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Sunscreen: Your daily regimen for healthy skin

Apr 30, 09:21 AM


Brad Yentzer, M.D.

Get to know dermatologist Brad Yentzer, M.D., by going to his web page or by viewing his video. 

By Dr. Brad Yentzer

What’s the secret to healthy, younger looking skin?

It comes in a bottle and has a number with the abbreviation SPF behind it.

Good old sunscreen is one of the best ways to avoid skin damage that can lead to wrinkles and other blemishes, all while significantly reducing your risk of skin cancer.

Regardless of the time of year, whether the sun is out or if it’s a cloudy day, if you work in an office or outdoors, I recommend that everyone use sunscreen daily.

Regular use is better than discretionary use because it can prevent the cumulative damage that puts us at greatest risk of skin cancer. We also create a good habit that can prevent a painful sunburn when we forget to apply or aren’t prepared.

What’s in a number?

The sun protection factor, or SPF, is a measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen. In general, the higher the SPF, the more protection the sunscreen offers against the ultraviolet radiation that causes sunburn, DNA damage, and photoaging.

Many patients ask what is the best level of SPF to use. My answer is the higher the number, the better you will be protected. However, there is not a linear relationship between the numbers and the level of protection. SPF 70 is not twice as effective as SPF 35. A lower SPF (≤15) may block most (about 85-90 percent), but not all the radiation. A higher SPF (≥50) can block nearly all of the radiation, or closer to 98 percent if applied correctly.

Don’t just dab or glisten

If you’re going to take the time to apply sunscreen, make sure you do it right. It does matter how much you use and people tend to use less than they actually need. That’s especially true for people who might not like the greasy feel of sunscreen on their face. But a drop of sunscreen spread thin won’t protect. SPF is rated at 2mg/cm2 – that’s thick!

Some makeup, moisturizers and lotions do contain a lower SPF sunscreen. While something is always better than nothing, these products aren’t as effective as higher SPF sunscreen.

I recommend searching for a formula that feels right to you. I tell my patients that the best sunscreen is the one that they will actually use on a daily basis.

When applying sunscreen, it should go on thick and white. After about 10 minutes, you can rub it in. Lotions and creams work best because you’ll be able to see if you have enough coverage using this method. They are also more cost effective. Sprays do work, but people usually don’t get enough on. If you use a spray sunscreen, don’t just glisten. Make sure you get a good wet stream and apply it out of the wind so it won’t blow away.

Recent changes in Food and Drug Administration labeling requirements for sunscreen now make it clear how long water- and sweat-resistant formulas should last. Look for the time printed on the label as a guide for how long the sunscreen will be water-resistant. A good rule of thumb is always reapply whenever you towel off. Although there are small differences between sunscreen formulas, the most important words to look for on the label are UVA/UVB or broad spectrum protection.

Sunscreen does not cause cancer!

Several years ago there was a study in rats that raised concerns about a component that is used in sunscreen called oxybenzone, which acts as a chemical filter. The study found that rats fed oxybenzone had a slightly bigger uterus than those that were fed a control diet. This led some to imply that sunscreen applied topically may have adverse hormonal effects and even cause uterine cancer. However, the amount fed to the rats was more than any human would ever apply topically in their lifetime. Subsequent clinical research in humans has shown that there is no evidence of adverse health effects for people, and people should not fear using this chemical in sunscreen products.

The bottom line

Skin cancer can happen at any age, but it happens more as we age. While a sunburn may be painful, the sun’s most dangerous effects accumulate slowly over time. At some point, many people cross a critical threshold where they wear out the warranty on their skin, so to speak, and get skin cancer. Wearing protective clothing, a wide-brim hat and using sunscreen daily can extend that warranty.

Brad Yentzer, M.D., is a dermatologist at The Corvallis Clinic. He sees patients in Corvallis, Albany and Newport. To schedule an appointment, call 541-754-1252 or contact Find-a-Physician. 


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Meet DeAndria (Denny)

Apr 29, 01:49 PM

Clinical Research Center

Chances are you might already recognize Denny because she worked for several years in The Corvallis Clinic laboratory before joining the Research Center about a year ago.  Boy, are we glad she did!  Denny makes sure that the study coordinators have everything needed for each patient visit – getting the patient charts ready, gathering documents and even making the reminder phone calls to patients.

Denny is often the first contact for patients seeking information about our studies as she is usually the friendly voice at the other end of the phone when patients call.  Denny’s lab skills are still put to good use because she does most of the blood draws that our studies require; this is nice for research patients because we can take care of everything in the Research hallway.  In addition, since joining Research Denny has dusted off her bookkeeping skills that were acquired from years of operating her family farm.   

We have discovered a few other things about Denny as well.  She has seven grandchildren who call her Nana and she loves to travel.  However, what most people can tell about Denny right away is that she is a HUGE OSU Beaver fan, especially where the OSU Women’s Basketball team is concerned. 

Denny is also a passionate advocate in raising funds for multiple sclerosis research because a family member was diagnosed with MS in 2007.  Denny’s Walk MS team - cleverly named “You’ve Got Some Nerve!” - was one of the top five fundraising teams at last year’s Corvallis Walk MS event. 

The Clinical Research Center is currently seeking volunteer patients in studies for Alzheimer’s disease, Type 2 diabetes, those with very high triglyceride levels, and COPD.  

If you are interested in learning more about clinical trials, contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163, or send an email to research@corvallisclinic.com or fill out our Research Study Information Request form. And, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/corvallisclinicresearch.


All of our research coordinators now ACRP-certified

Mar 23, 11:19 AM

Clinical Research Center

With great pride, we announced on March 15 that for the first time in the history of the Clinical Research Center all of our research coordinators are certified by the Association for Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP).  For us, this means all coordinators have the initials CCRC (Certified Clinical Research Coordinator) on our nameplates.  But, what does the CCRC designation mean for study participants? 

Our CCRC initials mean participants can be confident that our coordinators have successfully demonstrated the knowledge, skills and abilities to safely and ethically perform clinical research that complies with international clinical research standards.  Our coordinators have accomplished this by taking an exam that measures acceptable judgment, application of knowledge and problem-solving ability.  In addition, because maintaining ACRP certification requires ongoing continuing education, study participants can be assured our coordinators stay current in their knowledge and skills.

ACRP colleague Deborah Lasher summed up the importance of certification when she stated: “Certification demonstrates my commitment to continuous learning and improvement as a clinical research professional and to upholding the rights and safety of the subjects we treat in clinical trials”. 

Congratulations are in order to Carlene and Rita who just became certified; they join Julie, Kim, Lisa and Pat in proudly displaying the CCRC initials!

The Clinical Research Center is currently seeking volunteer patients in studies for Type 2 diabetes, walking difficulties after a stroke, those with very high triglyceride levels, COPD and contraception.

If you are interested in learning more about clinical trials, contact the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163, or send an email to research@corvallisclinic.com or fill out our Research Study Information Request form. And, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/corvallisclinicresearch.

 - Julie Carrico is Associate Coordinator of The Corvallis Clinical Research Center. 


New studies aim to possibly slow, stop Alzheimer's progression

Mar 08, 11:38 AM

Clinical Research Center

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 5.1 million Americans aged 65 and older are currently living with the disease, and it projects this number will increase to 7.1 million in 2025 and 13.8 million in 2050.

New large scale clinical trials, however, may offer some hope. They involve studying treatments that have the potential to affect the underlying cause of Alzheimer’s and slow - or maybe even halt - its progression.

The four drugs currently approved for the treatment of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease have a common therapeutic approach: to boost communication between nerve cells in the brain.  The most recent treatment was approved by the FDA in 2003. And while these medications may help manage symptoms, they can’t halt disease progression and the associated mental decline.

 

But many of the new “disease-modifying” treatments being studied focus on preventing the deposit of amyloid protein, which is a plaque that essentially coats the brain. These deposits are believed to cause damage by blocking cell-to-cell communication and may even trigger an inflammatory response that leads to the destruction of brain cells.


The new treatments aim to disrupt the deposit and thus potentially slow or stop the disease. 

 

The Clinical Research Center has already participated in one such study and is getting ready to participate in another, The Amaranth Study. Volunteer patients will undergo an extensive screening process to determine if they qualify for and can safely participate in the study. All patient volunteers must meet study criteria for a diagnosis of mild Alzheimer’s disease and be between 55-85 years old.   Volunteers also must have a study partner, someone with whom the volunteer has regular contact and who can attend all study visits and provide input on the volunteer’s mental functioning and overall health.  Potential volunteers can use the Pre-Qualification Screener Assessment on the The Amaranth Study website to see if they might qualify.

 

If you’d like more information about this study or any of our other clinical trials call the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163, or send an email to research@corvallisclinic.com or fill out our Research Study Information Request form.  And, follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/corvallisclinicresearch.


- Julie Carrico is Associate Coordinator of The Corvallis Clinical Research Center


Major strides in diabetes treatments last 15 years

Feb 23, 11:15 AM

Clinical Research Center

By Julie Carrico 

Not so long ago, the mention of the word "diabetes" conjured up images of insulin and needles and endless finger pricks to check blood glucose levels. In those days, complications caused by type 2 diabetes - such as blindness, stroke, amputation, kidney failure, and coronary heart disease - were almost inevitable. The few medications that existed were inadequate and often caused dangerously low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) and weight gain. 

Fastforward 15 years and it’s a whole new world for those living with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. The advances in treatment have occurred as a result of research aimed at understanding diabetes at the molecular level. As a result of this work, better forms of insulin have been developed.  Major breakthroughs have also been achieved in the development of entire new classes of diabetes treatment that target the specific metabolic abnormalities of type 2 diabetes.  The new medications result in better blood sugar control and fewer diabetic complications.

The Corvallis Clinic Clinical Research Center has been a part of these breakthroughs. Below are some facts about type 2 diabetes research at the Clinical Research Center:

  • It has more than 15 years of experience participating in type 2 diabetes clinical trials. 
  • It has participated in clinical trials for every new drug class for treating type 2 diabetes.
  • It only agrees to work on studies where the benefits of participation are expected to outweigh the risks.
  • It has earned a reputation as the "go to" place in the Willamette Valley for diabetes research. 

The Clinical Research Center is continuing its commitment to improve diabetes medications.  The center is currently enrolling for a study to evaluate an oral formulation of a Type 2 diabetes treatment that is currently only available in an injectable form. 

If you’d like more information about this study or any of our other Type 2 diabetes clinical trials call the Clinical Research Center at 541-766-2163, or send an email to research@corvallisclinic.com or fill out our Research Study Information Request form.  And, follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/corvallisclinicresearch. 

       - Julie Carrico is Associate Coordinator of The Corvallis Clinical Research Center.