Skin Cancer Awareness

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We in AZ are probably more attuned to issues related to sun damage and skin cancer than our friends in Northern climes, but I am frequently amazed how few people use a daily SPF and reapply as recommended to truly prevent pre-cancerous changes.  People usually are good about applying and reapplying when on vacation at the beach or the lake, but it the daily ultraviolet exposure driving to work, walking the dog or working in the garden that adds up over time and causes skin cell damage that can cause discoloration, wrinkles and skin cancer. Over 5 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in America, with nearly 90,000 of those attributed to melanoma, which is the cause of almost 10,000 deaths.  

Skin cancer can be present anywhere on the body and with little to no signs or symptoms, however, most can be caught through the simple process of monthly self-check and annual dermatologist skin exams. Early detection, like in all health concerns, is key, and knowing your body’s specific moles and freckles and other marks is the best way to notice a new lesion or change in a previously existing one.

The “ABCDE Rule” of skin cancer detection is simple to follow when conducting monthly self-check skin exams and should be a sign to see a dermatologist:

ASYMMETRY: if one half is different from the other half of a lesion
BORDER: irregular edges to a mole
COLOR: any multicolored lesion or growth that contains blue, pink, white, red or black shades
DIAMETER: a growth that is larger than ¼ inch across or increases in size
EVOLUTION: any changes to a pre-existing mole

In terms of prevention, The American Cancer Society recommends people “SLIP on a shirt, SLOP on sunscreen, SLAP on a hat, and WRAP on sunglasses” to prevent the negative effects of UVA and UVB radiation from the sun.  Understandable, people worry about the chemicals found in sunscreens, but there are ways to find which sunscreens are the safest by researching the Environmental Working Groups website and/or app http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/

Even with this information, many are confused by the array of sunscreens on the market.  Physical sunscreen formulations are made up of minerals like titanium and zinc oxide that create a barrier on the skin, blocking & reflecting both UVA rays (cause wrinkles & cancer) and UVB rays (responsible for sunburn). Mineral sunscreens are effective once applied, unlike chemical sunscreens which require approximately 30 minutes to become effective.  In addition, chemical sunscreens not only are less effective than physical forms, but have been found to accumulate in the body and have even been linked hormonal disruption and breast cancer. Chemical sunscreens may also oxidize in the sun, causing potential free radial formation which could increase the risk for premature aging and skin cancer.  Some companies have added minerals to their chemical sunscreens as a marketing tool, but the risks of the chemicals stay the same.

I personally have been very impressed with TiZo, a mineral sunscreen that is free of oils, parabens, fragrances and dyes and unlike the pallor imparted by many similar products in the past, these blend well and are very comfortable to wear.  Since these products are only available through licensed professionals, mention it to your ilumina practitioner and we can get some ordered for you.

Why is water so important to the body?

Water is important to many functions of the body. We can survive three weeks without food, but only three days without water. There are some factors when figuring out how much water we should consume, like our activity level, age, and the consumption of water-rich veggies and fruit. On average we should consume 90oz of water on a daily basis. Increasing your water consumption can help with anxiety, constipation, and more.

1. Clearer Skin - Certain toxins in the body can cause inflammation to the skin, which results in clogged pores and acne. Water helps flush the system and reduce blemishes.

2. Fluid Balance - Roughly 60 percent of the body is made of water. Drinking enough H2O maintains the body’s fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients in the body, regulate body temperature and improves digestion.

3. Kidney Function - Our kidneys process 200 quarts of blood daily, sifting out waste and transporting urine to the bladder. Kidneys need hydration to clear away what we don’t need in the body.

4. Fatigue Fighter - Water can help fight the afternoon energy drops. One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is fatigue.


Bottoms Up!!

Begin by drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up. Get in the habit of keeping a water bottle on hand at all times. If the taste begins to become a drag, shake it up with a squeeze of citrus, cucumbers or mint.

 

Your skin reflects the stresses in our life...or not?

March Theme at ilumina: Skin Care
Each month we will have a different theme to do with your wellness. This way we can share some important education on that subject along with some inspiration and specials.
This month is all about our skin and the importance of taking good care of it. We all know that our skin often reflects the stress from our lives, but with the right treatments and products it doesn't have to. We found two great articles that share great information about Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, which is a new service we now offer. This service has often been named "the holistic alternative to injections". This article shares the benefits of the service, and this article from The New York Times explains how it has become heavily in demand.We invite you to completely relax and enjoy the luxury of this 60 minute acupuncture facial featuring all natural skin care products by Healing Anthropology.-Softens fine lines-Rejuvenates dry skin-Leaves skin glowing & soft-Restores CollagenSpecials: March Only$25 your first facial$625 for a series of 5 facials and get the 6th for free!
(plus you take home a sample bag of all the products!)Call: 602-957-2602 to book your appointment today.

Eat To Look Young: Prevent Wrinkles with these 9 Foods!

Here is another informative Blog post from Healing Anthropology, our favorite natural skincare product line that we carry at ilumina. We can’t stop time, and nowhere is this more visibly discerning than on the surface of our largest organ, the skin. Why does the skin appear to age so rapidly? As we grow older, skin cells regenerate more slowly, making if difficult for the epidermis to repair itself. We also produce fewer hormones with age, which thinks skin, leaving it more vulnerable to damage. What more, oil-producing glands become less active, resulting in dry, fragile tissue. These effects are exacerbated by too much sun exposure, which accelerates the visible signs of aging, including discoloration, sagging and fine lines.All that aside, there is still good news. You can grow old gracefully while still be proactive in keeping your skin as healthy and happy as possible. This does not include fighting aging with chemical creams, Botox, and other unnatural methods. What is does include is exercising, healthy skincare and eating right. Eating right is even more important then previously presumed. New research shows that a diet rich is certain nutrients can prevent and reverse skin aging more effectively than expensive treatments.Stock up on the following foods to help your skin stay smooth, supple and young, no matter what your age.Kiwis-super high in Vitamin C which is crucial in the production of collagen (eat 2 a day)Berries-excellent source of ellagic acid, an antioxidant that helps protect skin against sun damage and reduces inflammation. Also rich in polyphenols which protect skin from free-radical damage (eat 1/2 cup per day)White Tea-blocks enzymes that break down collagen and elastin (drink at least 2 cups a day)Flaxseed Oil-contains Omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids which decrease skin roughness and scaling as well as build membranes around cells which helps keep skin moist and supple. (1-2 Tbsp a day on cold foods or used after cooking, heat kills its goodness)Spinach-very high in vitamin K inhibits calcification. Calcification limits skin elasticity which leads to wrinkles. (eat 1 cup at least 3 times per week)Dark Chocolate-rich in flavonols that protect skin from harmful UV light. (eat 1 oz a day)Tomatoes-amazing source of lycopene which stabilizes a volatile form of molecular oxygen that causes the skin to age. (aim to eat 1 cup cooked tomatoes with olive oil several times per week)Carrots-rich in vitamin A which serves as a barrier, providing a healthy surface lining to prevent bacteria from entering the body. (eath 1-2 cups carrots or other bright-orange foods every week)Avocados-rich in vitamin E and lutein which reduce harmful effects of the sun and help combat collagen breakdown. (eat 1-2 per week).ilumina Healing SanctuaryScottsdale, Arizona