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.

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

ilumina Acupuncture&Chinese Medicine Patient Appriciation Program

ilumina Healing Sanctuary would like to say "Thank You"  to all of our current patients that have been referring their friends and family to our clinic. In these times of economic distress when a lot of  small businesses are having to close their doors, it is our patients that have made a huge impact in the financial health of ilumina.

So we want to say thanks and the best way we thought of to show our appreciation is to offer our current patients Free Acupuncture.  If you are a current patient and you refer a new patient for acupuncture to ilumina you will receive a free acupuncture visit. Please see the details below.*

The holiday season is starting which means stress levels tend to rise and cold & flu season takes off so it is a perfect time to nurture yourself and stay centered, healthy and energized.

Please remember that in addition to our women's health program we also treat: MenHeadache & MigrainesLow Back PainInsomniaCold & FluSinus Congestion & AllergiesHigh Blood PressureCFIDSCancer SupportArthritis & Pain..........just to name a few

We are also offering acupuncture facials blending the ancient traditions of Chinese medicine with our new ultra "clean" and natural skincare line, Healing Anthropology.

For more information please call us. Gift certificates available.

ilumina Healing Sanctuary7520 E Camelback RoadScottsdale, Arizona 85251(602)957-2602

*You must be a patient at ilumina Healing Sanctuary to  receive a free acupuncture treatment. To receive a free treatment refer a new acupuncture patient to ilumina and have them put your name in the "referred by" section of the initial intake form and come in for their treatment before the end of the year. We will record your free acupuncture session and it will carry a 30 day expiration date.

Natural Skincare at ilumina

Now FeaturingHEALING ANTHROPOLOGY: NATURAL SKIN CARE LINEWe are proud to announce the newest addition to our retail line here at ilumina.  Healing Anthropology is now exclusively available at our location.  This all natural skin care line offers wonderfully rich, effective products completely free of any toxins or chemical preservative.All Healing Anthropology products are blended in small batches by a clinical herbalist and ethnobotantist.  The use of solely natural and organic ingredients such as cold-pressed essential oils, healing herbal extracts and reparative antioxidants makes the products as luxurious as they are safe.  The Rejuvenating face care line combines anti-aging ingredients that have been used for thousands of years with modern natural nutriceuticals.  The Nourishing Body Cream and Soothing Calendula Salve contain wonderfully emollient ingredients and essential oils that heal even the driest, most damaged skin and are excellent for eczema and psoriasis.  The Nurturing Baby Line is especially delicate and calming with organic calendula, lavender and chamomile.The product line will be available at the clinic beginning October 20, 2010.  Look for the November 1, 2010 Newsletter for more in depth details on this exciting new line.