If you’re like most Americans, then you probably enjoy a cup of coffee every day to start your morning. But how is that ritual affecting your overall health? Your skin? Because of the popularity of coffee, there have been numerous studies conducted on the health benefits and risks of daily consumption. Recently, a study emerged that examined the effect of coffee on skin-cancer prevention. So the big question is: does coffee have any effect on whether you’ll get melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer?
A New Study
The parameters of the study included 447,357 non-Hispanic white participants between the ages of 50 and 71 without cancer at the start of the study. During the course of the study, 2,904 participants developed melanoma. Researchers then took a look at participants’ coffee-drinking habits to get an idea as to whether that played a role in the development of melanoma. While as many variables as possible were controlled, there is a chance that other factors played a role in the findings.
A study to determine whether coffee has a role in skin-cancer prevention may seem far-fetched, but it turns out the researchers may have been on to something. Among the group studied, those who drank more a large amount of coffee (four cups or more per day) were 20 percent less likely to develop melanoma than non-coffee drinking participants. Because of the amount of coffee required to reach this reduction, the study seems to indicate that this particular benefit of coffee is only slight, and author of the study, Erikka Loftfield (a graduate student at the Yale School of Public Health) advises that at this stage, at least, it’s not worth it to change your coffee habits in hopes of preventing melanoma.
Better Prevention Methods
Instead of relying on coffee to keep you skin cancer free, it’s best to rely on an old standby: sun protection. Be sure to use sunscreen when you will be exposed to the elements, even if there is a window between you and the outdoors. UV rays can penetrate most glass, and many people do not consider this when taking measures to prevent skin cancer. Protective clothing and accessories, such as sunglasses and hats also help protect the vulnerable skin on the face. Extra care should be taken in the summer, especially during the hottest parts of the day.
Skin Cancer Treatment
Skin cancer generally responds very well to treatment if caught early. Melanoma in particular is very dangerous, however, and should be dealt with as soon as possible. Early symptoms of skin cancer can usually be treated effectively with a surgery known as MOHS. MOHS involves removing a thin layer of tissue from the affected area, then examining the skin under a microscope for cancerous cells. This is repeated until no cancer cells remain. This method is used for thin skin irregularities, and has many benefits, including minimal damage to skin surrounding the cancerous cells. For more serious melanomas, MOHS may not be sufficient, or may be combined with other treatment techniques.
Sun exposure can do more than cause cancer. It is a major cause of accelerated aging and pigmentation change in the skin that results in aesthetic issues. If you weren’t as careful about skin protection when you were younger, you may be seeing the results of your sunbathing showing up as wrinkles, sagging skin, and sun spots. Fortunately, there are a number of effective skin procedures that can help improve or resolve these issues, including:
- Chemical peels
- Soft tissue fillers
- Laser resurfacing
Only a cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon has the knowledge and skill to administer these treatments properly, so choose your provider wisely.
Meet With an Expert
When it comes to melanoma, you can’t be too careful. If you are worried about the possibility of skin cancer, then it’s a good idea to speak with a qualified dermatologist. A dermatologist can help with skin cancer screenings and treatment, treatment of minor skin conditions, and general skincare. If you’d like to pursue cosmetic skin treatments, you will want to seek out a board certified dermatologist specializing in aesthetic treatments, like Dr. Diane Walder, an acclaimed cosmetic dermatologist with expertise in skin cancer treatment. If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Walder or her colleague Dr. Stacy Chimento, in Miami, call 305-866-2177 today.