Dermatology at Your Fingertips

By: TheBalancingAct

You know getting ready for an exciting summer family vacation takes a lot of work. There's the packing, the flights, the budget. But what about making sure your skin is ready for all that summer sun? Before Olga left for paradise, she got some fantastic skin care advice from an expert. Summer's here and that means lots of family fun and sun. And it also means skincare. It's May, it's National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and it's the perfect time to brush up on some important skincare tips.

Dr. Ivy Lee is here. She's a dermatologist and a very busy mom. Good morning. Good morning, thank you for having me. Thanks for being here because it's really an important topic, no matter where you live. Skin cancer prevention. More important today than ever.

Right doctor? Yes, being proactive and preventive is key. So prevention and early detection is key regardless of your skin type, where you live, whatever season, all year long. Yes. Would you agree? Certain skin types are more susceptible than others to skin cancer. But UV exposure happens to every skin type, every climate, in every day. So let's talk about prevention, and I know sometimes people say, yeh I know what I need to do, but let's go down those ABC tips that are important to remember every day. So first of all it's really important for us to model this for ourselves, especially since our children are watching.

And you want to seek shade when possible. Cover up, wear hats, sunglasses, sun protective clothing, and apply sunscreen. And sunscreen you wanna look for SPF 30 or above. Something that is broad spectrum, that means blocks UVA and UVB rays. And you wanna reapply every 2 hours.

Dermatology at Your Fingertips

Be mindful around water, sand and snow, where we can get reflective rays. And avoid tanning beds because there's no such thing as a safe tan. And a lot of common sense here, but a lot of us don't do this. It's always easier said than done. So it's key to practice this every day and make it a habit.

Something that we also have to make a habit is checking our skin regularly. Looking at ourselves and looking for what? So, self skin exams are very important. It's important to get a sense of what your natural baseline is. What your skin looks like normally so that if and when something changes you can pickup on that really early. And what you wanna look for, what we traditionally see, are the ABC and D's of skin cancer, looking at asymmetry, borders, whether they're sharp or not, color, whether it's even in color or not, diameter, and then now, most importantly, E, which stands for evolving. So things that are changing should definitely heighten your suspicion and cause you to seek care. And doctor, if you notice something on your skin that could be alarming and you're a little bit worried and you call the dermatologist, you can't get an appointment. Sometimes it takes a long time.

You know, that's a battle in itself. Absolutely, we know there are problems with access to care, and this is especially true in dermatology, and a lot of the dermatology organizations and companies are really working to improve this. We know that better and faster access to our expert care results in reduced suffering and saved lives. So early detection and early access is really important. And in 2010 a team of dermatologists lead by Dr. David Wong created Direct Derm, which is a online tele-dermatology company. It offers consultations to both patients and providers.

Direct Derm, so how does it work? Let's say I notice something, I'm a little worried. I wanna have some peace of mind or make sure it's nothing serious for that matter. What do I do? You log onto directderm.com, sign up for a secure and encrypted account, and you provide information about your specific skin concern. When it started, where does it effect, any current or past medical problems and allergies. And then you wanna snap photos with either regular camera or digital device and remember the better quality of the photo, the better examination of your skin is. And within two business days you get an email notification that your consult report has been completed by one of these board certified dermatologists. And you log on, you are able to view, download and print the consult report. And with your permission we can share that information with your primary care providers or other healthcare providers.

So if there's any concern, now you kind of know that something needs to get done, and if there's no concern, you have peace of mind. Absolutely. We're very lucky to have a great team of highly trained U.S.

Board certified dermatologists from leading institutions in this country. And we offer some specialists in pediatric dermatology, derma pathology, and we also work really hard to keep constant communication with primary care providers to make sure that we're all working together as a team. That's fabulous. And now let's incorporate insurance and privacy. Does that kind of stand the same as opposed to going to the dermatologist? Yes, so the same rules and policies apply and if you're insured we will your insurance. And if you're uninsured it's available for an affordable price. And all your information and medical records are stored in a secure and encrypted platform that meets HIPAA compliance and standards.

We also offer kiosk clinics, and these are traditional brick and mortar clinics, that are available both in Safeway and outside of Safeway, and this is really to improve the accessibility and convenience for patients. So for more information for our viewers to look into this, what's the website? Directderm.com. So it really makes a difference? Absolutely. Thank you so much doctor. Thank you for your time.

Thank you. And if you'd like more information, again go to directderm.com or checkout our website, and that's thebalancingact.com. Don't forget we're also on Facebook and Twitter.

MUSIC Great stuff. And now it's time to put all that skincare advice to good use. Olga's about to set sail down in the British Virgin Islands. So much to see, so much to do. And we'll take you there right after the break.

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