How Hugh Jackman and Others Could Prevent Future Skin Cancers
Hugh Jackman is something of an anomaly among Hollywood stars. Rather than hide behind makeup or polished press releases, the handsome actor has repeatedly spoken publicly about his battles with skin cancer. He tweets out unflattering photos of himself following lesion removals in the hopes that his own experience will provide a cautionary tale, either to stay out of the sun or to remain vigilant for warning signs we may see on our own faces after years of sun damage.
When it comes to treating basal cell carcinoma and other skin cancers, most people take a reactive approach: they call for urgent appointments when they see something unusual, then walk around for a few days with a bandage covering a spot that has been excised in much the same way that Jackman does. But according to Dr. Adam Scheiner, there is a better way – improving the health of damaged skin before it ever has the chance to become cancerous.
To understand Dr. Scheiner’s approach, we first need to understand exactly what happens when we expose our skin to the sun’s damaging rays.
How Does the Sun Effect Our Skin?
When the sun shines down on the earth, there are a number of light rays that affect us.
There are the visible light rays that allow us to see one another, and another class of light rays that is invisible and can damage our skin. These are known as Ultraviolet light rays, of which there are 3 different types.
- UVA is the first type of ultraviolet ray. It is a long wavelength light ray that can penetrate deeply into the skin, fracturing collagen and elastic fibers. This is what causes our skin to sag and droop. UVA is present from sun-up to sundown, and can even impact us through clouds and car windows. UVA is what causes skin aging.
- UVB is the second type of ultraviolet ray. It also penetrates the skin, but not as deeply as UVA does. These rays are what cause our skin to turn red after exposure to the sun, which is why some refer to it as UVB for Burning. These rays are most prevalent from 10am – 4pm.
- UVC is the third type of ultraviolet ray. They are lethal, and are largely absorbed by the ozone layer.
Our skin is composed of a number of different layers. The top layer is the Epidermis. This layer contains a bottom row of cells called the basal layer, which is responsible for all the cells around it. If the basal cell layer is healthy then so are all the layers above it: if it is unhealthy then all the layers above it will be unhealthy.
Below the Epidermis is the Dermis. This layer contains many components, including collagen, elastic fibers, hair follicles and pigment cells. UVA and UVB rays bind together portions of the DNA in these cells, making its basal layer cell irregular. This can lead to skin cancers.
What Dr. Scheiner has Learned, and How it Can Help
Damage to the skin is cumulative – it happens over time. Though certain medications containing Retin-A are able to help mild sun damage, more extensive damage requires a more extensive intervention, and for Dr. Scheiner this involves the use of lasers. Not only can they improve the appearance of skin aging, but he has learned that the technique he uses does far more - it also has the effect of RESETTING a person’s skin back to a healthier state.
Dr. Scheiner recounts the story of a patient who came to him for help with drooping upper eyelids. Following surgery, he used a laser to ablate and tighten the skin in the lower lid region, and the patient healed well. Two years later she returned to him for help with pre skin cancers that had appeared on her face. The spots were everywhere except for the two areas where the laser had been used. It was then that he realized that the lasers had not only made her skin look better, but had also eliminated the damaged epidermis, including irregular cells in the basal cell layer. When her skin healed after the procedure, it regrew cells that had never been affected by the sun.
Since his discovery with that first patient, Dr. Scheiner has used his RESET® procedure to provide his patients with far more than a more attractive appearance: he is now also able to reduce the reservoir of irregular cells that might cause cancer in the future.
A notable example of the impact of Dr. Scheiner’s RESET® for Sun Damage was seen in his treatment of Michael, a 60-year old who traveled from Sacramento to Tampa for treatment. Though Michael’s primary concern was his appearance, he was also acutely aware that his father had suffered through 11 skin cancer removal procedures and had eventually died of the disease. He was also aware of his own history of sun exposure, competing in swimming and water polo in high school and college, spending summers working as a California beach lifeguard and in agricultural and construction jobs, and then coaching his daughters’ softball teams. Dr. Scheiner performed total face resurfacing, a lateral canthopexy and a lower blepharoplasty, but also found and eliminated numerous areas of early skin cancers that would not otherwise have appeared until years down the road – and which would have been far more serious and difficult to treat.
It’s Too Late for Prevention, but Not for Action
You don’t need to have been a California lifeguard to have suffered sun damage. Whether you had bad sun habits or spent time in a tanning bed, there is a high likelihood that you have irregular cells lying hidden beneath the surface of your skin. Dr. Scheiner’s RESET® for Sun Damage procedure dramatically reduces these cells, providing his patients with skin that not only looks better, but is actually a return to its original healthy state before sun damage ever occurred.
SPECIAL NOTE: Hugh Jackman’s image and story are being used in this article for illustrative purposes only. Mr. Jackman is not, and never has been, a patient of Dr. Scheiner’s.