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What to Look for in Moles to Detect Melanoma

detecting melanoma in moles

Ah, summer.  The season many of us look forward to the most throughout the year.  Many of us relate this time of year to relaxing family time at the cottage, packing up the kids and heading to the beach, or a fun day at the zoo.  Along with your snacks and water in your backpacks, be especially sure to pack your sunscreen!

Apply & Reapply Often!

Sunscreen is immensely important to apply at least 30 minutes before heading outdoors, at any time of the year, but especially in the hot months of summer. And also important is to reapply it often throughout the day.  We need to protect our largest organ, our skin.  As we know, melanin is the pigment responsible for our skin colour.  And without protection, dangerous conditions can occur over time, primarily, a disease known as melanoma.

Melanoma Can Occur from Over Exposure to UV Light

Melanoma is the rarest and most lethal type of skin cancer. Fortunately with early detection, it has a very high cure rate. Melanoma is a lump on the skin that often looks like a common mole. It can occur when we are over exposed to the sun’s UV (ultraviolet) light or the use of tanning beds.  Other risk factors that contribute to the development of melanoma are having a large amount of moles on your body, having fair skin or a family history of this disease.

The following are characteristics to look for in moles that may or may not be melanoma:

Asymmetry

When you look at the mole, imagine a line traced down the centre of it.  If both halves look similar, odds are the mole is healthy.  However, if both sides look different, you may want to get the mole checked out.

Border

A mole that has a rather smooth outline usually isn’t a problem, whereas if the borders are uneven or even jagged, it may be a melanoma.

Colour

Generally moles tend to be brown, some lighter and some darker. This can be fooling as melanoma can appear in different colours.  A mole that looks black, blue, red or even white can present itself as a melanoma.

Size

A melanoma usually are larger than a healthy mole.  A regular mole tends to be the size of an eraser on a pencil, or smaller whereas a melanoma would be larger than that.

It is essential to know your body and its changes.  If you notice a mole or a growth that you are unsure of, be sure to make an appointment with your family doctor or dermatologist.  In the meantime, apply that SPF every day and often, and enjoy the beautiful summer weather!

We welcome your questions and feedback. You can connect with us via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.  Join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Til next time,

Jana

 

The information presented in this article is not to be taken as medical advice. Please consult with your health care provider.

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Simple Tips for Healthy Luscious Lips

healthy luscious lips

healthy luscious lips

Taking care of your lips properly is an important part of oral health. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want beautiful lips? You don’t need expensive products or cosmetics. You just need a few minutes and some good tips on how to take proper care of them. Your lips will thank you.

Here are a few suggestions to try to help in giving you a pretty pucker!

Hydration and Nutrition

Lips are like a sponge. When they are dehydrated, they shrink and dry out, but when they absorb water they will plump up.  Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water daily as it helps to keep your skin and lips hydrated.  A healthy diet rich in foods containing vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin B and D) can also aid in skin and lip renewal.  Foods like fish, yogurt and green vegetables contain loads of these vitamins. So drink and eat up!

No Licking or Picking

Digestive enzymes in your saliva can break down the protective barrier on your lips.  The skin on your lips is thin and contains no oil glands to keep them moist.  So when you lick your lips, they become dry and in some cases very painful and cracked.  So avoid licking and picking your lips.

Exfoliation

Just like with the rest of our skin, our lips need exfoliation too.  Lip exfoliators remove dead skin, similar to ones we would use on our face and help promote new skin cells to form.  Rub the mixture in a circular motion all over your lips and rinse off.  Use a lip exfoliator once weekly.

Moisturize and Protect

Our lips do not contain melanin, the pigment which acts as a shield when exposed to the sun.  This makes them more susceptible to sun damage.  The best thing to apply is a lip moisturizer that contains SPF.  Apply your lip moisturizer when your lips are feeling dry and chapped for some relief whether you are indoors or out. This can also help prevent sun damage.

Combine Your Favourite Lipstick with a Hydrating Lip Moisturizer Underneath

Many of us wear long lasting or matte lipstick.  These types of lipsticks can be excessively drying to our lips.  If your favourite shade is one of these types of lipsticks, you’re best to apply a hydrating lip moisturizer beneath it.  But if you can, opt for a lipstick containing vitamin E or glycerin as they will aid in hydration and keep lips soft.

There is nothing you can do to hide dry, sore looking lips.  You need to take proper care of them and hopefully these tips are helpful.  Healthy lips will help you to smile with confidence!

We welcome your questions and feedback. You can connect with us via email or telephone, leave a comment right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.  Join in the conversation on Facebook too!

Here’s to summer ready lips!

Jana

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DIY Facial Masks for Common Winter Skin Conditions

natural diy facial masks

natural diy facial masks

Did you realize that no matter whether you are indoors or outdoors, the environment we’re in always affects or skin?  And did you know there are some great DIY face masks to combat winter skin conditions?

Some prefer to face the winter weather head on skiing, skating, tobogganing or enjoying other outdoor activities. While others stay indoors, in the warmth of our cozy homes drinking a soothing hot beverage like tea or cocoa. Read more

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Avoid Dry Lips this Winter: Tips for Healthy, Smooth Lips!

25764314 - beautiful perfect lips sexy mouth closeup over white

Dry, chapped lips are so common in this cold, harsh weather.  Not only can they look awful but they feel uncomfortable too.

We may be our own worst enemy in this regard by constantly licking our lips, not wearing lip balm or even just not drinking enough water. There are other factors that can trigger chapped lips as well, such as vitamin deficiencies (Vitamin B2, B6), or using long-wearing lipsticks or lip plumpers.

If any of these reasons apply to you, you need to start taking special care of your lips.

Here are a few ways to help heal your sore and scaly pucker. Read more