He’s a well-known US television star, and one of the world’s most renowned skincare experts, but what really got the world buzzing about the US-based Doctor Justin Piasecki is that he pioneered a type of procedure that combines plastic surgery and the removal of skin cancer cells in a single treatment.
His groundbreaking Plastic Micrographic Surgery uses innovative technology to remove cancer cells and has taken over from traditional Mohs Micrographic Surgery, which was originally used to remove cancerous skin cells.
“The doctors certified in Mohs Surgery are trained very well to remove skin cancer,” explained Dr. Piasecki, “however, the only problem was that after the cancer cells were removed, a hole was left on the skin. The hole is large in size and quite visible; it is problematic to patients who had their cancer cells removed from the sensitive areas on their face, such as tear ducts, and the corner of the eyelids. But what was more of a problem was that those doctors are dermatologists and not plastic surgeons. This means that the patient needs to see a plastic surgeon to remove the hole, which is not only costly in terms of money but in time as well. And the patient’s skin may develop swelling and other side effects, which leads to less accurate cosmetic results.”
So Dr. Piasecki took matters into his own hands, opening the Skin Care Centre of Excellence in Seattle to offer “a one-stop shop” for patients in need of treatment. His procedures allow the skin cancer to be treated from start to finish, and his surgery is now proven to offer the highest cure rates as well as a good standard of cosmetic results with the least cost to the patient.
Cancer can be an aggressive disease that causes a lot of trauma. For that reason it is important to know the early signs and to prevent it from developing. According to Dr. Piasecki the early signs are, “A wound that bleeds with minimal trauma, such as towelling off after a shower, a wound that won’t heal over the course of a few weeks, or growing skin lesion.” You should also watch out for any brown or black spots that are changing in any form or colour on your skin. If you see any of these signs you should consult your doctor immediately.
Even if these early signs don’t appear you should have your skin checked on a regular basis. “Examine your own skin every month and on your birth day for an extra 10 minutes in the shower and be familiar with your own skin,” adds Dr. Piasecki.
So what can we do to prevent skin cancer? Dr. Piasecki had a simple response: sunscreen. “The best way to prevent skin cancer is by applying sunscreen,” he continued. “First of all, it is recommended that you use a sunscreen of SPF 30 or above as that will block UV rays from penetrating. You should apply the sunscreen every two to three hours so the sunscreen cannot be destroyed by UV rays. If you have direct contact with water, you should reapply it.
Dr Piasecki also advises his patients to steer clear of tanning beds. He added: “The problem is that tanning beds use varying degrees of UVA and UVB depending on the machine and the filters in it. Both of those forms of radiation cause skin cancer (as well as premature ageing of the skin). I would simply avoid them, period.”
A healthy attitude towards your daily skincare routine and the way you eat are both key to attaining the best skin insists Dr Piasecki, who added: “A simple wash of the skin in the morning and at night with lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser is appropriate to remove dead skin, make-up and dirt. Avoid bar soap or cleansers that tend to dry your skin. A daytime moisturiser after the morning wash is appropriate, since most human skin after the age of 30 loses some of its ability to keep moisture in.”
Dr. Piasecki also recommends including foods that contain vitamins A, E, C, Omega-3 fatty acids, folates, selenium, and lycopene. These ingredients are vital for skin improvement and have great benefits. Avoiding sugary and carb-heavy foods can reduce breakouts, as can maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise.
Dr. Piasecki discusses skin-essential nutrients
• Vitamin A can decrease breakouts. It’s found in carrots, spinach and mangoes
• Vitamin E protects skin from UV rays. Try almonds, kiwifruit and broccoli
• Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant and helps in collagen synthesis. Go for sweet potatoes, oranges and peppers
• Folates improve the mechanisms that repair DNA and are found in spinach, asparagus and green peas
• Omega-3 fatty acids minimise the appearance of wrinkles and soothe dry skin. Found in salmon and flaxseed oil
• Lycopene, found in tomatoes, watermelons and apricots, has anti-ageing properties
• Selenium decreases photo ageing and preserves elastin. Shellfish and Brazil nuts are rich in it.