BURN TATTOOS GROW IN POPULARITY
[Excerpt] "These are people who are actively cooking their skin. Some are even putting oil on other parts of their skin. You're having to burn the skin in so many times to change that color" said Dermatologist Mona Mofid.
While easy to achieve, Dr. Mofid said the sunburn art is harmful for people's health. "Where they might think it's silly or fun or entertaining for summer, five, ten, 15 years from now, these are individuals who might die from skin cancer," said Dr. Mofid.
Whether inside a tanning salon or at the beach, Dr. Mofid said five or more sunburns during your lifetime doubles your risk of skin cancer.
"It's probably one of the most ridiculous social media trends that we've seen because it is actually extremely hazardous to people's health," said Dr. Mofid.
A much safer sunburn alternative is getting a spray on tan, removable ink, or a Henna tattoo.
SKIN MAPPING SHOWS EARLY SIGNS OF SUN DAMAGE
[Excerpt} "All these little dark spots -- especially on your nose and on your forehead -- those are all markers of sun damage and activity that's going on beneath the surface of the skin," said Dr. Mona Mofid of the American Melanoma Foundation, while examining the UV photo. "All of these areas are the areas that are going to wrinkle. They're also areas that can contribute to the development of skin cancer."
MAN DIES FROM SKIN CANCER HIDING UNDER TATTOO
[Excerpt} "See, if you come up close – there are a lot of moles in his tattoos,” SHARP Dermatologist Dr. Mona Mofid said while doing a skin check on patient Gus Lange.
Dr. Mona worries tattoos may be covering up early signs of skin cancer.
“If you have something on your skin that’s changing, that can potentially kill you. One person dies every hour from skin cancer in this country. It’s generally curable if caught early,” Dr. Mona added.
Just recently, a San Diego man died from a melanoma that went undetected under his ink. It’s something Lange takes seriously. He gets head to toe skin checks once a year, under Dr. Mona’s bright light and microscope.
WHAT'S HIDING IN YOUR TATTOO?
[Excerpt} “It’s estimated that 40 percent of adults between 18 and 50 in the U.S. have at least one tattoo. That’s significant because skin cancer can form on the skin underneath a tattoo, but it’s not easily spotted because it’s camouflaged by ink,” says Dr. Mofid.
Skin cancer generally refers to three types: basal cell, squamous cell and melanoma, with melanoma being the most dangerous. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their lives, and every hour someone dies from melanoma.
If you’re considering getting a tattoo, try to avoid areas that have moles or birthmarks. Dr. Mofid advises to have your doctor check your moles beforehand. She points out that 50 percent of melanoma arises from preexisting moles.
'BLOWTOX' IS THE NEW CURE FOR BAD HAIR DAYS
[Excerpt] When it comes to avoiding excessive sweat during pre-work or midday workouts, some women are turning to Botox injections in the scalp to save their hair days and their blowouts.
While Botox, or in this case a practice that's been dubbed "blowtox," has been used to reduce excessive sweat in other areas of the body, doctors said it's not without risks when used on the scalp.
Dr. Mona Mofid, a Sharp Grossmont Hospital-affiliated dermatologist and medical director of the American Melanoma Foundation, said since Botox won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in 1989 to treat eye muscle disorders, it has also been approved for treating more than 20 different conditions including chronic migraines, excessive underarm sweating and overactive bladder.
Dr. Mofid said in small doses Botox blocks the nerves that supply the sweat glands, leading them to stop producing sweat. But whether it’s the armpits or the scalp for a blowtox injection, the results are only temporary.
She said using Botox for excessive sweating, especially in the scalp, is considered “off-label,” meaning it’s used for an FDA-unapproved indication.
5 REASONS WHY SKIN CANCER IS ON THE RISE
[Excerpt] Living in a sunny city is never void of benefits. But staying safe under the sweltering sun is more important than ever. Dr. Mona Mofid, a Sharp-affiliated dermatologist shares stats about skin cancer — and why today's risks cannot be ignored. Dr. Mona Mofid helps outline five reasons why skin cancer is on the rise.
SEE A DOCTOR ABOUT QUESTIONABLE CYSTS
[Excerpt] Dr. Mona Mofid, San Diego dermatologist with Sharp HealthCare, said a cyst is basically a growth, noting that the only way to correctly define a cyst is to remove it and test it.
Characteristics of problem-causing cysts include infection (redness or discoloration), or if they are in a spot where there is a potential for friction. According to Mofid, there are things to watch carefully. “You need to see if it’s growing. Is it tender? Generally speaking, if things are bad, they are growing and tender.”
How do you know when you have a cyst on an internal organ? “Generally, there is some kind of symptom that prompts you that something may be wrong,” said Mofid.
MANY FORMS OF PSORIASIS; JUST AS MANY TREATMENTS
[Excerpt] Psoriasis is a skin condition many may have heard about from TV ads promoting prescription drugs. However, there are several ways to treat the disease, and the medications that are typically advertised are often the last in a line of treatments used by those with the condition.
While the cause of the disease is unknown, Mofid said different genes are being examined to pinpoint its origin. She likens the skin cells of those with psoriasis to being “on overdrive basically.” According to WebMD.com, the cells mature about five times faster than cells in normal skin.
“There’s often a trigger for psoriasis,” she said. “Something turns it on. Psoriasis loves elbows, knees and shins. It will flare with trauma.”
ASK THE EXPERT: SUN DAMAGE AND SKIN CANCER
[Excerpt] Dr. Mona Mofid, a board-certified dermatologist affiliated with Sharp HealthCare, answers frequently asked questions about sun damage and skin cancer.
"Particularly important is to recognize is that children are at a increased risk. Ultraviolet light exposure is cumulative. When we’re young we’re at recess at school, we’re outdoors playing on our bikes, or swimming or playing soccer. I try to educate people that it’s extremely important not only to protect the children — one of my favorite methods is sun-protective clothing — but also to encourage children to develop healthier habits. Whatever you teach children at a young age, they will continue to follow as they grow."
FOR CLEAR SKIN KEEP IT CLEAN
[Excerpt] “(Keeping the face clean) seems like it would be pretty intuitive,” said Dr. Mona Mofid, a dermatologist at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in San Diego. “The analogy I like to use is when you get your car cleaned at the car wash, it has dirt and grime on it an hour later because of pollution in the air. It’s the same with our skin; it’s easy to get stuff on our face that clogs our pores.”
Mofid recommends washing your face in the morning and at night before going to bed. Along with face washing, another good way to prevent acne is to be careful about what you put near your face — and that includes your hands.
“Hands on the face is another cause of acne,” Mofid said. “I tell my patients that if they eat greasy French fries and then touch their face, what you ate is now on your face. Don’t touch your face!”
TINEA CAN START YOU OFF ON THE WRONG FOOT
[Excerpt] Mona Mofid, a dermatologist affiliated with Sharp Grossmont Hospital, said tinea refers to a fungal infection that commonly involves the skin. She said there are different varieties of tinea, depending on the kind of fungus, but generally, it’s contagious and can spread from direct contact with another individual, from the soil or even from animals.
“The spores can live for months on floors, towels and locker rooms,” she said.
She said those who sweat excessively and those with a suppressed immune system are more likely to get it, as are those who wear the same shoes or socks repeatedly, and those with poor circulation. She said diabetics are also more prone to fungal infections.
5 THING I HAVE TO HAVE NOW
[Excerpt] After being diagnosed with noninvasive melanoma about six years ago, Sally Thorner eagerly spreads the word about protecting skin from the sun. That's why when her dermatologist, Dr. Mona Mofid at Johns Hopkins, asked her to co-author a children's book about the dangers of sun exposure, she put on her thinking cap.
"Having no experience in this field, I enlisted my incredibly creative friend Barbara Dale. Together, we came up with Franny and Freddy Get Fried," says Thorner, who is married and has a son. The book is due out this summer.
PROPER CARE IMPORTANT TO PROTECT FROM SKIN CANCER
[Excerpt] "Skin cancer starts in the skin and is the most common form of cancer," said Dr. Mona Mofid, a Sharp-affiliated, Board-certified Dermatologist and Medical Director of the American Melanoma Foundation.
"Sunscreens and SPF are confusing. You should select a sunscreen with a SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 and preferably 50-plus. The higher the SPF number, the longer it protects a person from the sun's burning rays -- ultraviolet A and B (UVA, UVB) -- which damage the skin."