Common Cancer Myths

MYTH: People with darker skin can’t get skin cancer.

TRUTH: Fair skin does boost your odds of developing both deadly melanoma and other types of skin cancer. But no hue grants you immunity from the disease, says Joshua Fox, M.D., medical director of Advanced Dermatology, P.C., in New York—especially if you fail to take preventive measures.

Dr. Fox on Protecting Your Skin in Winter


Winter is a wonderful time for outdoor adventurers. Many hit the slopes, others continue their outdoor exercise regimens and some simply enjoy a regular walk in the winter sunshine. However, you must be careful because you can get skin cancer in the winter too. It is imperative to protect your skin from the sun, and especially for men, to protect your ears and lips.


Dr. Joshua Fox

According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, men’s increased risk for skin cancer is due to their shorter hairstyles combined with improper sunscreen application. Women are also vulnerable, especially if they have thin or short hair, or wear their hair pulled back in a ponytail. There is a much greater prevalence of ear skin cancer in men than women. We also have more basal cell cancer of the lip in men than women. This is because women use lipstick and other balms that typically have some sun protection.

Winter is Dangerous for Skin Cancer Too

winterskin2Dermatology specialist Dr. Joshua Fox, medical director of Advanced Dermatology, P.C., discusses skin care tips for the winter in a recent article. According to Dr. Fox, “Winter weather can intensify the negative effects of UV exposure in several ways. First, snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV light, meaning the same sun rays can hit you twice. And second, snow and strong winds can erode sunscreen protection.” Click here to read more.

NY Dermatologist Joshua Fox Supports Call to Protect Baby’s Skin from the Sun


NY Dermatologist Joshua Fox Supports Call to Protect Baby’s Skin from the Sun

Tips to keeping your baby’s skin safe this summer and for a lifetime.

Roslyn, NY (PRWEB) March 26, 2013

There is nothing to compare to a warm spring day to shake off the seclusion of winter and beckon families to outdoor fun. But according to N.Y. dermatologist Joshua Fox with Advanced Dermatology PC, “parents need to be particularly cautious to protect their babies’ delicate skin from the sun while doing so.” The skin may be more prone to sun damage and early genetic damage. Dr. Fox advises that parents follow the guidelines of the American Academy of Dermatology and take every effort to keep babies age 0-6 months out of the sun altogether if possible.

“Babies’ skin is thinner than adults and therefore absorbs the UV rays even more rapidly than adults’ skin,” Dr. Fox explains. “In addition, human skin develops melanin, the pigment which gives color to skin, over time. Babies have less melanin than adults and this is another reason they have less protection from the sun.”

Professional Organizations Agree on Need to Protect Babies’ Skin.

There is agreement between the numerous professional organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control, US Environmental Protection Agency and National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, as well as the American Cancer Society, Skin Cancer Foundation and the New Age Skin Research Foundation, all of which promote public awareness about comprehensive sun protection.

Dr. Fox shares these tips to protect babies’ skin from the sun.

Infants 0-6 months:


    • Babies under 6 months of age should be kept out of the sun altogether when possible.


    • Use removable mesh window shields in the car, or UV window film to block ultraviolet radiation from entering the car.


    • Walk with your baby before 10 am or after 4 pm. A sun protective cover on the stroller will help block the damaging sun rays from baby even further.


    • Dress baby in clothing that is lightweight, but covers the legs and arms.


  • Select a wide-brimmed hat to protect the baby’s face, ears, and neck. “If you put a hat on your baby in the first few months of life, she will get used to wearing it,” Dr. Fox offers.

Babies 6-12 months:

    • It is safe to use sunscreen. It is important to continue all the above precautions as well Dr. Fox advises.


    • Dr Fox reinforces the need for a minimum of a broad-spectrum, SPF +15 sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection.


  • Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and then reapply every two hours or after swimming or excess sweating. Apply to any areas left uncovered by clothing.

The first sunscreens were alcoholic solutions which offered modest protection against the sun and washed off easily. “We’ve come a long way with sunscreen protection since the 60s,” Dr. Fox explains. We advise our patients to use of a good sunscreen with SPF of higher than 15 on their babies at 6 months when going outside and hope that it will become second nature to regularly apply sunscreen.

UV Rays

Ultra Violet Rays (UVR) are composed of UVA rays, UVB rays, and UVC rays. The upper atmosphere filters out the UVC rays, but UVA and UVB rays penetrate the atmosphere and are the rays that can damage human skin. Intense and intermittent exposure to UVR and sunburn during childhood and infancy are linked to increased risks of melanoma.

“There is more research needed to understand the effects of sun on babies’ skin, as most research has been done on adults. But the important guidelines for protecting babies’ skin are sure ways to reduce the risks and protect babies’ skin for a full and healthy lifetime.”

Are You Helping Your Clients Avoid Skin Cancer?


Are You Helping Your Clients Avoid Skin Cancer?

Posted: November 29, 2010

Editor’s note: As a spa professional, you are in a unique position to be able to help clients identify skin cancer. Be sure to make note of any marks that appear odd, according to the information below, and be sure to recommend a visit to the dermatologist if it is in order. Also, it is important to be able to refer clients to a reputable dermatologist if they don’t already have one. One more thing … make sure that clients perform the home skin care checks as advised in this piece.

Skin cancer is a scary subject. “No one wants to think about developing a disfiguring, even deadly, disease, therefore so many Americans live in a state of denial,” says Joshua Fox, MD, a leading dermatologist and medical director of Advanced Dermatology of New York and New Jersey. “Most people know they are supposed to be checking their skin monthly for changes that might be cancer, but they aren’t exactly diligent about it. It’s something that gets put off for later, often indefinitely.”

But skipping the skin scans can be dangerous, says Paige Farkas, MD, a dermatologist specializing in skin cancer screening at Advanced Dermatology. “There have been significant advances in the treatment of skin cancer, including the deadly types, but we know that the front-end things–detection, diagnosis and immediate treatment–are still critical.” In fact, she says, despite the fact that skin cancer is among the simplest types of cancer to identify since it’s visible on the outside of the body, the rates continue to rise. And although nonmelanoma cancers have a relatively good prognosis, melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, can quickly become lethal. In fact, new research shows that melanoma cells have a unique ability to override even the healthiest immune system, eventually spreading far beyond the initial site.

The truth is, checking your skin regularly, and making an appointment to have your dermatologist do the same, is the best and only way to catch skin cancer before it spreads. “For the past 25 years, we’ve told people to pay attention to the ABCDs of pigmented skin irregularities,” Fox says. “Asymmetry, border irregularity, color variation, and diameter more than 6 mm (about ¼ inch). These are still the key to identifying a problem growth among a bunch of innocuous looking freckles and moles,” he says.

Here are the rules of skin cancer screening. Make sure your clients do these at home.