Advice from Doctor Bennion

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By contactus@wyoskindoc.com
March 28, 2019
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Recently there has been a surge of anti-screen rants on the internet.  Multiple websites suggest that sunscreens can cause cancer, affect your hormonal balance and even kill coral reefs. Here are some facts: 

  1. Broad spectrum sunscreens prevent premature skin aging and cancer caused by the ultraviolet rays (UVR) of the sun.  There are literally hundreds of scientific studies demonstrating the protective effects of sunscreens.

  2. There are many studies suggesting that UV sunscreens are very safe but the ultimate test of safety for any product is the widespread use without ill effects in the general population.  When drugs and medical products safety studies are evaluated by the FDA, there typically are thousands of study test subjects.  Even though the drugs are determined “safe” by the FDA, the ultimate test of the drug occurs when it is released to the public and tens of thousands of patients start using it.  Only then can doctors determine the real safety of a drug.  The safety of sunscreens is a case in point.  Sun screens have been used by millions of individuals over decades without evidence of their use causing any serious problems such as cancer or other diseases.

  3. Recently Hawaii has banned oxybenzone, a very effective sun screen component, because of lab studies demonstrating it is toxic to coral and may cause “coral bleaching." Recent studies of the actual concentrations of this sunscreen in beaches where it is used demonstrate very low concentrations incapable of causing coral damage.

By contactus@wyoskindoc.com
August 06, 2018
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It appears that there is a mini-epidemic of hand-foot and mouth disease in Casper.  The cause of this illness is viral usually involving coxsackie or enteroviruses.  It begins with tender vesicles on the tongue, gingiva and the lining of the mouth.  Usually it occurs in children under 15 but it can occur in anyone. There is a mild fever and as the disease progresses small grey vesicles develop on the hands and feet.  The eruption can occur on the buttocks especially in infants and small children who wear diapers.  The treatment is supportive with no medication found to be curative.  There have been reports of acyclovir helping but no formal studies have been done to determine if acyclovir has an effect on this disease.  It is contagious and appears to be spread via the oral fecal route,  wash your hands after coming in contact with an infected person.  

By contactus@wyoskindoc.com
January 31, 2018
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There has been an ongoing mythical campaign against the use of vaccines.  Experience with all vaccines over the many decades of use have demonstrated that the protective effects of vaccines far outweighs any possible risks of getting vaccinated against an infectious agent.  This winter this years flu type, H3N2, has killed 30 kids and more adults.  Typically the deaths from flu in the US number in the tens of thousands. The most recent story was of a teenage boy who was healthy who started coughing and died within a week--he hadn't been vaccinated.  This year's vaccine has protective effects on both H1N1 and H3N2 influenza.  Each year the vaccine is produced to cover the virus that is most prevalent in that year.  Usually the types change so if one gets vaccinated each year there will be more protection than if you only get vaccinated occasionally.  There are some super bad flu types waiting in the wings; a bird flu(H7N9) in Asia which is resistant to tamiflu and very deadly has been recently identified.  Vaccination over years will probably give you some protection against these very virulent flu viruses.  And getting vaccinated not only protects you but those around you such as family members.  So get vaccinated--its safe and effective and protects you and those you love from a potentially lethal disease.  More about vaccines for warts and shingles later. 

By contactus@wyoskindoc.com
January 22, 2018
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    It seems that aesthetic clinics are showing up on every corner. Along with them comes the enticing “bargain deals.” Botox and fillers for cheap, facials for next to nothing, the pull can be tempting. But ask yourself, “Is it worth the risk?”

    Cheap treatments never mean best treatments especially when it comes to an asset as important as your face. A good provider will consult with you about your skin concerns and then take a medical approach that is right for your specific skin needs. When it comes to proper skin treatments, one shoe does not fit all. If you find yourself in a clinic that does not consult with you and listen to your concerns, hand tailoring a regimen suited JUST FOR YOU, take your business elsewhere.

    The most important thing to ask yourself before getting any procedure done is, “What are the credentials of this provider?” With something as important as your face, the individual to whom you entrust it to should be one that has several things, proper credentialing, licensure, experience, and positive results. There seems to be an abundance of inexperienced individuals doing procedures. Don’t fall for it! Discounting your face is not worth the risk.

 

By contactus@wyoskindoc.com
October 31, 2017
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As we get older many of us develop new "moles" which are scaly and brown.  The concern of most of my patients is whether or not these are dangerous.  Most pigmented nevi or moles which are not dangerous develop in childhood and can change or grow in the first 30 years of life.  However beyond the age of thirty, people should not be developing new moles.  The one exception are moles that develop in women who are pregnant.  Regardless, new moles developing after the age of 30 should be examined to ensure that they are not premalignant or melanomas.  The one pigmented "mole" that occurs commonly in older individuals and is not dangerous is a Seborrheic Keratosis or SK for short.
SK's are benign lesions that are hereditary and have no potential to turn into cancer.  They are very common and increase in number as one gets older.  They can be white, tan, brown or black but they all have a characteristic that is different from moles.  That characteristic is scaliness.  If you scratch them they are scaly and crusty.  Typically scratching will cause small "chunks" to come off them.  Moles usually don't have this scaliness.  SK's can be removed with freezing so if they become itchy, get in the way of your clothing, or make you look like a witch; we can remove them at our clinic.