Are All Melanomas Dangerous?

Melanoma is a cancer of the pigment-producing cells of the body, called melanocytes.  It is a relatively common malignancy; 1/54 Canadian men and 1/74 women are expected to develop melanoma in their lifetimes.  So it is unfortunately all too often that I find myself in the position of telling a patient of mine that they have been diagnosed with melanoma.  Understandably, most people are shocked and terribly upset by this news.  They've read that melanomas are the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and indeed they are.  What I think is not as well represented in the media is that the vast majority of melanomas are not fatal.  In fact, most carry an excellent prognosis.

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Myths & facts about tanning beds

Despite overwhelming evidence of their carcinogenicity, tanning beds remain popular, particularly among young people.  The American Academy of Dermatology, the Canadian Dermatology Association, and skin cancer advocacy groups such as the Skin Cancer Foundation have long been advocating for restrictions on tanning beds.  In Canada, most provinces have introduced legislation over the past few years banning the use of tanning beds in minors.  Unfortunately, we have a long way to go in terms of educating the public about the dangers of indoor tanning.

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How To Choose The Best Sunscreen For Your Kids

"How do I choose the best sunscreen for my kids?" is one of the most common questions I get in the office each summer.  As parents, we always want to do what's best for our children, and most of us by now have heard that excess sun exposure causes skin cancer.  Over the past few years, conflicting messages have emerged from some media sources and websites regarding whether or not sunscreens are safe. As a dermatologist and a mother of two young children, this issue is very dear to me, and I'd like to address some of the misinformation out there by writing about this topic, and by helping you select the best sun protection for your little ones.

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What To Do If You're Allergic To The Sun...

Warm weather and sunshine have finally arrived in Toronto, and this time of year I am once again seeing patients with a common and frustrating rash...one that is caused by exposure to the sun.  If you have enjoyed one or two warm spring days outdoors, only to find that hours later you have developed an intensely itchy, uncomfortable red rash, you may have a sun allergy known as polymorphous light eruption (PMLE).  

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