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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.

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Inside Coolibar

Coolibar Community Outreach

As we swing into fall we would like to take a moment to reflect on the previous year and acknowledge those who are educating our communities on skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment. During 2011 Coolibar was able to support both individuals and organizations through the donation of UPF 50+ Coolibar clothing, hats and swimwear. Read on for a list of those inspirational groups and what they do.

Organizations Coolibar Supports (listed alphabetically)

AIM at Melanoma
AIM is committed to melanoma research, education, awareness, and legislation.  They offer a melanoma community for patients, caregivers, and advocates; and collaborate with top melanoma researchers to find the CURE!

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American Academy of Dermatology
The AAD is the most representative of all dermatologic associations. The Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails.

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Andy Caress Melanoma Foundation
The mission of The Andy Caress Melanoma Foundation is to alert the world of the seriousness of melanoma skin cancer and the dangers of the sun’s harmful rays, and to educate all human beings that melanoma does not just affect the fair skinned, rather all colors and races.

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Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation
The CMPF delivers a comprehensive sun safety and melanoma awareness program, free of charge, to school children in Massachusetts with the goal of expanding nationally. The CMPF was created to aggressively focus attention on the need to teach “prevention” or “sun protection” to children, and their caregivers.

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Dermatology Nurses’ Association
The DNA is a professional nursing organization comprised of a diverse group of individuals committed to quality care through sharing knowledge and expertise. The DNA promotes excellence in dermatologic care.

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Melanoma Research Foundation
The Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) is the largest independent, national organization devoted to melanoma in the United States. Committed to the support of medical research in finding effective treatments and eventually a cure for melanoma, the MRF also educates patients and physicians about prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of melanoma. ________________________________________________________________________________

Skin Cancer Foundation
The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, detection and treatment of skin cancer.  The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research.

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Stay Out of the Sun Foundation
The Stay Out of the Sun Foundation was established in 2006 by melanoma survivor Tim Burriss to promote awareness of the dangers of sun exposure and to support melanoma research and education. Based out of Rochester, MN the annual race (which is held in the evening) benefits Melanoma Research at the Mayo Clinic where researches are committed to finding a cure.

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SunAWARE
SunAWARE is an educational organization dedicated to the prevention and detection of skin cancer. Its website provides advice and free educational materials and resources for use by educators, advocates and the general public.

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Educate Others School sun safety SunAWARE

SunAWARE School Curriculum

The Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation (CMPF) began delivering skin cancer prevention education to school children from kindergarten through grade 12 in 2003.  Its founder Maryellen Maguire-Eisen believed that children needed to have a better understanding of UV intensity and sun protection.  In her career as an oncology/dermatology nurse practitioner, she witnessed an alarming change in the profile of the typical skin cancer patient.  Melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, was striking younger people and the numbers for all incidences of skin cancer were rising steadily.  The real tragedy is that a vast number of skin cancers are preventable and easily treated when detected early. 

Digital photography is utilized to create specialized individual student photographs that highlight sun damage.

In the eight years since its inception, the CMPF has enrolled over 100 participating schools in Massachusetts.  Its team of health educators has directly taught the SunAWARE Curriculum to over 250,000 school children.  Using a skin analyzer, SunAWARE educators show upper level students what their skin looks like beneath the visible surface.  “Seeing their accumulated skin damage is a powerful motivator for using sun protection measures while they are still young,” says Ms. Maguire-Eisen.

The SunAWARE curriculum has four major strands: Understanding Ultraviolet Radiation, Understanding Skin Sensitivity, Proven Methods of Sun Protection, and Skin Cancer Recognition and the SunAWARE Action Steps (seen below).  There are four instructional levels: K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.  The curriculum at each level is aligned with the Massachusetts Frameworks in Health and Science.

The SunAWARE curriculum for all four levels is available for download and use free of charge from CMPF’s website, http://www.melanomaprevention.org/.  It is located on the Resource Center page under the SunAWARE program button.  Ms. Maguire-Eisen encourages parents, teachers, health educators, school administrators, community health and wellness personnel to visit the website and use the SunAWARE Program. “Our goal is to make the SunAWARE Program available to everyone as an international resource for sun safety education,” says Ms. Maguire-Eisen.  “Our ultimate goal is to protect all children from the senseless devastation of skin cancer.”  Be Safe.  Be SunAWARE.

5 Action Steps of SunAWARE
A
void 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.

Maryellen Teaching SunAWARE Curriculum

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SunAWARE

SunAWARE Family Fun Day Fundraising Event

Last Saturday (8/27/11) my family and I attended the first ever SunAWARE fundraising event at Panino’s Sports Bar in North Oaks, MN. I wasn’t sure what to expect, it was after all, the first SunAWARE event.

We were met with welcoming smiles, pizza and cake. Who could ask for more? Our first stop was the silent auction table so I could get my “shop on.” It’s easy to justify this type of shopping when the funds are going to support a good cause, plus there was an amazing assortment of items to bid on, thanks to the generosity of many local businesses.

I anxiously awaited my turn to speak with Dermatologist Dr. Jaime Davis of Uptown Dermatology as she was graciously providing free skin checks. I had flashbacks of me tanning on rooftops with olive skin girlfriends who applied only Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil – Ouch! I perspired as I watched her examine the moles of a young gentleman ahead of me. Finally, it was my turn and I had to admit that I had never had a skin check before. Dr. Davis was shocked seeing as I have such fair skin. I’ll spare the details, but let’s just say I will never leave the house without sunscreen on my face, neck and decollage and vow to diligently protect the skin of my son, my husband and myself with clothing, hats and sunscreen.

When my visit with Dr. Davis was over, I could relax and enjoy the party. A great time was had by all and I learned it’s never too late to be SunAWARE! I even managed to win a couple of my auction bids.

Jennifer Annett
Coolibar Employee

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Wellness Warriors

Providing Sun Protection to Sailors

Brenda Scannell

Sun protection is important for everyone, but especially for sailors who spend most of their days in or by water. The FDA advises using extra caution near water and sand because these surfaces reflect damaging UV rays and increase your chance of sunburn, premature aging of the skin and skin cancer.

Brenda Scannell is a huge fan of sailing and recently took over the Q-Mart sailing apparel and gear store at the Quissett Yacht Club (QYC) located in Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod. She has also made it a priority to provide all of the 2011 QYC summer sailing instructors, the role models within the club, with Coolibar sun protective swim shirts and sun hats.

So why provide these instructors with sun protective clothing? Turns out Brenda knows a thing or two about sailing and why it’s a brilliant idea to forgo a bikini for a UPF 50+ swim shirt.

Brenda lived the first ten summers of her life on a wooden boat and then came to Quissett in 1978. For ten years, she raced Herreshoffs, a historically significant type of sailboat. Then, Brenda was forced to take a break from sailing when she was diagnosed with skin cancer. “I’ve had 18 Squamous Cell Cancer surgeries below my knees. My regular dermatologist at Mass General Hospital said, ‘Be sure to tell your group that any one of them could have killed you!'”

After this life altering experience, Brenda, her sons, and her husband decided to ‘pay it forward’ as they know sun protection is key in preventing skin cancer. “In my name, and as a gesture to me, my sons and husband decided to fund Sun Protective Clothing for the 2011 sailing instructors,” says Brenda. Both of her sons Matt, the lead singer, writer and guitarist of the band Vertical Horizon, and Ryan, a Reconstructive Surgeon in Otolaryngology, Ear, Nose, and Throat, went through the QYC sailing program. Brenda says, “Ryan deals with so much skin cancer. He has seen terrible things! Regarding the sailing instructors and sun protection he said, ‘Mom, whatever it takes, make it happen!'”

QYC Sailing Instructors
QYC sailing instructors sporting their Coolibar hats and rash guards

Brenda asked each QYC sailing instructor go to the Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing website, which was recommended to Brenda by her Mohs Surgeon, to choose a UPF 50+ Swim Shirt and Hat to have red QYC Logos embroidered on so they could wear protective swim shirts during their sailing classes. Brenda also told the instructors that she is now bringing Sun Protective Clothing to the Q-Mart for the sailing class students to purchase. “You [the instructors] are the role models. If the students see you wearing these clothes, they will follow suit as YOU ARE THEIR HEROES!”

Sun protective clothing has been worn at the club over the past few years, but now, sailors are taking sun protection more seriously. “Our lives at Quissett are spent outdoors all of the time on the boats and the beach,” says Brenda. “All are truly positive about the sun protective clothing that is being provided. I feel that the sailing instructors might have some resistance  to  the protective clothing in very hot weather, but the answer to that is to wet the shirt and the sailor is immediately cooled down. I know we’ll continue to promote sun safety at the QYC in the future.”

women's swim shirt in navy
Coolibar Women's Swim Shirt
men's swim shirt in navy
Coolibar Men's Swim Shirt
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Expert Rx

Discuss Sun Protection with Your Dermatologist

Edmund Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Attention Dermatology Patients!

You may have seen your local dermatologist to discuss any number of skin conditions.  Or perhaps, you’re planning your first visit to a dermatologist soon.  Either way, our medical expert Dr. Lee, encourages you to address UV protection at your next appointment.

Board certified Dermatologist Edmund Lee, M.D., Ph.D. of Mount Sinai North Shore Medical Group has been practicing dermatology for 11 years outside of New York City and works with a large number of patients that have skin conditions caused or affected by the sun. According to Dr. Lee everyone should protect their skin from UV, and he eagerly shares his experience with us.

The patients I see on a daily basis live a very active outdoor lifestyle. Golfing, boating, tennis, soccer, among many other activities, are part of daily life here.  As a result, sun damage and its consequences are a large part of my Dermatology practice.  My advice to my patients includes a discussion about the use of sunscreens and also UPF clothing to help protect them when they are outdoors.

Sunscreens are very useful, but lately have come under some scrutiny for safety.  While I have no problem recommending a variety of SPF products, I do have some patients who are wary of any SPF products.

On the other hand, I always recommend UPF clothing. I tell my patients that UV rays can penetrate clothing which they find hard to believe.  So, I have a photo of a patient who indeed got burnt right through his tee shirt last summer!  A picture is worth a thousand words.

To get the UPF word out in my community, I’ve held a Sun Protection Fair in my office for the past 4 years on a weekend in May or June.  No patients are scheduled that day.  Instead, I have the halls filled with UPF clothing and hats from large and small companies.  Since the first Fair, several of my patients have become advocates for UPF clothes.  The sailors and golfers are the best friends I have in persuading others to try these clothes.

I keep UPF clothes after the fairs to continue to demonstrate UPF clothing all summer long—including apparel from Coolibar!

Take it from our expert and discuss UV protection with your dermatologist.  They will have insight into appropriate recommendations for your individual sun protection needs.   Your skin is your largest and most visible organ, protect it for a long and healthy life.

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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Events

Once Again, “The Big C” Puts Skin Cancer in the Spotlight

It’s back, a new season of “The Big C”, starting on Monday, June 27, 2011 on Showtime.

“The Big C” tells the story of Cathy Jamison, played by Laura Linney (pictured to the left), a wife and mother living in suburbia recently diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma (a deadly form of skin cancer). Her cancer forces her to shake up her life and find hope and humor in spite of her grim situation.

The show may not always accurately portray the life of someone battling skin cancer; however, it brings the topic to the center stage without scaring off viewers due to its morose background. It’s a comedy, but does not neglect that there is a serious story behind the series. The Skin Cancer Foundation has praised the show’s creator Darlene Hunt and the cast for increasing awareness for melanoma, which when found early, can be treatable. Melanoma is also preventable in some cases by using sun protection, as about 65 percent of melanoma cancers can be attributed to UV radiation according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.

An Overview of “The Big C”

Cathy is a high school teacher who, at the start of the series, has been diagnosed with melanoma. Reluctant to burden those closest to her, she keeps it a secret for months, but later eventually reveals she has cancer to her husband and son. Her behavior takes a major turn from her reserved lifestyle as she makes reckless choices in the face of her fatality. At the end of the first season, she decides to undergo interleukin-2 (IL-2), a treatment option for those with Stage IV melanoma. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, about 10-16 percent of carefully selected patients on IL-2 regimens respond to the drug, and about 60 percent of those patients’ lives are significantly extended. The second season picks up from here.

Have you watched “The Big C”, and if so, what do you think? Is this a good topic for a television show? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or by commenting below.

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Apply Sunscreen Expert Rx Inside Coolibar Parenting Sun Protection Clothing Sunscreens and Lotions Videos

FDA Updates Sunscreen Regulations

Sunscreen Label Changes

In case you haven’t heard, on Tuesday, June 14, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced new guidelines that sunscreen manufacturers will be required to follow for sunscreen labeling in order to help protect consumers from skin damage caused by sun exposure. Beginning summer 2012 the new rules dictate that in order to earn a “broad spectrum” designation, sunscreens must protect from both UVB rays, which cause burning, and UVA rays, which cause wrinkles.

 

New FDA Sunscreen Guidelines

Here’s what you need to know about the new Broad-Spectrum labeling.  An example of the new FDA label is pictured above.

 

  • Established standards have been set for testing the effectiveness of over-the-counter sunscreens and will be labeled as “Broad- Spectrum” according to the test results.
  • A certain percentage of a broad-spectrum product’s total protection is against UVA.
  • If a sunscreen is labeled as both “Broad-Spectrum” and “SPF 15” (or higher) it can claim to protect against sunburn and if used as directed, can help reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.
  • The familiar “Drug Facts” box found on most OTC drugs will be required.
  • Any sunscreen not labeled as “Broad-Spectrum” or that has an SPF value between 2 and 14, has only been shown to help prevent sunburn.
  • Sunscreens that are not broad-spectrum or that are broad-spectrum with SPF values less than 15 will be labeled with a warning that reads: “Skin Cancer/Skin Aging Alert:  Spending time in the sun increases your risk of skin cancer and early skin aging. This product has been shown only to help prevent sunburn, not skin cancer or early skin aging.”
  • No “waterproof,” “sweatproof” or “sunblock” labeling.  Water resistant labeling is allowed with SPF effectiveness times of only 40 or 80 minutes.
  • Sunscreens cannot claim protection immediately upon application (instant protection) or for more than 2 hours without reapplication, unless they submit data and get approval from FDA.
  • The FDA is proposing that the maximum SPF value on labeling is SPF 50+.
  • The agency currently considers wipes, towelettes, powders, body washes, and shampoo not eligible for the monograph. Therefore, they cannot be marketed without an approved application.


Guaranteed Broad-Spectrum Sunscreens from Coolibar

Hooray to the FDA for finally making these necessary improvements to sunscreen labeling.  If, however, the new guidelines seem overwhelmingly complex, let Coolibar take the guesswork out of your next sunscreen purchase.  Our merchandising team has researched and tested the best sunscreens on the market.  As always, we offer only broad-spectrum sunscreens with at least an SPF of 30 or higher.  You can trust that any sunscreen you purchase from Coolibar will provide both UVA and UVB protection; you have our word on it.  And when combined with a hat, Coolibar clothing and sunglasses, you’re equipped for all day, worry-free UV protection.


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Inside Coolibar Sun Protection Clothing SunAWARE

Make Sure Dad is Covered This Father’s Day

If dad loves to spend time fishing, golfing, biking or participating in any outdoor activity, you may want to consider giving him the gift of sun protective clothing this Father’s Day. It not only will keep him cooler and more comfortable than if his skin was directly exposed to the sun,  but it will protect him from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Perry Robins, MD, President of The Skin Cancer Foundation says, “The sun’s UV radiation is associated with about 90 percent of all skin cancers.” Men over age 40 spend the most time outdoors and have the highest annual exposure to ultraviolet radiation. And the majority of people diagnosed with melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, are white men over age 50, states the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Middle-aged and older men often don’t perform self skin exams or regularly visit a dermatologist, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. Thus, they are the least likely individuals to detect melanoma in its early stages. Encouragement from family members is essential when convincing Dad of the importance of sun protection and early detection. Father’s Day is the perfect time to give your dad the gift of sun protection to show him how much you care. 

We asked our Dads at Coolibar what their favorite sun protection item is so we could pass their recommendations onto you. They gave the following sun protective shirts and hats two thumbs up!

Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing

Swim Shirt

“When coming out of the water on a hot day the shirt keeps me cool even in the sun. Plus it reduces the need for sunscreen.” –Lu

Convertible Polo

“The Convertible Golf Polo is the lightest and softest polo shirt I have ever owned. It stretches when I move and keeps me as cool as most T-shirts.” –Ben

Travel Shirt

“It has great light fabric and nice big pockets for passport and other documents. For my photo shoots in sunny FL & CA, I packed 5 travel shirts. I use the triple collar all the time to protect my neck.”  –Lu

Long-Sleeve Polo

“I have one of these with me in my suitcase at all times.  It’s very comfortable, very protective, and is great for traveling.”  –John

Coolibar Sun Hats

Featherweight Bucket Hat

“It is extremely lightweight and packable so I carry one with me in my bag all of the time.  It’s very protective with a nice curved brim and a navy under-brim to absorb reflected UV.  And if it gets windy I can use the draw string to make sure it doesn’t blow off, normally I tuck this up into the hat.”         –John

Packable Fedora

“This is a great value, classic style, and allows you to wear a fedora without worrying about crushing it when you take it off. Especially great on a winter vacation to the south – you can pack it way so you don’t look out of place in the Minneapolis, MN airport in the middle of February wearing a straw hat!” –Michael  

Shapeable Outback Hat

“It’s perfect for landscaping work, and is extremely durable and rugged.” – Alan

Don’t forget Sunscreen and Sunglasses for Dad too!

Have a SunAWARE Father’s Day!

–Coolibar

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Expert Rx Routinely Check Skin SunAWARE Videos

The Importance of SKIN CHECKS (Video)

Hi, this is Dr. Davis for Coolibar Sun Protective Clothing.

As a dermatologist, I wanted to outline why it is important to get SKIN CHECKS. The advice varies per individual. It really depends on what kind of skin you have. If you are exceptionally fair vs. exceptionally dark there aren’t straight across the board recommendations for what you need. However, at least once in your life, preferably not too far past your 20’s get a good Full Body Skin Check so at least we can map out areas that are potentially warranting a little closer observation versus things we know will never be trouble. 

For people who’ve had skin cancer we say once a year for sure, timed with your general physical. For people who’ve never had a skin cancer, maybe once every couple of years or as something crops up. If you have something that is not healing or bleeding or changing color or growing or something that generally gets your attention even if it just itches. Bring that to our attention or at least bring it to the attention of your primary care doctor so that they can help determine if you need a dermatologist to see that (spot). Skin cancer can look so different in different people and even the same skin cancer looks different and it takes a dermatologist sometimes to really be able to tell you if that lesion is of concern or not. 

The guidelines are the ABCD’s of Melanoma. We’ve all heard of those. So if something is asymmetric, or the boarder is irregular, or the color is of concern to you, an espresso brown, or the diameter is simply growing. And certainly if it were bleeding or itching or otherwise bothering you come and have us give it a check. 

If those things are not happening schedule that baseline exam so we can take one good look over and then we can plan our skin care from there. 

Be skin safe, be SunAWARE! 

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.

Skin Check
ABCD's of Melanoma
 
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