Eucerin
  9. Solbar
  10. Fallene

 About Coolibar: Coolibar is the most recommended and tested sun protective clothing company in the United States. Based in Minneapolis, the company was founded in 2001 to bring Australia’s world-leading approaches to sun protection to the American market and beyond by producing and selling sun protective apparel for active families through catalog and online. Dedicated to the highest quality sun protective clothing, hats and accessories, Coolibar guarantees UPF 50+ ratings for the life of their garments.  Each garment is developed with sun protection as the number one priority with a full line of proprietary SUNTECT® fabrics. Coolibar has been recognized by the Skin Cancer Foundation, the American Academy of Dermatology and the Melanoma International Foundation for effective sun protection. Coolibar Cares, the company’s giving back initiative, supports programs such as SunAWARE, School Sun Hat program, Doctor Connect, the AAD Camp Discovery for sun sensitive children as well as athlete sponsorships and product donations. For information about Coolibar, go to www.coolibar.com or call 1-800-926-6509.

Contact: Carol Schuler, Schuler Publicity – 612-281-7030, carol@cschuler.com

 

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Parenting SunAWARE

Summer Camp Sun Protection 101: Why the Cotton Shirt Your Kid Swims in Just Won’t Do

Summer camp is jam-packed with activities from sunrise to sunset. Counselors and camp staff make it a priority to ensure safety of all campers; however, with the rigorous reapplication routine sunscreen requires, sometimes sun protection may be overlooked in all the commotion. Sunburn and skin damage are easily preventable. Educating and equipping children with good sun protection habits prior to the start of camp is essential.

While sunscreen is a necessity, adding additional forms of sun protection may ease parental anxiety.

SUN PROTECTION STRATEGIES FOR SUMMER CAMP

1. Pack sun protective swimwear and clothing: The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using sun protective clothing first, followed by sunscreen. A WHITE COTTON T-SHIRT WILL NOT PROTECT YOUR CHILD FROM THE SUN! In fact, it only offers an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 7, and even less when wet. UPF and SPF ratings for sunscreens are similar, but UPF is the standard for clothing and accounts for both UVB and UVA rays. When shopping for UPF clothing, look for a UPF 50+ rating, the highest rating available. This means a garment will block 98% or more of UVA and UVB rays. Swim shirts (also known as rash guards), are great for extended water play since the sun protection will not wash out.

2. Remember a wide brim hat:  To be protective, a hat must have a 3” brim or greater (for toddlers this might be less) or a flap in the back to cover the ears and neck if it’s a baseball style cap. Hats also protects the scalp, especially along the part-line.

3. Wrap on UV sunglasses: Eyes are susceptible to sunburn too, and not all sunglasses protect against UV. Opt for a pair of wrap style sunglasses that fit closer to the face so UV rays don’t leak in the sides. Look for sunglasses labeled UV 400 or blocks 99% or greater of UVA and UVB rays. For younger kids, purchase sunglasses with straps to keep them secure.

4. Choose the right sunscreen: Most kids will be active, so look for brands that offer better protection in water or while sweating. Also remember the following:

  • Look at the label. Many parents assume the higher the SPF the better, which is not necessarily the case. Look for quality ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These are physical sunscreen ingredients. Choose an SPF of 30 that’s labeled broad spectrum, which protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Avoid aerosol sunscreens. The major drawback of a continuous spray sunscreen is that it could get into the eyes or inhaled by a child, long-term data on those effects are unknown.
  • Apply generous amounts on exposed skin. Start with the neck down, covering thick and evenly on all areas of the body, not forgetting the ears, backs of the hands, crease of the neck, underarms, between the fingers, underneath the bathing suit (if it’s not sun protective). After covering those major areas, do the face last. Even on a cloudy day, 80 percent of UV reaches the Earth’s surface.
  • Reapply. According to new Food and Drug Administration guidelines for sunscreens, labels must display a reapplication time of either 40 or 80 minutes and after swimming or sweating. Remember to do so.

5. Inquire about camp sunscreen application policies: Most camps are like schools, sunscreen is not allowed without written consent. Also, camp staff are often discouraged from helping kids apply sunscreen. Teach children to do their best applying sunscreen everywhere they can reach and ask for help on spots like their back.

Dr. Amy Brodsky, founder of the Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation is advocating a comprehensive sun protection strategy for her kids and hopes other parents will catch on. “I’m a dermatologist and a mom who has seen a lot of skin cancer and aging skin in my practice, so it’s only natural to want my own kids and others to think of wearing sun protection as the norm and sun protective shirts and sunscreen as cool,” said Dr. Brodsky. Dr. Brodsky often refers to the four-S’s to teach kids and parents alike the key skin cancer prevention measures — sunglasses, sunscreen, sun protective shirts, and sun hats.”

Additional Resources:

More about the Pediatric Sun Protection Foundation and sun protection advice for parents.

Read what the American Camping Association has to say about fun in the sun.

Follow SunAWARE for easy to remember steps for sun protection.

Shop Boys and Girls UPF 50+ clothing.

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Expert Rx

Dermatologic skin care for your 20s, 30s…60s and beyond

Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jaime Davis, M.D., F.A.A.D. of Uptown Dermatology in Minneapolis talks dermatologic care for your skin at every age.

Skin cancer is a concern across all ages and is being seen more and more in younger people, especially among those who have ever used tanning beds.

Excessive ultraviolet light exposure, natural or artificial, not only increases skin cancer risk, but also prematurely ages the skin. It does so by breaking down the skin’s collagen and elastin causing wrinkling.

Ultraviolet light also stimulates pigment production (tanning), which is the skin’s way of trying to protect its deeper layers from the damaging effects of UV rays (burning). This pigment can often be blotchy and irregular.

With that in mind, it’s easy to see that many skin conditions typically thought of as “age related” are actually “sun damage” related. And while sun damage typically increases with age, giving some truth to the idea that blotchy, wrinkled skin is ‘old’ skin, sun protected skin will stay younger looking even into old age. Proof; take a peek at the sun protected skin of the buttocks and compare this to the face or forearms. The skin is the same age, but has had vastly different sun exposure. Hence the sun exposed skin seems “aged” in comparison.

Now let’s look at some conditions that can affect your skin over the years. Be sure to visit a Board Certified Dermatologist if you have concerns about any of the following;

20s – 30s 

Melasma: This blotchy brown spots on upper lip, cheeks, and forehead is sometimes called the “mask of pregnancy” due to hormonal influences on pigment production. This can happen during pregnancy or while on birth control pills. Sun protection is an essential part of treatment which can also include skin lightening agents such as topical hydroquinone and retinoid creams. For stubborn melasma, laser treatments can be helpful in addition to topical medications.

Acne Rosacea: Best known as “adult acne” this can involve breakouts and facial flushing in response to triggers such as sun exposure, overheating, spicy foods, red wine, and stress. Daily sun protection helps minimize redness as does recognizing and minimizing triggers. Your doctor has several treatment options if these initial steps are not enough to stop the breakouts and flushing.

40s – 50s

Fine lines & Wrinkles: Ultraviolet light slowly breaks down collagen and elastin fibers and reduces the skin’s elasticity. Sun protection is key to preventing this, but use of topical vitamin C, peptides and retinoids can be helpful. Resurfacing treatments such as chemical peels or fractional laser peels are also effective.

Expression Lines: Over the years expression lines can become etched into the skin by the repeated movements of facial muscles. These are easily remedied by injecting small amounts of purified botulinum toxin protein to soften the pull of the muscles. Chronic sun damage tends to exaggerate these expression lines due to the loss of the sun damaged skin’s elasticity.

Man with sun damage to one half of his face due to his occupation as a driver. It shows how the sun damage ages the skin, not just age!

60s – 70s 

Brown Spots: Freckles & spotty discoloration of the skin are caused by long term sun exposure. These are sometimes called ‘liver spots’ due to their brown color. Sunscreen is the best prevention, but treatments similar to those mentioned for Melasma can be very helpful.

Dryness: The hormonal changes during and after menopause can result in reduced facial oil production and dryness of the skin. Cream based moisturizers rather than lotions are most helpful.

Facial Volume Loss: Over time, the apples of the cheeks can lose their roundness, especially in slender women. The sunken facial appearance can be corrected with injections of volumizing fillers, such as Sculptra or Radiesse. These fillers stimulate collagen production under the skin restoring a natural fullness.

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.

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SunAWARE

Study finds aspirin may help prevent melanoma

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.

Resources: CBS News; FOX News; NPR

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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Avoid UV & Seek Shade Expert Rx

Are gel manicures Safe?

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:

Coolibar UPF 50+ Fingerless Gloves block 98% of UVA and UVB rays

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”.

Shop for Coolibar Fingerless Gloves

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Routinely Check Skin What's Hot

Are skin cancer apps harmful?

Earlier this month we discussed the growing role technology plays in the fight against skin cancer. In fact, we’ve created a pin board, highlighting some of our favorite apps.

Now, in light of a recent study published by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, there is a growing concern for the accuracy of the apps that are meant to detect skin cancer. Four smartphone apps were evaluated on their ability to determine whether moles have morphed into cancerous melanomas. The results ranged from 98.1% accuracy to only 6.8%. If consumers are relying on their smart phone alone to diagnose their health issues, this inaccuracy poses a big problem.

The Wall Street Journal reports, “Health-app makers include disclaimers warning patients that they don’t mean to diagnose anything. ‘We’re not saying this replaces a practitioner,’ said Avi Lasarow, co-founder of the Mole Detective app, which uses algorithms to gauge mole risk but plans to add a physician-referral feature. ‘We’re saying, this is a way you can look to determine whether you might have a problem,’ he said.”

Most consumer health apps haven’t yet been required to demonstrate their safety and efficacy through the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA said in a statement that the UPMC study results “reinforce the importance of consumers talking with a health care professional before making any medical decisions” because of the seriousness of melanoma, and that addressing mobile apps is a top priority at the agency.

What do you think, are skin cancer detecting apps helpful or harmful?

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SunAWARE

Perfect Skin Protection – Vol. 2, No. 1

The latest issue of Perfect Skin Protection from SunAWARE just hit the Apple Newsstand this week. And if you haven’t yet read through this publication, you should. It’s FREE and chock full of the latest advice on skin protection from leading dermatologists, health & beauty experts, educators and skin cancer survivors. Plus, this issue features an article by Coolibar’s very own, President John Barrow.

“These articles, especially the special section, demonstrate that skin protection, far from being a personal or cosmetic issue, is a global concern, affecting the health and well-being of individuals and families in different countries around the world,” said Mary Mills Barrow, executive director of SunAWARE International Foundation.

“We urge our readers to take advantage of the advice offered by our experts and incorporate it into their daily routines, for themselves and for their families,” she added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Available on the Apple Newsstand in the Health Category or by clicking here: http://bit.ly/SRrvV0.

Enjoy and share!

Be SunAWARE. Be safe.

 

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SunAWARE

3 Personal New Year’s Resolutions to Stay Skin Cancer Free in 2013

When thinking about your 2013 New Year’s Resolutions, consider making a conscious effort to prevent skin cancer in 2013. Yes, skin cancer is preventable in many cases. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. More than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people are diagnosed annually (Skin Cancer Foundation).

Prevention starts with education, and knowing exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVA – aging, and UVB – burning rays) from the sun and tanning beds contributes to your risk of developing skin cancer. The good news is an individual can take simple steps to ensure a lifetime of healthy skin and still enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer.

3 Simple New Years Resolutions for Healthy Skin in 2013:

1. Use Sun Protection (Photo: Raw Elements SPF 30 Sunscreen)

1. Incorporate sun protection into your daily routine.

Use sun protection every day of the year. Even if you are indoors, windows allow UVA rays to penetrate the glass (glass blocks UVB rays). Start by incorporating sunscreen into your daily routine. Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher on your face and all exposed skin. If you wear makeup, apply a face sunscreen underneath your foundation even if your foundation has SPF, as most people don’t use a thick enough application to provide adequate sun protection. (Click here for dermatologist recommended face sunscreens.) If you’ll be outdoors for an extended period of time, wear a wide brim hat, UV400 sunglasses and UPF 50+ sun protective clothing. If you cannot wear sun protective clothing, apply sunscreen underneath your T-shirt since most regular clothing offers less than SPF 30 protection. Not only will this keep your skin healthy, but as added incentive, you’ll look younger longer since UV rays significantly contribute to visible signs of aging.

2. Perform a self skin exam

2. Perform a self-skin exam every month and track your mole changes.

You know your body best, so you’ll likely be the first to notice changes in the skin. Also, when caught early, skin cancer is easily treatable in most cases. This is why performing a self-skin exam is important. Print this body map from the Skin Cancer Foundation and then look for the following:

1. A skin growth that increases in size and appears pearly, translucent, tan, brown, black, or multicolored.

2. 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.

3. A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, crust, scab, erode, or bleed.

4. An open sore that does not heal within three weeks.

If you notice any change in an existing mole or discover a new one that looks suspicious, see a physician immediately.

If you’re more of an smart phone app aficionado, technology is making performing a self-skin exam an exceedingly simple task. Check out smart phone apps on the Coolibar Pinterest page.

3. Get a full-body skin cancer screening (Photo: Charles Crutchfield III, M.D., M.B.B., F.A.A.D.)

3. Make time for a full-body skin cancer screening with a board-certified dermatologist once per year.

While you should check your skin every month, a board-certified dermatologist that works with skin every day may notice changes that you didn’t. Schedule an annual skin cancer screening to ensure your skin is healthy as can be!

The American Academy of Dermatology designates the first Monday in May as Melanoma Monday (5/6/2013). 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. Mark your calendars now!

Have a great 2013 and keep your skin healthy!

– Coolibar, Sun Protection You Wear

DisclaimerThe 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.

What are your 2013 New Year’s Resolutions? Join the conversation on the Coolibar Pinterest page!

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Expert Rx Parenting

Dr. George on eczema: a common childhood condition

Dr. Manju George - Pediatric Dermatology West Palm Beach

We asked Coolibar medical advisor Pediatric Dermatologist Dr. Manju Elizabeth George MD, FAAD of Pediatric Dermatology of the Palm Beaches to share some information with us on childhood eczema.  Her response is below.

“When we think about baby’s skin, most of us envision soft, smooth skin unaffected by the sun, chemicals and other harmful substances. New parents often come to me in a panic, because their child’s skin is covered in a strange rash or bumps. It’s important to be aware that there are a handful of very common pediatric skin conditions that can be easily treated.”

“One such skin condition is called atopic dermatitis (AD), which is more commonly referred to as eczema (pronounced “EK-zema). In fact, AD affects nearly 10% of all infants and children. Literature and data have taught us the eczema is skin barrier defect. The exact cause is not known, but AD results from a combination of family heredity and a variety of conditions in everyday life that triggers the red, itchy rash.”

typical mild eczema

“Atopic dermatitis can be challenging to treat and education is of upmost importance. I always take the time to make sure I am educating parents on good skin care. Children with eczema are shown to sleep less and miss more school. This condition does not just affect children but the parents as well.”

“If you are worried your child may have eczema there are a few signs to look for.”

  • Time of Onset – it usually occurs within baby’s 1st year up to age 5 and tends to reappear
  • Itching – AD is very itchy, much of the skin damage comes from uncontrollable scratching
  • Rash Location – in babies, it usually starts on the face, elbows and knees. It may spread to involve all areas of the body. Later in childhood the rash is typically found in the elbow and knee folds but can appear on hands, feet scalp or bend the hears.

“Treatment for AD includes emollients such as petrolatum based products or creams. Lotions are not rich enough and often have a net drying effect on AD skin. Topical steroids, called corticosteroids, are cortisone like medications used in creams or ointments prescribed by your doctor. These medications can be very helpful and can calm the inflamed skin. They come in a variety of potencies and must be used with caution and supervision as there are some side effects associated with them, including thinning of the skin.”

“Since many of the products and prescriptions used in atopic dermatitis patients can cause photosensitivity, the use of sun protection for children with atopic dermatitis is recommended. If you are concerned that your child has eczema or some other skin condition, make an appointment to see your dermatologist or health care professional. They can help assess the problem, put your mind at ease and get your little one on their way to healthy skin.”

Manju Elizabeth George MD, FAAD
Triple Board certified in Pediatrics, Dermatology and Pediatric Dermatology
Pediatric Dermatology of the Palm Beaches

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.

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