Weekly Skinspiration April 17, 2017
Dermatology Pearl: Total Body Skin Exams
A sizable chunk of my day in clinic is spent doing total body skin exams (TBSE’s) to check for skin cancer. What exactly am I looking for? Anything out of the ordinary. That includes funky or atypical moles, weird rashes, lumps and bumps that I can’t exactly pinpoint, or anything else that may be abnormal. If I cannot confidently say that something on the skin is harmless or benign, I will likely biopsy it, meaning I will cut a small sample of the skin and send it to the lab for pathology. During a TBSE, I have the patient change into a gown, leaving on underwear. I always say to take off socks and shoes too, because we check everywhere! (Many attendings have the patients completely undress, to better examine everything.)
Then I examine every inch of the skin in a systematic way. Everyone does this differently but I tend to work from the top down. I start with the scalp, sifting through the hair to check for moles or dermatitis like dandruff. I also check the ears and behind the ears, since moles, early sun damage, and skin cancers can hide there. Then I examine the face carefully, since that gets a LOT of sun exposure. I check the forehead, nose, cheeks, chin, and lips, and also inside the mouth as well. I move down to the neck, chest, trunk, right arm, and left arm, and then the groin, right leg, and left leg. I always check the feet, in between the toes, and soles of the feet, because nasty melanomas can hide there! Then I have the patient turn around and I check the back, buttocks, and back of the arms and legs.
If you are at high risk (family member with melanoma, fair skin, bad sun damage, red hair, history of indoor tanning, lots of atypical moles, etc.) you should get checked once a year. If you’ve ever had a skin cancer, you should get checked every 6 months. If you’ve had a melanoma, you may need to get checked every 3 months for a while, since you are at high risk.
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer
Staying power: 4/5
*Each $ is approximately $20
One of my besties from dermatology residency gifted this to me for my birthday and I’m so obsessed! We are all in love with the highlighting trend this year and I’ve found that a little smear of the RMS living luminizer to highlight the cheekbones, middle of the lips, inner corners of the eyes, and the center of the eyelids will make your skin absolutely GLOW without looking glittery or tacky! For all of you natural product lovers out there, this highlighter is certified organic and made with all natural products (think coconut oil and beeswax base). I apply the luminizer with my fingertips and it has a slightly sticky tacky consistency that goes on sheer. I like that when my nieces want to try some of my makeup, this product is a totally safe one I can dab on their cheeks too!
Spring’s here and even though it’s still cloudy and gray most of the the time in NYC I find that this Rifle Paper Co iphone cover cheers me up. I have the peach floral blossom one but it also comes in green floral, white lace, pink floral, and more. Make sure to get the size that fits your phone! I love this phone cover so much I bought one for myself, my mother in law, and my sister in law for christmas!
Last weekend I went to the North Fork for a friend’s birthday and the place completely exceeded my expectations! My friend the birthday gal rented an adorable shabby chic farmhouse through Airbnb in East Marion, and we spent the weekend wine tasting at various wineries, exploring downtown Greenport, and spending some quality time with nature at Orient Beach State Park. I even felt like I was in Napa or Sonoma for parts of it! If you’re ever in the area, check out Bruce and Sons in downtown Greenport for a delicious brunch (their split pea soup and matcha pancakes are amazing) and
Some of the wineries we visited:
- Sparkling Pointe: super gorgeous wine tasting room with an outdoor patio and delicious sparkling wines. The meat and cheese platter here was delicious as well, and the lavender honey was some of the best honey I’ve ever tried. I wanted to buy a bottle to take home but it was preeetty pricey at $18 a bottle.
- Raphael: the best FOOD (get the flatbreads and the cheese platter!) with live music too. This was the perfect place for lunch after a full morning of drinking. This place is also dog friendly!
- Bedell: beautiful interior, interesting art that was commissioned just for the winery, and nice large outdoor patio which we couldn’t enjoy because it was too chilly. I would prefer to come back here in the summer when it’s nicer out! I would do a tasting of the wine flight here and skip the snacks, which were just average.
This is our last week in the East Village and I’m getting really anxious thinking about moving. I get nervous with big life changes and this certainly feels like one! I’m trying not to get stressed about the packing/moving process but it certainly feels like there’s too much going on right now and it’s a little hard to juggle it all.
In terms of work:
- I presented my hormonal acne research project at a department-wide research day, and I feel relieved to be done! I’m impressed by the amount of research going on in my department, both basic science and clinical. I find it challenging to balance research during residency, so I admire all the seniors who have designed and conducted really well thought out studies. Now I just need to get this paper submitted and hopefully published…fingers crossed!
Have a good week!