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Protecting Little Faces:

Using Sunscreen on Infants and Children

 

Slathering on the sunscreen for lazy days at the pool or beach are warm-weather rituals for many families. But if you're tempted to let your child play outdoors for even a few minutes without the proper sun protection, you’re taking an unhealthy risk. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation sustaining five or more sunburns in youth increases lifetime risk for melanoma by 80 percent.

baby’s skin is especially delicate and burns more easily. Their sensitive skin contains less melanin, the pigment that gives our hair and eyes their color and offers some sun protection.

Follow these simple tips all year round to help protect you child from the sun’s harmful rays.

 Infants Under 6 Months

  • The use of sunscreen in infants younger than 6 months old is an often-debated topic. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and The Skin Cancer Foundation recommend using sunscreen only on children older than 6 months; the American Academy of Pediatrics, on the other hand, states that using sunscreen on infants younger than 6 months of age is safe. Because of these conflicting recommendations, you should always check with your pediatrician before using sunscreen on babies under 6 months old.
  • Seek shade whenever possible under a tree, umbrella or stroller canopy. Dress your baby in long sleeves and pants in a light fabric and always use a hat. There are also UV sunglasses made just for babies now that will protect those little eyes.

 Children Older than 6 Months

  •  Sunscreen can be applied to all areas of the body, but be especially careful when applying sunscreen to a child’s face as you don’t want to get it in their eyes and cause stinging. Don’t forget the scalp, ears and neck.
  • Make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, as it will screen out both ultraviolet A (UVA) and B (UVB) rays.
  • Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15, although SPF 30 is the most recommended by dermatologists. Anything over SPF 30 is no longer recommended by dermatologists as the extra protection is negligible and the additional chemicals may cause skin reactions in some kids.
  • Make sure to use enough sunscreen to cover all exposed areas, especially the face, nose, ears, feet and hands. Rub it in well.
  • Older children should learn to apply sunscreen themselves, and make it a routine habit.
  • If you chose to use a spray sunscreen, never spray the product directly on a child’s face. Spray in your hands first then apply to the child’s face. Since the safety of spray sunscreens is debatable and the FDA has issued concerns with inhaling their fumes, lotions are recommended by dermatologists for children for safer and more effective application.
  • Sunscreen needs time to absorb into the skin, so apply sunscreen at least 15 to 30 minutes before going outdoors.
  • Anytime your child goes outdoors they need to wear sunscreen, not just when they are at the beach or the pool. Make it a habit to apply sunscreen before your child goes to school in the morning so they are covered during recess. All schools have different rules for bringing and applying sunscreen at school. Some, for example, require a doctor’s prescription, so be sure you know your school’s rules.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming, sweating or drying off with a towel. Even sunscreens that are water-resistant still need to be reapplied at least every two hours.

 Keep in mind that sunscreen should be used for sun protection, not as a reason to stay in the sun longer. Adults should also model what we want our children to do and wear sunscreen as well.  You’ll not only set a good example, but you’ll reduce your risk of skin cancer, sun damage and skin aging.

 

June 06, 2017 by Blue Lizard Staff

The ABC' s of Skin Cancer

Detecting skin cancer early is the key to successful treatment.

“Self-examinations and yearly skin checks with dermatologist are very effective ways to monitor for skin cancer and serve as preventive measures,” says Dr. Bruce Glassman, a dermatologist in Alexandria, Va.

You can check your own skin for signs of skin cancer by following the ABCDE rule.

  • Asymmetry — Normal moles or freckles are completely symmetrical. If you were to draw a line through a normal spot, you would have two symmetrical halves. In cases of skin cancer, spots will not look the same on both sides.
  •  Border — A mole or spot with blurry and/or jagged edges.
  •  Color —A mole that is more than one color is suspicious and needs to be evaluated by a doctor. Normal spots are usually one color. This can include lightening or darkening of the mole.
  •  Diameter — If a mole is larger than a pencil eraser (about 1/4 inch or 6mm), it needs to be examined by a doctor. This is includes areas that do not have any other abnormalities (color, border, asymmetry).
  •  Evolving – When a mole changes in size, shape or color, or begins to bleed or scab, you need to have it checked by a doctor as soon as possible as these can be warning signs of skin cancer.

According to Dr. Glassman, if you follow the suggestions as to what to look for above, you should be able to prevent most skin cancers from becoming major problems.

“The skin should be self examined regularly for signals for skin cancer,” says Dr. Glassman. “As noted above, any changes should bring you in to the dermatologist. We are here to help. In at-risk patients, we recommend bi-annual and or annual skin exams.”

 

 

May 01, 2017 by Blue Lizard Staff

Sunscreen Myths – Debunked!

There are lots of myths and misconceptions concerning sunscreens. To set the record straight, here’s a list of some of the most common misconceptions about sunscreen and why you should not believe them.

 

If SPF 30 is good, then SPF 70+ is better.

Not by very much. A sunscreen with SPF 30 protects against 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays, the ones that contribute to skin cancer. After that, it really does not matter as the difference in sunburn protection between the medium- and high-SPF sunscreens is negligible.  Products with higher SPFs often cost more, but you aren’t paying for extra protection just extra potentially skin-irritating chemicals.

Dermatologists suggest that rather than focusing on the SPF number, it's more important to choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen (one that protects against both UVB and UVA rays), to focus on wearing enough and to reapply every two hours, especially after swimming or sweating.

Only UVB rays can cause sunburns and skin cancer.

False. It was once thought that UVB rays were the only ones of concern, but the National Skin Cancer Foundation has learned more and more about the damage that UVA rays can also cause. Although they are less intense than UVB, UVA rays are 30 to 50 times more prevalent. UVA, which penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB, has long been known to play a major part in skin aging and wrinkling (photoaging), but until recently scientists believed it did not cause significant damage in areas of the epidermis (outermost skin layer) where most skin cancers occur. Studies over the past two decades, however, show that UVA damages skin cells called keratinocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis, where most skin cancers occur. (Basal and squamous cells are types of keratinocytes.) UVA contributes to and may even initiate the development of skin cancers.

UVB, the chief cause of sunburn, tends to damage the skin's more superficial epidermal layers. It plays a key role in the development of skin cancer and a contributory role in tanning and photoaging.

All sunscreens offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Not true. Only sunscreens labeled “broad spectrum” provide protection from both types of UV rays.

“The best sunscreens are SPF 30 or higher, broad spectrum and water-resistant.  Broad spectrum indicates that the product protects against both UVA and UVB,” says Dr. Chesahna Kindred, a dermatologist in Baltimore, Md.

One application of sunscreen lasts all day.

Wrong! This is the biggest mistake people make. All sunscreens, whether water-resistant or not, need to be reapplied at least every two hours, and more often if swimming or sweating.

Sunscreen does not expire.

False. Always check the expiration date on your sunscreen bottle. Since all sunscreens are regulated by the FDA, if your sunscreen does not include an expiration date labeled on the bottle, it is safe to assume the product has a three-year expiration date.

 

A little dab will do ya!

Using too little sunscreen is also a common mistake that often ends in painful sunburns. Also using popular sunscreen sprays that don’t get rubbed in can result in uneven coverage and thus, a sunburn.

Dr. Kindred says that one ounce of sunscreen, enough to fill a shot glass (or the size of a golf ball), is the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body. “Also, do not forget to apply to the ears and parts in scalp. It takes about 15 minutes for the skin to absorb the sunscreen, so apply before going outdoors. Reapply every two hours and immediately after swimming or excessive sweating,” adds Dr. Kindred.

If it’s cloudy, you don’t need sunscreen.

Most of the sun’s UV rays can easily pass through clouds, so an overcast sky offers no protection. Using sunscreen on a cloudy day may be even more important, as the cloud cover will mask the intensity of the sun.

If I have a tan, I don’t need sunscreen.

False! A tan does not protect against sunburn or skin cancer. In fact, UVA is the dominant tanning ray, and we now know that tanning, whether outdoors or in a salon, causes cumulative damage over time. A tan results from injury to the skin's DNA; the skin darkens in an imperfect attempt to prevent further DNA damage. These imperfections, or mutations, can lead to skin cancer.

Using sunscreen alone can prevent skin cancer.

While diligently using sunscreen is important, protecting yourself from the sun requires a three-pronged approach: physical protection from the sun and minimizing exposure, along with using sunscreen. Protective clothing – long sleeve shirts and pants made from tightly woven, natural fabrics – and staying in shaded areas help. Try to limit outdoor time, especially in the middle of the day, and wear a hat and sunglasses.

 

June 28, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

Where can I find Blue Lizard Sunscreen?

It’s the question we get asked the most on social media – where can I buy Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen?

While the best way to order Blue Lizard Sunscreen and take advantage of our special offers is directly from our website at www.bluelizard.net, we know some folks prefer to shop locally, so we are sharing a list of national and regional retailers that currently carry our products. We’ve also included some of our online retailers as well.

Please be advised this is not a complete list of retailers and only select stores will carry our products. *Please call the store prior making a trip there to confirm they have our products in stock.*

You can also find a list of retailers near you by using our store locator on our website by simply entering in your zip code.

Finally, remember that you can also ask any pharmacist at any drugstore, grocery store or big box store to order Blue Lizard Sunscreen for you.

 

National and Regional Retailers

Babies-R-Us - Nationwide

Basha’s – Arizona

Bed, Bath and Beyond – Nationwide

Buy Buy Baby – Nationwide

Eastern Mountain Sports - Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, DC.

Food City – Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia

Giant Eagle – Pennsylvania

H.E.B. – Texas

Harmon’s Face Value Stores - Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania

Harris Teeter - Maryland, NC, SC, Tennessee and Washington, DC

Ingle’s – NC, SC and Tennessee

Jewel Osco – Chicago

Marsh Supermarkets – Indiana and Ohio

Roche Brothers – Massachusetts

Wegmans – New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC

Weis Markets - Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Online Retailers

Bluelizard.net

Amazon.com

Drugstore.com

Target.com

Walgreens.com

 

June 20, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

Skin cancer in children

Kids and teenagers spend a lot of time outdoors – for most of us, half of our exposure to UV rays happens before the age of 20.Just one blistering sunburn in childhood can double your child’s chances of developing melanoma as an adult.

But did you know that melanoma affects approximately 300 children in the U.S. each year?

According to the Dana-Farber Institute, while melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer in adults, skin cancer in children is almost always melanoma. The biggest increase in melanoma incidences has been reported in girls ages 15-19, possibly because girls are more likely than boys to sunbathe and use tanning beds. Because melanoma often appears differently in children than in adults, doctors and parents sometimes overlook it or misdiagnose it as a different skin problem.

What are the signs and symptoms of melanoma in children?

While melanomas in adults tend to turn darker, in children they often are whitish, yellowish or red and may be misdiagnosed as warts.  Apply the same “ABCDE rule” used for adults when checking your child’s skin for moles, except remember that the color may be lighter rather than darker (see image below). If you notice any changes to your child’s skin or moles, it is important to have your child’s pediatrician take a look at it.

 

What are the risk factors for childhood melanoma?

Similar to adults, children are most at risk for melanoma if they have:

  • Fair skin
  • A history of many blistering sunburns
  • Several large or many small moles
  • A family history of unusual moles
  • A family history of melanoma

Children at high risk should be seen by a pediatric dermatologist annually. Also, remember that melanoma can occur in places not exposed to the sun, so be sure to have your child’s scalp, feet, hands and buttocks evaluated.

How is childhood melanoma treated?

Once correctly diagnosed, treatment options for melanoma in children are similar to treatments for adults and may include surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Children and adolescents with melanoma typically fare well with treatment; the overall five-year survival rate is 90 percent.The earlier it’s caught, the more treatable it is.

How can childhood skin cancer be prevented?

Follow the same sun safety guidelines for adults to prevent skin cancer in children. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 any time your child will be spending time outdoors. This includes making sure they are protected during recess and other outdoor activities at school as well as in the summertime. Make sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours or after swimming. Dress your child in protective clothing made with a tight weave and in darker colors, and add a hat to protect their face. Many swimsuits for children are now made with built-in SPFs and rashguard style tops offer more coverage for long days at the pool, lake or beach. Don’t forget sunglasses to also protect your child’s eyes when outdoors for extended periods.

For adolescents and older teens, do not allow them use tanning beds. Tanning bed use in the teenage years and early adulthood has been shown to increase the chances of melanoma by 75 percent. Many states are banning tanning bed use by anyone under 18, but this law has not been passed nationwide, so it is up the parent to remain vigilant about not allowing tanning bed use.

While melanoma in children is rare, know the risks and practice sun safety to keep your child and teen protected.

 

May 19, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

I Found a Suspicious Mole. Now What?

Getting out of the shower, you notice that a mole on your upper left arm looks like it has grown in size and it is bleeding a little. To be safe, you make an appointment with a dermatologist to get it checked out. The doctor removed the mole and now you’re waiting for the results of the biopsy. You are very anxious and worried, but aren’t sure if  you’re just overreacting.

When are moles normal and when should you get one examined by a dermatologist?

Moles can come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors. They usually appear during childhood and adolescence and most are harmless. However, in some cases the mole can become cancerous and develop into skin cancer – either basal cell, squamous cell or the more dangerous melanoma. If caught early, all three types of skin cancers, even melanoma, have a high cure rate. If not detected early, the cancer can spread and metastasize to other parts of the body, making successful treatment more difficult.

It’s always a good idea to see a doctor anytime you notice a mole changes. Remember the ABCs of moles to determine when to seek medical help:

A for asymmetrical shape

B for borders (irregular)

C for multiple colors

D for diameter bigger than a pencil eraser

E for evolving, changing or new.

Moles are removed surgically, but it is usually a simple in-office procedure. After a suspicious mole is removed, it is sent to a lab for examination. There is usually little or no pain after the procedure. Expect a small scar where the mole was removed that will fade with time, but there are also many treatments available to minimize it, such as lasers, creams, gels and cortisone injections.

It will take a few days for the lab to get the biopsy results and then your doctor’s office will call you with the results. If the biopsy results indicate skin cancer, your doctor will determine the stage and devise a treatment plan for you. The goal will be to excise all the cancer cells from the location and then determine if it has spread. This may mean further excision of the skin and any surrounding lymph nodes, depending on the type of skin cancer and the stage.

There are many things you can do to minimize your risk of skin cancer. Wearing sunscreen with SPF 30 when outdoors is one of the most important. Also, performing a

 self skin check at least once a month can help you stay on top of any mole changes on your body – don’t forget to check your scalp, bottoms of your feet and palms of your hands, and have a partner check other areas you cannot easily see yourself, such as your back.You should also schedule an annual mole check with a dermatologist. Remember, the key to beating skin cancer is early detection, so be sure to make an appointment with a dermatologist if you see any suspicious moles on your body. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

 

May 11, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

The ABCs of Skin Cancer

How to do a skin cancer self-exam

Detecting skin cancer early is the key to successful treatment.

“Self-examinations and yearly skin checks with dermatologist are very effective ways to monitor for skin cancer and serve as preventive measures,” says Dr. Bruce Glassman, a dermatologist in Alexandria, Va.

You can check your own skin for signs of skin cancer by following the ABCDE rule.

  • Asymmetry — Normal moles or freckles are completely symmetrical. If you were to draw a line through a normal spot, you would have two symmetrical halves. In cases of skin cancer, spots will not look the same on both sides. 
  • Border — A mole or spot with blurry and/or jagged edges.
  • Color —A mole that is more than one color is suspicious and needs to be evaluated by a doctor. Normal spots are usually one color. This can include lightening or darkening of the mole.
  • Diameter — If a mole is larger than a pencil eraser (about 1/4 inch or 6mm), it needs to be examined by a doctor. This is includes areas that do not have any other abnormalities (color, border, asymmetry). 
  • Evolving – When a mole changes in size, shape or color, or begins to bleed or scab, you need to have it checked by a doctor as soon as possible as these can be warning signs of skin cancer.

According to Dr. Glassman, if you follow the suggestions as to what to look for above, you should be able to prevent most skin cancers from becoming major problems.

“The skin should be self examined regularly for signals for skin cancer,” says Dr. Glassman. “As noted above, any changes should bring you in to the dermatologist.  We are here to help. In at-risk patients, we recommend bi-annual and or annual skin exams.”

 

 

May 02, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

Nutrition to Support Healthy Skin

Did you know that your diet can affect your skin? Foods that keep your body healthy can also keep your skin healthy. It’s important to eat a well-balanced diet that includes protein, simple and complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Eating junk food like candy, baked goods and sodas can cause breakouts and so can too much caffeine. Too much fatty protein can cause dull, puffy skin and dark under-eye circles, while too many salty foods can cause puffy skin and aggravate breakouts.

Five A Day

Enjoy five to eight servings of fruits and vegetables everyday to fuel your body with all the nutrients it needs. Fruits and veggies contain antioxidants (see below) and vitamins that promote healthy, glowing skin. For example, Vitamin A is found in citrus fruits, melons, leafy greens, eggs and dairy products. Topically, it can be used for treating wrinkles and brown spots.

Hydration

Keep your skin well hydrated by drinking lots of water every day. Water keeps skin moist, which helps make fine line lines and wrinkles less noticeable. On a cellular level, good hydration helps cells take in nutrients and get rid of toxins. It also helps with blood flow, giving you a healthy glow. Limit caffeine and alcohol as these can be dehydrating and dry out your skin.

Oils

The use of good oils in cooking helps lubricate your skin from the inside out. Extra-virgin olive oil and cold- or expeller-pressed oils add flavor to your food, as well. You can also apply it directly to your skin -- olive oil even makes a great lip gloss!

Antioxidants

Free radicals are groups of unpaired atoms that run around your body wreaking havoc by trying to steal electrons from other molecules. This causes all kinds of cellular damage, breaks down collagen and causes skin to age. Antioxidants fight the free radicals in your body. Keeping your body supplied with antioxidants helps keep your skin youthful.

Incorporate essential antioxidants into your diet with these foods:

  • Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin found in vegetable oils, nuts, olives, seeds, spinach, asparagus, olives and leafy greens.
  • Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin found in citrus fruits, green peppers, cabbage and other fruits and vegetables. Try making a berry mask from strawberries; they contain more Vitamin C than oranges.
  • Pumpkin is full of Vitamin A, C and E as well as carotenoids, wrinkle-fighting plant pigments.
  • Coenzyme Q10, another antioxidant, also helps create energy. Salmon, tuna, poultry, organ meats and whole grains are good sources of CoQ10. It is also found as an ingredient in skincare products that help reduce wrinkles.
  • Drink green tea. It can stop inflammation and help slow DNA damage. Because of tannins, green tea is a great astringent and will take the sting out of a sunburn. Simply chill damp tea bags in the refrigerator and apply to sunburned areas.

Developing healthy eating habits will have a positive effect on your skin as well as your waistline!

 

April 22, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

Melanoma Survivor Spreads Awareness to Young People

Robyn Cook is no stranger to melanoma. Her father battled the disease when he was in his late 40s and she lost her brother to melanoma in 2015 after he put up a brief but brave 11-month fight. In 2009, Cook herself was diagnosed with Stage 1 melanoma and was treated successfully. Then in 2012, it came back with a vengeance – Stage 4 with brain metastases. After intense treatments, Cook has now thankfully been NED (No Evidence of Disease) for a little over two years.

In addition to the familial link with melanoma, Cook said she had a large amount of sun exposure when she was young and even worked in a tanning salon during college, where she used tanning beds regularly.

Now at age 48, she is trying to keep young people from making the same mistakes. She has turned the tragic loss of her brother and her own battle with melanoma into something positive. For the past two years, Cook has been visiting middle and high schools in her hometown of Princeton, Minnesota speaking on melanoma awareness and sun safety.

“I am trying to use my experience to help others so they don’t go through what I have,” Cook said. “I think having a real person share their experience has a bigger impact on these young people than just hearing that you should wear sunscreen during a health class.”

Cook talks to students about the importance of being sun wise, discouraging tanning bed use and discussing ways they can prevent skin cancer. “Melanoma is the number one cancer diagnosed in young people ages 15-29,” Cook added.

Last year, Cook also spoke at a health fair at a local community college, and on March 5, she will be the Keynote Speaker at Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s Annual Convention in Coon Rapids, Minn. 

Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen was happy to partner with Cook in spreading this importance message and has provided her with sunscreen samples and UV-changing bracelets to give out to students at her presentations.

In addition to her work with the schools, Cook also coordinates two races in honor of her brother.  The Second Annual Jason Fine Memorial 5K will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona, where her brother lived, and also in Princeton, Minnesota. The two races will be held on March 19 and will start at the same time in their respective time zones. Part of the proceeds from the event go to a fund set up for Cook’s continued medical expenses and part are donated to the Stay Out of the Sun Foundation at the Mayo Clinic.

“Not only is the Memorial Race a way to honor and remember my brother, Jason, but finishing a 5K is another victory for me as I continue my own battle with melanoma,” Cook said.

 

March 03, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff

Light Chasers Educates Artists on Sun Safety and Saves Lives

Blue Lizard is excited to be a part of Light Chasers’ 2016 Paint Out event taking place Feb. 18-24 in Sarasota, Florida. Light Chasers is the largest group of plein air painters in Florida with more than 500 members. Their mission is to foster the education, participation, appreciation and exhibition opportunities for plein air painters.

Paint Sarasota Paint Out kicked off on Feb. 18 and artists will paint for seven days. They may paint anywhere in Sarasota County but the group has designated days in specific places that have opened their doors to their artists. These places include Phillippi Estate Park, Historic Spanish Point, the Bay Front Park and downtown Sarasota, Casperson Beach and downtown Venice, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and Siesta Key Beaches, and the grounds of the John and Mable Ringling Museum. All artists will turn in their best painting on Thursday, Feb. 25. All work is judged and winners are announced at a Gala Show Opening on Feb. 27.

In addition to the Paint Out event, Light Chasers also puts on a Drawing Challenge, Quick Draw Contest, Light Chasers Annual Show, Masters Show and a weekly Paint Out on Thursday mornings.

Blue Lizard has provided 200 samples for the Paint Out event for artists who will be spending lots of time outdoors in the hot Florida sun. Terry Mason, president of Light Chasers, contacted Blue Lizard about donating sunscreen to this event because they have been very active in educating their members about sun safety after one of their local board members got skin cancer four years ago.

“She was really the hero. She came to me and said, ‘I don’t want this to happen to anyone else’ and asked me to do a campaign on sun safety for our artists. I got pamphlets from the National Cancer Institute, but that year, our board members purchased all of the sunscreen for the event. I followed up the pamphlet and the sunscreen with a letter to all of our artists with a link to a site where you could compare your skin lesions to photos of suspicious spots in order to find out if they need to be evaluated by a dermatologist,” Mason said.

“At the first Paint Out that year, a friend grabbed me and hugged me and said, ‘Thank you! You saved my life, I had melanoma!’ Since then, for the last four years, we have done this sun safety campaign every year. Every single year at least two artists have discovered they had melanoma but luckily caught it in time. Several others were diagnosed with basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer,” Mason said. “We are saving lives!”

“So thank you to Blue Lizard for helping us save lives,” Mason added.

To learn more about Light Chasers and all of the artist events they offer, visit http://lightchasersinc.com/

 

February 23, 2016 by Blue Lizard Staff
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