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By Skin Cancer Foundation
August 13, 2018
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged


Reading a sunscreen label shouldn’t be like deciphering a foreign language. But a recent study in JAMA Dermatology found that many people don’t understand how to read a sunscreen label or how the product protects the skin. Only 43 percent of survey respondents understood the meaning of an SPF value.

How to read a Sunscreen Label


Given these findings, we considered it a good time to brush up on sunscreen basics. Here are  explanations of key terms appearing on sunscreen labels that you should understand when selecting a product:

1. Broad Spectrum: It’s essential for your sunscreen to offer broad spectrum protection, which means that it offers effective protection against bothUVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB(ultraviolet B) rays, the solar wavelengths proven to damage the skin. UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB, and are the chief cause of wrinkles, sagging and other signs of aging. UVB rays damage the skin’s upper surface and are the main cause of sunburn. Both cause skin cancer.

2. Sun Protection Factor (SPF): SPF is a measure of how long a person can stay in the sun before its UVB rays start to burn the skin.  Let’s say with no sunscreen, your skin starts to redden in 20 minutes. An SPF 30 will theoretically allow you to stay in the sun 30 times longer without getting burned.  But keep in mind that SPF numbers are determined in a lab. In the real world, no matter what the SPF, sunscreens start to lose effectiveness over time, so it’s important to reapply every two hours and after swimming or heavy sweating.  Also note that above SPF 50 the amount of additional sun protection is negligible. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends always using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher – SPF 30 or higher for extended stays outdoors.

3. Water-resistant: The terms “water-resistant” and “sweat-resistant” indicate whether the sunscreen remains effective for 40 minutes or 80 minutes when you are swimming or sweating. Since no sunscreen is fully “waterproof” or “sweatproof,” the FDA prohibits these terms.

4. The Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation: Look for our Seal to assure yourself that a product is safe and effective.  To earn the Seal, products must have their test results reviewed by an independent committee of photobiologists, experts in sun damage and sun protection.  The Daily Use Seal is for sunscreens intended to protect against brief everyday sun exposures, the kind you experience walking to the car or running errands. The Active Seal is for extended exposures such as when playing sports or at the beach.

5. Active ingredients:  This area of the label, often on the back of the bottle, lists the main ingredients in sunscreens that protect your skin against UV rays. There are two main types of active sunscreen ingredients: chemical and physical. Chemical ingredients such as avobenzone and benzophenone,work by absorbing UV, reducing its penetration into the skin, whereas physical ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide stay on top of the skin and deflect UV rays. Many sunscreens available today combine chemical and physical ingredients.

Published on September 9, 2015, Updated on May 2, 2016
By Mary Canna, PA-C
April 27, 2016
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

It seems as if everything is coconut these days!  So let's talk about coconut oil and you.  Apparently there are many benefits that we can get from using coconut oil in both cooking and on the skin.  First off, the health benefits from cooking with coconut oil have been well documented, but did you know coconut oil is a great moisturizer too - who knew??

In a comparison study coconut oil did as well if not better than mineral oil.  But even better than that, coconut oil can actually decrease the amount of a bacteria that is found on the skin called "Staph".  Staph can cause skin and other infections and this is especially important for people with a kind of chronic rash called "Eczema".

Another benefit of coconut oil is that it is pretty safe and it helps your skin to hold onto its moisture longer.  So then, is there anything bad about using coconut oil?  Well only if you are allergic to one of its components.  There is something called cocomidapropyl betaine, which is a derivative of coconut and used in some products as a preservative.  Some people are allergic to this and therefore may have a reaction to coconut oil.  However, most people are not allergic to this and are able to use this natural oil on their skin with great results!

Coconut oil is available everywhere and is not particularly expensive.

So have fun going Cukoo for Coconuts!



By Susan Peterson, PA
March 23, 2016
Category: Skin Care
Tags: Untagged


Have you ever heard this word?
Well, we all know that those of you in my age group are looking for Botox and fillers and home care products for reJuvenation.  We have an array from which to choose.  With these choices, we can individualize your treatment for the BEST YOU!

For those younger, the goal is to age gracefully.  Visible lines and draping may be a few years down the road for those in their 20's and 30's.  By examining the movement of your facial muscles, we now have the ability to preJuvenate before lines, wrinkles, creases and spots begin.

So we can reJuvenate and preJuvenate!

All of us love to look our best.  It makes us feel better.  Why not start with what others see?  When you feel better, you look better!

It is a delight for me to help you look and feel better!  Put a little "SPRING" in your step, and get an uplifted outlook for the season with a fresh reJuvenated or preJuvenated face for all to see!

By Dr. Peter Accetta M.D.
March 09, 2016
Category: Melanoma
Tags: Untagged

Patients who have had a visit to a dermatologist for any reason are more likely to self-detect a future melanoma.  It has also been shown that these melanomas tend to be thinner and therefore have a better prognosis than melanomas developing on people who have never seen a dermatologist.

A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology that these findings held true even if the prior visit to the dermatologist was long ago.

Education obtained at the dermatology appointment may improve early self-detection and having an established dermatologist may facilitate earlier evaluation and treatment.

By Susan Peterson PA-C
February 17, 2016
Category: Sun Protection
Tags: Untagged

Put on your thinking cap!
"Let's learn how to read a sunscreen label"

There are (5) areas to understand.
1) Broad Spectrum - Your sunscreen shoud list itself as broad spectrum.  That means it will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays that damage the skin.

2) SPF - This is a measurement of how long you can be outdoors before the UVB rays cause damage to your skin in the form of a sunburn.  If normally you can be out for 20 minutes before reddening an SPF of 30 will theoretically allow you to be out 30 times longer before reddening.  Remember though this number is determined in a lab.  So for safety sake re-apply every (2) hours and after swimming or heavy perspiration.  Look for an SPF of 30 for extended coverage.

3) Water-Resistant - No sunscreen is fully waterproof or sweat proof.  So re-apply after swimming or heavy perspiring.

4) Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation - This assures you that it is safe and effective for your use.  The seal also indicates if it is recommended for daily use or active exposures.

5) Active Ingredients - There are (2) main types of sunscreen ingredients.  (Chemical and Physical)
    Chemical Ingredients work by absorbing UV rays.  Avobenzone and benzophenone are names you may recognize.
Preferred are physical ingredients of Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide.  These protective ingredients last longer and by staying on the surface of the skin deflect the harmful rays of the sun.

Now you can understand your sunscreen label.
Remember sunscreen is one part of sun protection.  Enjoy the shade between 10am and 4pm.  Wear sun protective clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and UV-protective sunglasses.


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