At Live Young Medical, in Sidney BC, we are very much committed to our patient care, which in turn leads to patient education. As summer approaches, we would like to bring awareness to skin cancer detection and prevention.
There are three types of skin cancer that are most common and come from the three main cell types in the skin: melanocytes, basal cells, and squamous cells. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from sunlight is the number one cause of skin cancer because it damages these cells.
There are two broad groups of skin cancer that result from UV exposure: melanoma and non-melanoma cancer.
What Exactly is Melanoma?
Melanoma is fast growing, may spread from where it first develops and can be fatal if not removed early and completely. Melanoma arises from melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin which protects our cells from the harmful effects of UV radiation. The darker the skin, the more melanin it contains. Moles also contain melanin. Although UV exposure is the most important (and avoidable) risk for melanoma, melanoma can occur in non-sun exposed areas of the skin and on mucous membranes, such as the mouth.
Non-melanoma cancers are squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas (mentioned above). These tend to be slower growing and localized. While less aggressive, these forms of skin cancer are very common as people age.
One of the main things we want to bring to light is the importance of being aware of melanoma and its detection. Because many melanomas develop on the skin where they can be seen, they have a good chance of being detected early. If you are diligent.
It is critical to regularly examine your skin for any new or unusual growths, or changes in existing moles. If you find anything suspicious, you should discuss it with your primary care physician, a dermatologist (skin doctor) or a healthcare professional.
A normal mole is generally colored evenly (brown, black or tan), and are less than 6 mm in diameter (about the size of a pencil eraser). They can be flat or raised, and generally, do not change over time.
Early warning signs of melanoma
The first sign of melanoma is typically a new spot on the skin, or a change in the size, shape or color of an existing mole.
Here are some things to look for (known as the ABCDE method) which may flag whether an abnormal skin growth may be melanoma:
Asymmetry: The mole has an irregular shape.
Border: The edge is not smooth, but irregular or notched.
Color: The mole has uneven shading or dark spots.
Diameter: The spot is larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
Evolving or Elevation: The spot is changing in size, shape or texture.
Please Note: The only way to be sure if a mole is melanoma is to have it examined by a doctor.
Other melanoma symptoms may include:
Sores that do not heal
Pigment, redness or swelling that spreads outside the border of a spot to the surrounding skin
Itchiness, tenderness or pain
Changes in texture, or scales, oozing or bleeding from an existing mole
Blurry vision or partial loss of sight, or dark spots in the iris
If you would like to learn more about Melanoma or sun exposure, we encourage you to contact us at LiveYoung Medical, in Sidney BC about the importance of adequate sun protection.
Contact us to learn more.
Microneedling is gaining popularity as a skin treatment for improving the appearance of scars, fine lines, wrinkles, pigment and melasma, and large pores. It is also used to improve skin lines and laxity. Overall, our patients are seeing impressive results with microneedling, and with good reason. Learn more about the benefits of microneedling.
We want to give you a little guide into what Microneedling is, exactly, and why it is important to seek a skincare expert for advice and treatment.
At LiveYoung Medical, we actually refer to microneedling as “Microneedling CIT.” This is a more accurate term for the treatment itself with CIT being short for Collagen Induction Therapy.
How Does Microneedling CIT Work?
Tiny needles are directly inserted into the skin via an electronically-powered device, causing a series of microchannels within the skin. This action stimulates the body’s natural wound-healing response, which ultimately causes the release of various growth factors. As this occurs, deep into the layers of the skin, the formation of brand new collagen and elastin is stimulated.
As new collagen and elastin are formed, it improves the overall laxity of the skin, leaving the skin appearing more youthful, and improving the overall appearance.
Microneedling is not just for aged skin, however; It can also be used preventatively to help with premature aging of the skin as well.
What Can I Expect In A Microneedling CIT Treatment?
The entire clinic visit lasts about one hour. On treatment day, please be prepared for the following:
Choose Where You Do Microneedling Wisely.
There are two main things to consider when choosing where to get your microneedling treatment:
At Live Young Medical, Dr. Sweeney and Sarita, Clinical Nurse, are both trained specifically in skin assessment and the delivery of therapy involving medical microneedling. This level of qualification sets apart your treatment from one at a spa. Under the guidance of medical professionals, your needling treatment can be deeper - targeting deep pigment, melasma, and old, dysfunctional collagen (think scar tissue). The medical professionals of LiveYoung will be able to provide you with a comprehensive skin analysis and discuss with you in depth your wishes and concerns for treatment.
LiveYoung proudly owns the ACS Pen, a Swiss-made, state of the art device that is backed by over 30 years of science and research. One of the key features of the ACS Pen is its linear (vs. circular) needle design, which allows for minimal tissue damage, higher accuracy, and a more controlled and comfortable treatment.
Note: Microneedling CIT is not typically associated with significant downtime or any potential severe side effects.
At LiveYoung Medical, in Sidney, BC, we are a medical (doctor and nurse) team. You can trust that we will give you the best care and sound advice when it comes to your skin health needs and concerns.
If you have heard that the needs of your skin change with the brighter days and warmer weather of the spring and summer months, then you have heard right. In fact, there are important differences one should note. The products you select for your daily routine can impact your skin health and can help prevent sun damage and other skin health issues.
Before telling you how to protect against sun damage, we want you to understand it and the need for protection. What is the sun’s impact on our skin?
There are three major definitions of sun damage:
The Rays: UVA and UVB:
The overall takeaway message is that it is very important to protect your skin against the sun at all times. Prolonged sun exposure can cause a great deal of skin damage, beyond just photoaging, if your skin is left unprotected.
Now that you understand what sun damage is and the types of sun damage that can occur, it’s important to discuss how to protect against it.
What a lot of people do not realize is that SPF actually refers to the amount of time before burning from UVB rays (see above). So the higher amount of “SPF blocks” the more UVB rays are “blocked”. However, recall that UVB rays only account for 5% of UV rays. Therefore, although this does protect (to some degree) the sunburn and surface sun damage, it is those harmful UVA rays that need to be protected against as well.
A minimum of SPF 30 should always be used, and getting a sunscreen that is “broad spectrum” is necessary.
What is Broad Spectrum Protection?
This is the sun protection that is needed, always.
Broad Spectrum signifies coverage against both UVA and UVB rays is the most important thing to look for on a sunscreen label.
Also, recall that UVA rays are accessible at all hours of daylight. Therefore, re-application of a broad spectrum sunscreen is necessary while it is light out.
Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen always.
Apply your sunscreen liberally. Apply it to all areas of the body including the face, head and neck, feet and hands.
Reapply. We recommend reapplying every two to three hours.
If possible, stay out of the sun when the heat is the most intense. This is generally between 10 am to 4 pm. During these times it is important to seek shade, take advantage of umbrellas on patios or on the beach, and remember to wear hats and protective clothing as well.
Wear sunglasses with approved protection in accordance with Health Canada regulations.
Don’t rely on sunlight for Vitamin D, consider taking a supplement.
Take care of your lips, apply sunscreen there as well.
Stay away from tanning beds. Period.
At LiveYoung Medical, in Sidney BC, we are committed to providing the very best of choices for our patients, and their individual needs. This is why we carry products we personally recommend and use, at our clinic. We offer broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection from the elite lines Elta MD ™, colorescience ®, and Alumier MD in SPF 40-50. Our cruelty-free sunscreen formulas are developed by dermatologists and packed with antioxidants and other added skin nutrients. We aim to help you go makeup-free with our tinted sunscreens, which come in a variety of shades in both matte and sheer finishes.
Ask us about which sun protection is best for you and those you care for.
Learn about some of our products on our products page.
To learn more, please contact us directly. Our practice consists of a doctor and nurse duo, and we will be happy to discuss your skincare needs with you in detail.
Do you have an “all-or-nothing” mentality when it comes to weight loss?
This type of mindset could be standing in the way of you reaching your goal weight and looking and feeling your very best. At LiveYoung Medical, our Integrated Weight Loss and Management Program allows our patients to not just change their pant size but successfully adapt their physiology to attain an optimal, healthy weight.
With the number of fad diets, health products promising weight loss, and pricey exercise programs, trying to find a solution for your unwanted pounds can feel like an impossible feat.
Live Young Medical, located in Sidney, BC and just 30 minutes outside Victoria is home to an effective Integrated Weight Loss and Management Program.
The LiveYoung Integrated Weight Loss and Maintenance Program combines all the necessary tools for successful change with support from a medical professional, Dr. Maureen Sweeney.
The program consists of:
Dr. Sweeney has put her knowledge, developed over decades of professional medical experience, into creating LiveYoung Medical’s Integrated Weight Loss and Maintenance Program. She and her team look forward to helping you look and feel your very best.
There is no time like the present to begin your weight-loss journey. To get started, contact the LiveYoung team today.
As stubborn double chins are difficult to target with weight loss, for decades people choose costly surgery or settled with doing nothing at all. At LiveYoung Medical, located just 30 minutes outside of Victoria, BC, we offer a natural solution to your unwanted submental fat.
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) photorejuvenation is a popular treatment which is particularly successful when it comes to treating colour irregularities of the skin such as sun spots, age spots, hyperpigmentation, rosacea, and broken blood vessels. While the consistent, great results we see with this treatment are impressive, the science behind IPL is almost as fascinating! Read on to learn more about IPL and what you can expect when you consider LiveYoung for IPL Photorejuvenation.
Prior to your treatment, Dr. Sweeney and her team will take a set of clinical photos in order to be able to thoroughly assess your skin. By applying a special UV filter during the photography process, LiveYoung treatment providers are able to see exactly what type of sun damage you have and where it is.
In the majority of cases, patients have a significant amount of sun damage "below the surface" of the skin, which may not yet visible to the naked eye. This damage will inevitably become more visible with time, and it is a good idea to have it treated in its early stages before it becomes prominent and more difficult to treat.
During your initial consultation in our Sidney, BC clinic, you will be encouraged to ask questions as well as carefully consider Dr. Sweeney’s treatment plan. IPL treatments are best planned around vacations, sun holidays, and the summer months when tanned skin is more likely - treating tanned skin must be avoided at all costs.
By delivering IPL energy in a controlled manner, IPL photorejuvenation targets unwanted pigmentation and vascular irregularities without impacting the surrounding skin.
IPL works from the inside out to reverse and/or diminish signs of aging and sun damage, leaving your skin clearer, more uniform in colour, and restoring its youthful beauty. The treatment has gained popularity due to the incredible, consistent results seen with proper treatment technique. IPL can often be considered a “lunchtime treatment,” meaning it is quick and easy with minimal associated discomfort or downtime - you can even pop in on your lunch break and return to work immediately after treatment!
Age spots and freckles
Chest and decollete
Forearms, arms, and shoulders
IPL Photorejuvenation can safely be used on all parts of the body, however, the above areas are the most common. IPL photorejuvenation works best when there is a contrast between the surrounding skin and target pigment. Those with severe damage or darker skin tones may require more than the average number of treatments, as treatment must be conducted with caution in such cases.
A full and individualized aftercare program will be provided to patients during their consultation and/or initial IPL photorejuvenation treatment. Following your treatment, and in-between treatment sessions, sunscreen will be your new best friend - if it isn’t already! It is of the utmost importance to be diligent with using an SPF of 30 or greater daily, with frequent re-application if you are outdoors or exposed to UV rays. As with any laser treatment, the skin becomes more sensitive post-treatment. To learn more about aftercare, click here.
The results seen with IPL Photorejuvenation at LiveYoung Medical are incredible. LiveYoung’s Sidney, Victoria, Gulf Island, and Vancouver patients are constantly raving about their renewed, youthful, glowing skin. To see more IPL photorejuvenation transformations, click here.
To book your IPL photorejuvenation treatment in Sidney, BC—just 30 minutes outside of Victoria, BC—contact our team today.