What Everyone Should Know about Cosmetic Surgery and Melanoma

Show Summary - August 10, 2009


Sharon welcomed the listeners and talked about the importance of water in life and life in water. She said that it is imperative for everyone to realize the importance of water, to drink plenty of water and to carry water with them if they are unsure of a water source. Dehydration, or lack of water, is out of control in our world and causes or contributes to ailments from allergies to obesity.

Guest:Richard G. Glogau, MD

Richard G. Glogau, MD (San Francisco, CA), dermatologist, "Expert Advice on Skin Protection, Cosmetic Surgery and Prevention of Melanoma."

Dr. Richard Glogau is a San Francisco dermatologist and Harvard graduate specializing in cosmetic surgery, wrinkle fillers and botox to improve skin appearance; and the prevention and treatment of malignant melanoma. He is listed among the 2000 best doctors in America.

Dr. Glogau began by talking about the importance of skin, the body's largest organ and our primary interface with the outside world. The skin always needs to be protected and nurtured, from birth through old age. Skin protects the inside of the body and helps keep uninvited things (such as bacteria) out of the body.

Sharon noted that the skin and body immediately begin drying up on birth, and that most of the moisture is lost through the skin. Therefore, water intake is critical to skin and body health. Dr. Glogau agreed, noting that when the skin burns off in an injury, water from the body is free to evaporate and the body will quickly go into shock.

The body also gets rid of most toxins through the skin. When we age, this ability decreases. Aging skin can become thin, wrinkled, pale, dry and often itchy and inflamed. Skin is primarily "aged" by ultraviolet light (UV) exposure and "too much bathing and scrubbing." Sharon mentioned that she has always advised the avoidance of soap because it leaves a dehydrating residue and washes the oil out of the skin. This is especially true on the face.

Dr. Glogau advocates exfoliation as a way to improve skin health but it must be used in moderation and the skin must be given adequate time to heal. Also, the skin tightens and does not function as well when the body is under physical or emotional stress.

According to Dr. Glogau, the most misunderstood dermatology concept is "moisturizing." Most moisturizing lotions are actually "moisture sealers" that do not add water to the skin. Thus, it is important to add water to the skin before applying these lotions (such as right after a bath or after misting with a product such as Nature's Mist). As for skin lotions, the lighter ones do contain a little water and the heavier ones do not. As you get older, the skin loses moisture more easily and stronger, heavier sealers are preferred - provided you add water to the skin beforehand.

Secrets to younger looking skin include lifelong UVA protection, sun-protective clothing, and daily use of sunscreen, especially on the face and arms and no matter what the season.

The discussion then turned to cosmetic surgery. Dr. Glogau explained that when you age, the soft tissue volume under the skin decreases. These tissues hold 30 to 40 times their weight in water, which is then available to the skin. They also keep the skin young looking. These tissues can be replaced or augmented with "injectable fillers" and it can be very beneficial to do this. The procedure is minimally invasive and the skin's appearance will improve for up to a year.

Sharon observed that there is nothing wrong with "vanity" if it causes you to pay closer attention to your skin health and take better care of it.

The interview closed with an extensive discussion of skin cancers. Dr. Glogau noted that skin cancer is the #1 cause of death in Argentina and Australia. In Australia, it now against the law to send a child to school without a hat and in Argentina, it is illegal to go out in the sun from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. No matter where you live, the noonday sun is the most damaging to skin (which is when most schools have recess).

The problem with malignant melanoma, the most serious and potentially fatal form of skin cancer, is that most adult melanomas begin with a blistering sunburn before age 14. Thus, sun protection at the beach and at other times is especially critical for children.

See Dr. Glogau's website at

Categories: Health and wellness; pediatric health; senior issues; 2009