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"Skin with Altitude" is a newsletter brought to you by Vail | Aspen | Breckenridge | Glenwood Dermatology. Our practice continues to grow by referrals from our loyal patients.Thank you for your trust in us. We would love to hear your questions, comments, and concerns - please email them to Follow us on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter  
In This Issue
Skin Cancer Awareness
Skin cancer, the abnormal growth of skin cells, most often develops on skin exposed to the sun. But this common form of cancer can also occur on areas of your skin not ordinarily exposed to sunlight.

There are three major types of skin cancer - basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

You can reduce your risk of skin cancer by limiting or avoiding exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Checking your skin for suspicious changes can help detect skin cancer at its earliest stages. Early detection of skin cancer gives you the greatest chance for successful skin cancer treatment.

Common Types Of Skin Cancer
Basal Cell  
  • A pearly white, skin-colored or pink bump.
  • A brown, black or blue lesion.
  • A flat, scaly, reddish patch.
  • A white, waxy, scar-like lesion
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Firm, red nodule
  • A flat sore with a scaly crust.
  • A new sore or raised area on an old scar.
  • A rough, scaly patch
  • A red, raised patch or wart-like sore. 
  • A change in an existing mole.
  • The development of a new pigmented spot.
  • Can also be skin-colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white.
Diagnosis of Skin Cancer

To diagnose skin cancer, the doctor will review all symptoms, and check the skin for any unusual growths or abnormal patches of skin. If skin cancer is suspected, a biopsy is performed on the growth or area of skin in question. Once the results of the biopsy are reviewed, the type of cancer can be determined, and a treatment plan created.

Treatment of Skin Cancer
Treatment for skin cancer depends on the type, size and location of the tumor. Most options include the removal of the entire growth, and are effective forms of treatment. Removal procedures are usually simple, requiring only a local anesthetic in an outpatient setting. Some of the treatment options for skin cancer include the following:
Those who experience any skin changes, or have changes to existing moles or birthmarks, should schedule an appointment as soon as possible; early detection is key in successfully treating skin cancer.
It's Melanoma Monday
Melanoma Monday is aimed to raise awareness about detection and prevention of melanoma. Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer in which cells within moles on the skin become malignant (cancerous) and can spread rapidly to other areas of the body if left untreated. 

Of the different types of skin cancer, melanoma is the most deadly and accounts for about 75% of all skin cancer fatalities. 

Melanomas can also develop in other areas of the body such as the eye, underneath nails and inside the nose and mouth. Whilst melanoma is thought to be a less common form of skin cancer, in recent years the incidence of melanoma seems to be increasing.

What Causes Melanoma 
Research suggests that approximately 90% of melanoma cases can be linked to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from natural or artificial sources, such as sunlight and indoor tanning beds. However, since melanoma can occur throughout the body, even areas that are never exposed to the sun, UV light cannot be solely responsible for a diagnosis.  
Current research points to a combination of family history, genetics and environmental factors that are also to blame. Taking steps to prevent melanoma is the best way to protect yourself and your skin. It is important to learn about all of the risk factors.  
Risk Factors for Melanoma
  • Fair skin. Having less pigment (melanin) in your skin means you have less protection from damaging UV radiation. If you have blond or red hair, light-colored eyes, and freckle or sunburn easily, you're more likely to develop melanoma than is someone with a darker complexion. But melanoma can develop in people with darker complexions.
  • A history of sunburn. One or more severe, blistering sunburns can increase your risk of melanoma.
  • Excessive ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. Exposure to UV radiation, which comes from the sun and from tanning beds, can increase the risk of skin cancer, including melanoma.
  • Living at a higher elevation.  Living at a high elevation, you're exposed to more UV radiation.
  • Having many moles or unusual moles. Having more than 50 ordinary moles on your body indicates an increased risk of melanoma.
  • A family history of melanoma. If a close relative - such as a parent, child or sibling - has had melanoma, you have a greater chance of developing a melanoma, too.
  • Weakened immune system. People with weakened immune systems, such as those who've undergone organ transplants, have an increased risk of skin cancer.
Guide To Melanoma Detection

You can reduce your risk of melanoma and other types of skin cancer if you:
  • Avoid the sun during the middle of the day. For many people in North America, the sun's rays are strongest between about 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Schedule outdoor activities for other times of the day, even in winter or when the sky is cloudy. You absorb UV radiation year-round, and clouds offer little protection from damaging rays.
  • Wear sunscreen year-round. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours - or more often if you're swimming or perspiring.
  • Wear protective clothing. Cover your skin with dark, tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs and a broad-brimmed hat, which provides more protection than a baseball cap or visor does. Don't forget sunglasses.
  • Avoid tanning lamps and beds. Tanning lamps and beds emit UV rays and can increase your risk of skin cancer.
  • Become familiar with your skin so that you'll notice changes. Examine your skin regularly for new skin growths or changes in existing moles, freckles, bumps and birthmarks.
With the help of mirrors, check your face, neck, ears and scalp. Examine your chest and trunk and the tops and undersides of your arms and hands. Examine both the fronts and backs of your legs and your feet, including the soles and the spaces between your toes.
Our Top Sunscreen Picks

UV Sport

A high-powered, SPF 50 sun block ideal for outdoor athletes. EltaMD's UV Sport is a durable, water resistant formula that won't rinse off or drip into your eyes and sting when you sweat. Great for swimmers, golfers, skiers, runners, or for those who just love to be outdoors!


UV Replenish

UV Replenish infuses the skin with hyaluronic acid that helps retain more than 1,000 times its weight in water within skin cells. Antioxidant activity further works to combat skin-aging free radicals associated with ultraviolet and infrared radiation. This oil-free sunscreen feels weightless on the skin.

UV Clear

Oil-free Clear helps calm and protect sensitive skin types prone to breakouts, rosacea and discoloration. It contains niacinamide  to calm dry, irritated skin. Provides UVA and UVB sun protection. Fragrance-free, oil-free, paraben-free and sensitivity-free.


Daily Shield SPF 50

Perfect for all skin types - even sensitive skin - the very water resistant formula is enhanced with botanical ingredients for antioxidant benefits. Providing sheer protection in just the right amount of color to  even out skin tone. 


Intellishade SPF 45

This 5-in-1 anti-aging moisturizer with 100% all-mineral broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF 45 corrects, protects, conceals, brightens and hydrates skin. This moisturizing sunscreen helps the skin appear firm and lifted.

Powder SPF 50 

Always 100% chemical-free actives, Sunforgettable® Total Protection™ Brush-On Shield SPF 50 goes beyond SPF to provide all-mineral, totally invisible daily defense from harmful environmental aggressors.

The Sun Bus
Take A Tour
The Sun Bus Mobile Skin Cancer Screening and Sun Safety Education Tour provides FREE skin screenings at various locations and events throughout Colorado. For the full list of events click here.
Skin Screenings

Yearly skin checks by your dermatologist are recommended; however, these annual screenings are not feasible for all. The Sun Bus Mobile Skin Cancer Screening and Sun Safety Tour will provide this service at no charge to Coloradans across the state.

Protecting your skin while you are in the sun and conducting regular skin self-exams are the best ways to prevent melanoma. The Sun Bus provides sun-safe education and screening services to Schools,  Community Events, and Corporate Health Fairs throughout Colorado.
Help The Cause

The Sun Bus' operation relies on Local and National Sponsors, In-kind donations, Fundraisers, and Volunteers. Click here to learn how you can help support this ambitious initiative through these various outlets.

Introducing ZO® Skin Health Products
ZO Skin Health delivers innovative skincare products that optimize skin health based on the latest advances in skin therapy technologies. By providing comprehensive skincare programs for patients, ZO Skin Health bridges the gap between therapeutic treatments and daily care, allowing patients to experience continuously healthy skin regardless of their age, ethnicity or unique skin condition.
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