Q: A lot of times I see flakey, red, or peeling spots on my client. Are those concerning?
A: Some spots may be concerning, and that’s why you should notify your client of what you’re seeing. Recommending they get their skin checked by a professional allows someone who is trained on the skin to be able to identify what is of concern and what is normal.
A lot of the normal spots you are seeing are seborrheic keratosis. According to WebMD, seborrheic keratoses are noncancerous (benign) skin growths that some people develop as they age. They often appear on the back or chest, but can occur on any part of the body. Seborrheic keratoses grow slowly, in groups or singly. Most people will develop at least one seborrheic keratosis during their lifetime.
The appearance of seborrheic keratoses can vary widely. They may be light tan to brown or black. The most common texture is rough, with a bumpy, grainy surface that crumbles easily. However, they also may be smooth and waxy. They usually look like they’ve been stuck onto the skin. While some are tiny, others grow larger than 3 cm in diameter.
Seborrheic keratoses are harmless and do not indicate cancer.
Q: I’m uncomfortable with worrying my client during their appointment, which is a time for them to relax. What do I do if they respond emotionally or get upset?
A: We understand your concern and it is a valid one. From our experience over the last six years, we have never encountered or heard of a client becoming angry or upset. In fact, we see the opposite. Clients are usually grateful and appreciative. Some have even gone out of their way to write letters of appreciation.
If you are concerned about the timing of bringing up the issue, wait until the end of the appointment. Remember, you could be saving a life.
Q: What if I know my client is engaging in risky behavior like tanning or not wearing sunscreen? Should I talk with them about it, or just ignore it until I see something suspicious?
A: You have the knowledge and education to know that these risky behaviors could lead to a cancer diagnosis. Every situation will be different, but if you have a good relationship with the client and feel comfortable bringing it up, then do it! You don’t have to be combative or assertive. Be genuine and caring. They may not know that they could be harming their skin. Just remember to be kind and calm with your delivery.
If my client doesn’t have a doctor, what do I tell them to do?
If your client expresses concern that they don’t have a primary care physician; there are many options for obtaining medical advice. Encourage your client to do some research in their area to see what resources are available to them.
Q: Is it dangerous to get a spray tan?
A: Hopefully your client will love the skin they’re in. There has been a lot of discussion about the potential dangers of a spray-on tan. It was thought to be a safe alternative to tanning in beds with ultraviolet lights as well as outdoor tanning. In 1977, the FDA approved a chemical called Dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which was used in tanning lotions applied to the body. But now people using spray on tans are inside a booth filled with a thick mist of DHA and are breathing it in.
IMPACT Melanoma’s Medical Advisory Board member and Clinical Director at Massachusetts General Hospital Melanoma & Pigmented Lesion Center, Dr. Hensin Tsao, says, “Dihydroxyacetone was developed for topical application and not aerosolizing and therefore the pulmonary effects are not completely known. People who apply the material have been reported to get contact dermatitis. titis. Self-tanners should be rubbed on whenever possible and not aerosolized. For those who seek a spray-on tan, I recommend the use of nose clips and to keep their mouths closed during the actual spraying.” The FDA states on its website that, “The use of DHA in tanning booths as an all over spray has not been approved by the FDA, since safety data to support this use has not been submitted to the agency for review and evaluation.” The agency recommends that “Consumers should request measures to protect their eyes and mucous membranes and prevent inhalation.” Although sunless tanners are an alternative to UV Rays, they typically do not contain sun protection. It is important to always wear sunscreen.
Q: How quickly should moles be checked out if you see one that looks concerning?
A: It’s important to have a doctor look at mole that you or client are concerned about as soon as possible. When a melanoma is detected early, it can be up to 99% curable. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends having an annual skin exam once a year with a Dermatologist and to check your own skin monthly to watch for any changing or suspicious moles.
Q: What type of sunscreen do you recommend?
A: Any sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or more and has UVA/UVB protection.