Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Skin changes, moles....and melanoma

A melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer, which originates in the melanocytes or pigment cells and can be fatal when it spreads to other parts of the body. In the last decade the number of patients with malignant melanoma in Europe has increased enormously. The good news is that most melanoma can be cured, when they are removed in an early stage and most can even be prevented when we check our moles regularly. Your dermatologist can nowadays make a more accurate diagnosis with advanced dermatoscopy. In most European countries dermatologist organize screening days for melanoma during the months may and june

How does a melanoma develop?
Moles are brown or black coloured spots or elevations of the skin, which are formed by pigment cells. They can be congenital, but arise especially in childhood and puberty. A new mole that develops after puberty should always be monitored. Approximately 40% of melanomas develop in an existing mole. The color is mostly brown or black, but they can also have pink, red, blue or white tints.

Do I have an increased risk for Melanoma?

Somebody in the family with melanoma
A personal history of melanoma
A high number of moles
Irregular moles
Light skin type and /or blue or green eyes
Sunburns in childhood and after
outdoor activities

What should I pay attention to?
It’s Important that you get to know your own body. Melanomas can develop over the entire skin fig 1 and 2 so you have to look from the crown of your head to the soles of your feet, including mouth, nose and genitalia. To asses whether a mole is suspect, we usually the American ABCD rule (Figure 3). The A (Asymmetry) for irregular shape, the B (Border) for irregular edge, the C(Colour) for an irregular or very dark colour and the D (Diameter) for a diameter larger than 5mm. Finally, the E (Evolution) is added. Moles that change shape, color or size are in principle suspect as well as new moles.

Dermatoscopic examination by the dermatologist

Although a good self-examination is useful first step, it is sometimes very difficult to distinguish a melanoma form a mole or other pigmentation spots. Your dermatologist can make a more accurate diagnosis with a dermatoscope fig 4 ,a kind of microscopic instrument. When in doubt, a tissue examination is always necessary.

How are melanomas and suspicious moles treated?
Suspected moles or melanomas are always removed surgically. Subsequently, it is send to the pathologist for histologic examination, which confirms both the diagnosis and if the melanoma is completely removed. Usually In case of a melanoma a re excision is performed to create a safety margin in combination with further examinations to exclude metastases.Remember that a mole is principally an innocent and often asymptomatic spot, but a melanoma can be fatal. In any doubt check it out and show it to your dermatologist.

Ruud Valks, dermatologist,
member of the American Academy of Dermtology

Figure 1 Melanoma on the occipital area of the head

Figure 2 Melanoma on the sole of the right foot

Figure 3. ABCD Rule

Figure 4. Dermatoscopy

Sunday, 10 June 2018

White in a week- 7 days home teeth whitening

My teeth are fairly yellow, I have occasionally smoked socially in the past and am also a huge coffee drinker and love curry, which could explain the staining. I brush regularly however admittedly I do not have regular check ups on my teeth. Karen firstly checked over my teeth and ensured they were healthy and there were no major issues. Thankfully there weren’t. After the health check, I then had a full scale and polish, something i’d never had but is advisable if you are going to get your teeth whitened for optimum results. My mouth felt fantastic.

Once clean I was then measured for the whitening apparatus.

The mould are then taken and in a couple of days I was able to collect my kit. Having tried home whitening treatments before that i’d purchased from internet this was the first thing that struck me, the fact that the gum shields were designed for me and my teeth and not a one size fits all so wearing it felt comfortable and the solution was able to coat my teeth correctly.

There are two types of treatments one is a daily whitener one for use overnight. I opted for the daily one which you use for one hour each day.

The treatments come in syringe applicators. The whitening gel is placed in custom made gum shields which you wear either for one hour a day or overnight. Whichever your preference.

Here's my progress over the 7 days...

Day 1-The gum shields were comfortable. Many kits i've had before were a 'one size fits all' however these being custom  made to fit my mouth really made the difference. Especially if i was opting to sleep in them.  The teeth however did feel a little sensitive when I first put the treatment on. I was assured this was normal for some people. The sensitivity soon went and after the first hour I could see an improvement.

Day 2- . I can already see results after just two days! The bottom teeth and upper fangs still need work though!

Day 3- As you can see this the treatmant gel has really gone to work. The teeth still feel a little sensitive to the touch when the treatment is on, however i'm assured this is perfectly normal.

Day -4 The teeth looking really white now, unbelievable. Karen did advise that the treatment can work and you can acheive the desirable results in under a week, however i'm going to continue for the 7 days. The sensitivity has also disappeared.

Day 5- Really impressed. All the yellow staining has completely disappeared. I honestly didn't expect the results to be so good after trying whitening toothpaste and numerous treatmants i'd purchased off the internet before.

Day 6 - The teeth look and feel fantastic and i've already had comments from friends! It's amazing how many people notice..I may walk around with this permanent grin just to show them off!

Day 7- Ok so here they are, my pearly white new gnashers! I was a little sceptical at first but I can verify that teeth whitening treatments recommended by your dentist are not only safe, fuss free and cost effective, they actually work.

Contact the team and get white in a week!At the moment there's 20% off!