Most skin cancers are caused through daily sun exposure when you are walking or driving, not from serious sunburns.
LOVELAND, CO, USA, July 19, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ — Everybody wants to look younger and avoid those telltale wrinkles and fine lines.
"The first nine are sunscreen and sun-protective clothing," McCoppin said.
"Most skin cancers are caused through daily sun exposure when you are walking or driving, not from serious sunburns. As people age the cancers come because of the accumulated UV (ultraviolet) damage," she said.
A board-certified Dermatologist and Mohs Micrographic Surgeon, McCoppin has just moved to Colorado from Missouri with her family and has settled in south Fort Collins.
McCoppin understands that they have gone from a cloudy, low-altitude locale to one of the sunniest places in the high country. Statistics show that about 22 out of every 100,000 people in Colorado receive a skin cancer diagnosis every year and diagnoses are steadily on the rise.
"There's SO much sun here combined with the high elevation. So the risk is there for fair-skinned people like me," McCoppin said.
All in the family
McCoppin, 40, married her husband, Aaron, in 2010. "He's very outdoorsy. He loves skiing, running and biking and enjoys woodworking including making doll house furniture for our daughters," she said.
Six-year-old Ella starts first grade in the fall. "She's very kind-hearted and smart. Kate, at 3½, is a spitfire. She is loud and energetic and will be starting pre-school," she said.
As a dermatologist, McCoppin practices what she preaches. "I wear sunscreen every single day. It's especially important to put it on your face, arms and chest. Today I threw on a shirt that provides UV protection and a hat," she said.
"I'm a mom and I work and have a thousand things to do like everybody else, but I put sunscreen on the girls every day. What I've noticed is that sometimes people are so good at reapplying on their kids that they forget to reapply it on themselves," she said.
McCoppin recommends an SPF of 30 or greater that gives you 98 percent protection. It should also be labeled as "broad spectrum," she said. Lotions are best and last longer than the sprays. In either case, sunscreen needs to be re-applied every two hours when you are outside.
"Most people need at least a shot glass full of lotion to cover everything. I start with the lotion and then sometimes reapply with the sunscreen spray. With the spray you need to rub it in and reapply more often," McCoppin said.
"I used to have a dentist who told me: 'Only floss the teeth you want to keep.' The same is true with skin. Only protect the skin you don't want to be damaged," she said.
The path from farm to surgery
McCoppin grew up on a farm in rural Missouri and had no thought of being a doctor, much less a dermatologist.
"I was finishing college as a science major. My grandpa got really sick with cancer. We were very close and it was very hard to deal with. I got to watch the medical process up close. Something inside clicked with me. I thought: 'I want to help people go through this.' It changed the whole direction of my life," she said.
After graduating summa cum laude from Saint Louis University, McCoppin earned her medical degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia where she also pursued her dermatology residency.
"I liked a lot of areas of medicine but wasn't sure where I fit. I had this great mentor pushing me to try dermatology. I resisted because it didn't seem like a serious field," she said.
After assisting with skin cancer surgeries "I found it fit my personality. I'm a perfectionist. I really want to be the best at what I do. I like small, detail-oriented, hands-on work," she said.
She specializes in skin cancer and reconstructive surgery and has received advanced training in aesthetic procedures. "The cosmetic side fits in well with what I do. Sometimes the problem is sizeable and we create a result that is functional and pleasing," she said.
"Even just helping someone with serious eczema can be life-changing for them," she said.
Unlike with many kinds of surgery, few of McCoppin's patients go under anesthesia. "It's wonderful. We're talking the whole time. If it's emotional, we get emotional. If it's funny, we laugh," she said.
McCoppin knows from personal experience" I've had skin surgery so I know it can be scary. I have a scar on my face that patients don't notice it unless I point it out. It shows how we can create an appealing result," she said.
More than skin deep?
Beyond religious sunscreen application and an annual full-body skin exam by a dermatologist, there are treatments that help improve the appearance of skin. McCoppin has seen the ads for expensive anti-aging skin serums on TV.
"If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. You can use a retinol-based treatment. They are available over the counter but there is also a stronger, prescription retinol treatments available. These Night creams can really help by gently resurfacing the skin. If you use them every night you should see some pretty good results," McCoppin said.
McCoppin noted that there are exciting new skin cancer treatments in the research pipeline. "There are a lot of new advances in targeted chemotherapy for melanomas that cause fewer side effects for patients. I'm optimistic about what's coming up," she said.
Lake Loveland Dermatology
776 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland
Lake Loveland Dermatology
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Source: EIN Presswire