Hey guys, Sandra Lee, M.D. (aka Dr. Pimple Popper), here!

I see you’ve found The Pretty Pimple — I hope you’re enjoying the articles and learning something new! I’ve heard your requests for effective, acne-fighting products, and that’s why I’m so excited to introduce SLMD Skincare to you guys. This line exists to provide solutions for the skincare concerns you popaholics have always asked me about. These products bring together the most effective, blemish-banishing ingredients, so you can treat your skin with clinical confidence.

xo, Sandra

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Understanding The Stages of Melanoma

The most dire — and prevalent — skin condition to be aware of is cancer. It’s imperative that you’re educated about what skin cancer is and how it presents itself on your body so you can be ultra-vigilant about ensuring your skin is free of suspicious growths or cells.

Skin cancer develops when abnormal DNA mutations occur in the skin’s cells. The most common cause of these mutations is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, aka sun exposure, but they can also result from environmental damage and exposure, among a multitude of other causes. The number one way you can protect yourself from skin cancer is by slathering on an SPF, so make sure this is part of your routine!

The most common types of skin cancers — basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma — are non-melanoma skin cancers, and thus rarely spread and are not usually staged. Melanoma, however, is a rarer type of skin cancer that has five stages (0-4) and can become very aggressive if not treated in its infancy.

Stage 0:
 In its emergence, melanoma is centralized and only presents in the epidermis. It has not yet spread to other areas of the body, therefore surgery will generally remove and cure a stage 0 cancer.

Stage 1: At this stage, the cancer has grown and spread throughout the skin but has not reached other areas of the body. Surgery is still a good option for this stage, but can be less effective.

Stage 2: Although the cancer hasn’t spread to other areas of the body at this stage either, stage two indicates that the cancer is presenting a high risk for further development.

Stage 3: At this point, the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, which are located throughout the body and serve as a waste removal system. Because the body contains so many lymph nodes, the cancer is highly likely to spread at this stage, but has not yet made its way into other major organs.

Stage 4: The most critical and difficult stage to treat, this final stage indicates the cancer has spread throughout the body’s lymph nodes and major organs.

The best way to ensure that melanoma doesn’t reach a later stage is performing regular skin checks. Set up annual appointments with your dermatologist, but also do an inspection semi-regularly — not just on yourself, but on your friends and loved ones. For tips on what to look for, learn about the ABCDE’s of moles!

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