for your health
To help you keep detailed records, down- load a free body mole map at
skinsafe.com. If a mole exhibits any of these characteristics or if you develop a sore that
won’t heal, consult a dermatologist.
suspicious spots that could be cancerous. Be
on the lookout for the following “red flags”
when examining your skin. Remember the
Asymmetry (one half is unlike the other half)
Border (irregular, scalloped or poorly defined)
Color (varies from one area to another; shades
of tan and brown, or black; sometimes white,
red or blue)
Diameter (the size of a pencil eraser or larger)
Evolving (any changes in size, shape or color)
is more than
By Dr. Jeffrey I. Ellis
Minimizing exposure to ultraviolet light
from the sun and tanning booths is the best
way to lower your risk for all skin cancer. Use
broad-brimmed hats, sunglasses, protective
clothing and sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher, and
minimize sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 4
p.m. to help keep skin at its healthiest.
If you are diagnosed with a skin cancer,
there are many treatments to choose from.
Your dermatologist will help you to select the
best option for you, including surgical removal,
radiation and/or medication. C
Because skin cancer is the only kind visible
at its earliest stage, performing regular self-examinations is an easy way to detect any
Jeffrey I. Ellis, M.D., is the director of dermatological surgery for the Long Island Jewish Medical
Center, as well as the medical director of Belaray
www.belaray.com) in Plainview,
THE 2009 NATIONAL Sleep
Foundation poll of 1,000
Americans indicated a rise in
the number of people getting
less than six hours of sleep per
night and a fall in the number of
people getting eight hours of
sleep or more per night, compared with 2001 results.
There are more than 70
sleep disorders affecting at least
40 million Americans, according
to the National Institutes of
Health, including insomnia,
sleep apnea and even snoring.
How is your sleep? Discuss
any of these common signs of
sleep disorders with your doctor:
• It takes you more than 30
minutes to fall asleep at night.
• You awaken frequently in
the night and then have trouble
falling back to sleep again.
• You feel sleepy during the
day and fall asleep within five
minutes if you have an opportunity to nap, or you fall asleep at
• Your bed partner claims
that you snore loudly, snort, gasp
or make choking sounds while
you sleep, or that your legs or
arms jerk often during sleep.
Don’t let your pets get ticked
LYME DISEASE IS transmitted by the bite of infected
blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever,
headache, fatigue and a rash. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart and the nervous
system. Early detection is crucial. If caught
early, most cases of Lyme disease can be treated
successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.
Lyme disease is not limited to
humans. It has been reported in dogs,
cats, horses and cattle.
In dogs, symptoms can include
lethargy, arthritis, loss of appetite,
fever, fatigue, kidney damage, heart
disorders and neurological disorders
(including aggression, confusion and
In cats, symptoms can include fever,
arthritis, loss of appetite, fatigue, eye
problems, breathing disorders, heart
disorders, a “trance-like” state and possible sudden collapse.
When walking or exercising your pet outdoors,
try to keep it away from grassy or wooded areas and
Check your pet regularly for ticks, especially
after any trips through grassy or wooded areas.
Comb through your pet’s hair thoroughly.
If you find a find a tick, remove it promptly.
Consult your veterinarian before treating
your dog with tick-killing pesticides or using
a tick collar, as some people and animals are
allergic to the chemicals they contain.
A Lyme disease vaccine is available for
dogs. However, there are varying opinions on
its effectiveness. Consult your veterinarian
about the vaccine.
If you find several ticks on your pet, you may
wish to ask your veterinarian about an effective insecticidal bath. C
Information provided by the
Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention ( www.cdc.gov).
What’s your sleep IQ?
Are these statements about
sleep true or false?
1. Sleep is a time when your
body and brain shut down for
rest and relaxation.
2. People need less sleep as
they get older.
3. You can make up for lost
sleep during the week by sleeping more on the weekends.
4. The main cause of insomnia is worry.
5. Naps are a waste of time.
Answers are on page 51.
Costco can help you get a
better night’s sleep. You’ll find
mattresses, mattress toppers,
pillows and over-the-counter
sleep medications in all warehouses and at Costco.com. C
MAY 2010 ;e Costco Connection 49