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Tag Archives : melanoma

Protect The Skin You’re In

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Beyond your mother nagging you to death to apply sunscreen before you brave the great outdoors, it’s nice to know that there have been many advancements in the field of skin cancer detection. The level of awareness for the disease has skyrocketed within the last generation alone. I still have visions, from my childhood, of my father sitting on a lounge chair, covered in Johnson & Johnson’s baby oil, holding a bright yellow sun visor inches from his face to maximize his exposure to the sun. Whereas today, I apply SPF 30 sunscreen before I slip into my bikini to ensure that I don’t miss an inch on my face or body. I also apply an SPF hair mask and wear sunglasses as both your scalp and eyes can burn and are not immune to Melanoma either. Ocular Melanoma can present as a freckle within the eye.

But let’s go beyond the sunscreen

It’s critical to visit a board certified dermatologist for an annual skin screening and not only if you fall into the high risk group of those with light skin, eyes and a family history of skin cancer. It’s crucial that everyone go. Often, those with dark skin and eyes assume they are immune from skin cancer and wind up with serious issues down the road due to a lack of screenings and late detection. But don’t go to see a derm only because 1 in 5 Americans will have skin cancer in their lifetime, nor because Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, causes one death every hour. And not only because it’s the most common cancer diagnosis in adults 25 – 29. And certainly not only because children that have experienced 5+ sun burns in their lives are 80% more likely to develop skin cancer, nor because each year there are more instances of skin cancer than lung, breast and colon cancer combined. You must go because this is an easy one to prevent.

A technological leap forward in skin screening

Until recently the protocol for conducting skin screenings was a manual, imperfect process. Even with the expertise of a highly-skilled, board certified dermatologist armed with the appropriate screening tools, a manual process left physicians piecing together notes from the year before with no standardized method for tracking changes in the skin over time.

Enter DermSpectra, a revolutionary new breakthrough in technology that has standardized the skin screening process with digital imaging capable of tracking even the most minute of changes in the skin over time. When it comes to skin cancer, picking up the smallest change in a mole or growth can mean the difference between life and death.

DermSpectra skin cancer awareness monthYour 10 minutes of fame

DermSpectra, or The Box, as Dr. Mitchell Kline, a board certified clinical dermatologist who specializes in Melanoma surgery and staging, lovingly calls it, uses high speed, professionally focused cameras and lenses, customized for the patient’s skin type, to capture a 360 degree view of the skin in its entirety. Its akin to E! Live’s 360 degree camera used on the red carpet at The Oscars to give us a virtually 3 dimensional view of the haute couture fashions that the the A list actors are dressed in. DermSpectra is the very first full body digital imaging system in the United States that captures standardized, high definition photography of the skin. This imaging tool enables physicians to objectively review and monitor critical skin changes over time.

How does it work?

You strip down to your underoos at the very least – if you feel at ease bearing more – even better! Melanoma can pop up in the least expected of areas, even in places where the sun don’t shine. Climb into the DermSpectra Imaging Unit and move through a series of 9 poses while dozens of cameras capture 36.7 MP high resolution photos of the body from a 360 degree vantage point. These images are instantly available and become a baseline for the long term evaluation and tracking of even the smallest changes in the skin over time. All the information is stored securely for the patient’s and physician’s eyes only.

DermSpectra can only be found in three locations in The United States – at Travel Beauty’s go to dermatologist, Dr. Mitchell Kline’s Park Avenue practice on the upper east side of Manhattan, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland and Oregon Health and Science University in Portland Oregon.

So what are you waiting for?

By: Alyssa Barrie Weiss, Twitter: @AlyssaBarrie

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Interview With Dermatologist Dr. Mitchell A. Kline

Dr. Mitchell A. Kline is a New York board-certified clinical dermatologist. His ongoing focuses include melanoma, neurophysiology and HIV/AIDS, and he has done significant research on non-invasive melanoma detection techniques, particularly reflectance confocal microscopy, which he uses at his office.

Dr. Kline specializes in melanoma treatment and staging, total body dermoscopy, and DermaSpectra total body digital imaging. While Dr. Kline is considered a go-to doctor in New York City for skin cancer concerns, his office also offers an array of cosmetic treatments including injectables, fillers, photo-facials, and chemical peels. He is one of the few doctors in New York to offer PRP facials (Vampire Facials), as well as PRP for hair regeneration.

Dr. Kline studied at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, training in Internal Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate Hospital following his graduation. He participated in research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Pediatric Neurosurgery and Neurophysiology, receiving a Young Investigator Award from the National Institutes of Health. Subsequent training in Dermatology was completed at Cornell, Rockefeller University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering. He was Chief Resident in Dermatology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering/Cornell University from 1989-1990. He is also on the Clinical Board of Melanoma Research Alliance and honorary of the year by Melanoma Research Foundation.

His work and research have been the subject of stories on CBS, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, and featured on the HBO documentary “Cancer: Urgency to Emergency.” We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Kline about his work.

You Are Well-known For Your Expertise In The Field of Skin Cancer. Was Skin Cancer Detection and Treatment Your Original Focus?

MK: Paths are complicated. Perhaps the best way to describe it is that melanoma detection requires a melding of mathematics, physics of optics and light, an understanding of visual perception, as in art, and an appreciation for humanistic parts of caring for people.

What Is Something You Wish Every Woman Knew About Melanoma and Melanoma Prevention?

MK: That putting sunscreen on face, ears, scalp and hands as a daily habit after showering will make an enormous difference in skin quality and cancer risk. The habit will continue for beach and the great exposures of daily use.

You Are One of the Few Physicians in New York to Offer the “Vampire Facial”. What Happens During this Treatment and What Are Results?

MK: The use of Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy or PRP, on both hair growth and the effects on facial collagen are well known as variable but often superb for decades to orthopedists who treat athletes and injuries. The vampire facial utilizes the same simple technique whereby platelet-rich plasma is separated from the other components of the patient’s blood and then injected into the skin or scalp. Over 5 successive treatments and in combination with topical agents of proven value can result in collagen and hyaluronidase acid stimulation, texture improvement and reduction of wrinkles. There is typically no or little down time and minimal discomfort.

If Women Want to Start Preventative Cosmetic Treatments in Their Early 30s, or Earlier, What Are the Best Treatments to Start With?

MK: Of course, moisturize photoprotectants and retinol, retinoids and antioxidants dramatically prevent signs of aging and damage that causes skin cancer.

Depending upon the ways in which they use their muscles of facial expression to form creases, have genetic propensity for aging, brown spots or wrinkles, we would tailor such treatments. Treatments can range from specific topical antioxidant creams and gels scientifically backed with known benefits over years, light IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) to remove veins, red areas and brown spots, to delicate Botox and fillers that block progression of future lines without creating any change at in the beautiful natural contours and shapes of the face.

Underappreciated is the benefit of rest, diet and supplements that truly affect the way the skin ages and damages. The science is astounding and soon will become part of prevention rather than treating problems that develop.

Any New and Exciting Developments and Products on the Horizon for 2016-2017?

MK: A giant step is the development of a cream that will dissolve brown spots known as keratoses. It is the most common thing we see on people’s skins at every age especially later.

Huge changes are at hand with radio frequency tools, topical anti-aging agents, some that will not require any needles or invasive treatments.

By: Claire McCormack, Twitter & Instagram

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