With the warmer months just around the corner you may be getting ready to plan some fun in the sun. The summertime always finds children spending hours outside playing, as well as beach-filled family vacations, backyard barbeques, and more days just spent soaking up some much-needed vitamin D.
While it can certainly be great for our emotional and mental well-being to go outside, it’s also important that we are protecting our skin against the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. These are some habits to follow all year long to protect against skin cancer,
Wear Sunscreen Daily
Just because the sun isn’t shining doesn’t mean that your skin isn’t being exposed to the harmful UVA and UVB rays. The sun’s rays have the ability to penetrate through clouds. So it’s important that you generously apply sunscreen to the body and face about 30 minutes before going outside.
Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 that also protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Everyone should use sunscreen, even infants. Just one sunburn during your lifetime can greatly increase your risk for developing skin cancer, so always remember to lather up!
Reapply Sunscreen Often
If you are planning to be outdoors for a few hours you’ll want to bring your sunscreen with you. After all, one application won’t be enough to protect you all day long. A good rule of the thumb to follow is, reapply sunscreen every two hours. Of course, you’ll also want to apply sunscreen even sooner if you’ve just spent time swimming or if you’ve been sweating a lot (e.g. running a race or playing outdoor sports).
Seek Shade During the Day
While feeling the warm rays of the sun on your shoulders can certainly feel nice, the sun’s rays are at their most powerful and most dangerous during the hours of 10am-4pm. If you plan to be outdoors during these times it’s best to seek shady spots. This means enjoying lunch outside while under a wide awning or sitting on the beach under an umbrella. Even these simple measures can reduce your risk for skin cancer.
See a Dermatologist
Regardless of whether you are fair skinned, have a family history of skin cancer or you don’t have any risk factors, it’s important that everyone visit their dermatologist at least once a year for a comprehensive skin cancer screening. This physical examination will allow our skin doctor to be able to examine every growth and mole from head to toe to look for any early signs of cancer. These screenings can help us catch skin cancer early on when it’s treatable.
Noticing changes in one of your moles? Need to schedule your next annual skin cancer screening? If so, a dermatologist will be able to provide you with the proper care you need to prevent, diagnose and treat both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
You might be surprised to discover that some of the most innocuous habits could actually be aging you. Preventing fine lines and wrinkles is certainly easier than trying to treat them once they form. While wrinkles are a normal part of life and aging, there are things you can do each and everyday to keep your skin looking young and healthy so you can knock a few years off your age and people will be none the wiser.
Wearing sunscreen each and every day without fail is probably one of the best things you can do to keep your skin looking and feeling its best. Not only does exposing skin to the sun’s rays cause sun damage and increase your risk for skin cancer, it can also cause premature lines and wrinkles. To protect your skin from the sun, always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 every day (even in the winter and on cloudy days).
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is so very important and yet not enough of us get quality sleep every night. Nights of tossing and turning won’t just leave you grumpy, tired and mentally foggy, it can also lead to wrinkles. That’s because a lack of sleep can actually accelerate the signs of aging and can also affect the skin’s ability to repair itself every night. Most adults require anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Are you getting your beauty sleep?
Did you know that as many as 75 percent of US adults suffer from chronic dehydration? This statistic is startlingly and could have a serious impact not just on your health but also on the health and appearance of your skin. If like most people you aren’t getting more than 2.5 cups of water a day, it’s important that you up your water intake to at least 8 8-ounce glasses per day (and even more if you’re active). Staying hydrated keeps the skin looking plump and radiant (and who doesn’t want that?).
Keep Skin Moisturized
Dry skin can also leave you prone to those early signs of aging, so it’s important that you keep skin supple and hydrated. Everyone should use a moisturizer every day, which can improve skin’s glow and also reduce the appearance of facial lines. Those dealing with more severe dry skin may need to turn to their dermatologist for more intense moisturizers.
Sleep on Your Back
If you find yourself snuggling with your pillow night after night you may soon notice fine lines developing on your face as a result. Just changing your sleep position alone can easily prevent these “sleep wrinkles”. If you want to reduce wrinkles on your face avoid sleeping on your side or stomach and sleep on your back instead.
Of course, a dermatologist offers a wide range of cosmetic treatments that can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. From Botox and dermal fillers to customized facials, laser treatments and chemical peels, there are many options out there to help you achieve a younger appearance. Talk to your dermatologist today about ways to prevent and treat wrinkles.
Tired of having to pluck, wax, and shave every few days? Dealing with thick, dark and unsightly hair in visible areas such as the chin or shoulders? If so, a dermatologist can provide you with a more effective solution for getting rid of unwanted body hair faster and easier. The answer lies in laser hair removal.
Plucking and waxing can be painful and shaving can leave you with ingrown hairs and irritation. None of these methods are fun. Plus, you have to keep doing it every few days or every week if you want smooth skin. Why go through the hassle when a dermatologist can help you get rid of hair without ever having to lift a finger?
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that laser hair removal is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments. This procedure makes it easy to get smoother skin without having to deal with tweezing, shaving, or waxing. This non-invasive laser treatment can treat just about any part of the body; however, it’s most often used to treat the,
- Upper lip and chin
- Bikini line
Thanks to advanced laser technology, our dermatologist can provide patients with a safe, effective, and comfortable laser treatment to help them target and remove unwanted hair for the long term. Most laser systems offer a built-in cooling system to make treatment as comfortable as possible. Depending on the size of the treatment area, laser hair removal can take as little as 10 minutes for regions such as the upper lip or chin and as long as one hour (for a full back).
Since hair grows in cycles, you will need to get several laser hair removal sessions to ensure that our dermatologist removes as much of the hair as possible. The average person will get anywhere from 4-6 sessions. During laser hair removal, the handheld device will be directed over the skin to target and heat up the hair follicles to destroy them, preventing them from growing back. While laser hair removal will not permanently get rid of the hair, it will help the hair grow back fewer, finer, and lighter so they are far less visible.
If you think laser hair removal could help you feel more confident in your appearance, then your cosmetic dermatologist can give you the smoother results you want before summer hits.
If you’ve suddenly noticed your skin breaking out in a red, itchy rash, you could be dealing with dermatitis, a common skin condition that often leads to a red, swollen rash, or dry and intensely itchy skin. Sometimes dermatitis can even cause oozing or scaling blisters to form. This condition may be embarrassing but don’t worry—it isn’t contagious.
The most common types of dermatitis include:
- Contact dermatitis: occurs when an allergen comes in contact with your skin
- Eczema or atopic dermatitis: most commonly inherited
- Dyshidrotic dermatitis: often appears on the hands and feet
- Seborrheic dermatitis: a type of dermatitis that often affects the scalp (dandruff)
The causes really depend on the type of dermatitis you have. For example, contact dermatitis occurs when you come in contact with an allergen such as certain detergents, poison ivy, or nickel. Eczema most often runs in families and occurs more frequently in those with allergies or asthma.
With dermatitis, it is common to experience flare-ups with bouts of remission. Common symptom triggers include environmental or hormonal changes, stress, or certain irritants (e.g. new detergents; perfumes).
Since the symptoms of dermatitis are similar to other skin conditions, it is important to see a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis. Some types of dermatitis can be diagnosed through a simple physical exam; however, if your dermatologist believes that your symptoms are due to an allergic reaction, then allergy testing may be necessary to determine what’s causing your dermatitis.
Those with mild symptoms may find relief through over-the-counter antihistamines and topical creams to stop itching and redness; however, a dermatologist can create a customized treatment plan based on the type of dermatitis you are dealing with and your symptoms. Along with home care (e.g. oatmeal baths; cold compresses) and over-the-counter medications, a dermatologist may also prescribe stronger antihistamines, topical steroids, or oral medication to ease more serious flare-ups.
Your dermatologist can also discuss ways to prevent flare-ups including treating and preventing dry skin, using a proper moisturizer, and implementing necessary dietary changes. Some patients also find that alternative therapies such as acupuncture or massage therapy help reduce the number and severity of flare-ups.
If you are experiencing symptoms of dermatitis, it is important that you see your dermatologist right away for care. The sooner you seek treatment the sooner you will experience relief.
Tattoo removal has become one of aesthetic and medical dermatology's most sought-after services. Read on to learn about how this treatment works.
Dermatologists mostly use Q-switched, or quality-switched, laser instruments for tattoo removal. Short, focused bursts of light break up the tattoo pigment that lies embedded in skin. With repeated treatments, the pigment particles eventually clear the body, and the tattoo lightens or fades away completely. Your skin doctor will tailor your treatments to your skin and to your tattoo.
Skin doctors find that older tattoos composed of darker hues such as brown or green respond best to laser removal. Colors such as red or yellow are more easily retained and may not fade completely.
These treatments are best performed by a board-certified dermatologist who will examine your skin and your tattoo, review your medical history, and give you the safest and most effective treatment options available.
The American Society for Aesthetic Surgery reports that skin doctors performed more than 45,000 tattoo removal procedures in 2013, and those numbers continue to rise. In just a few treatments, many patients experience complete erasure of their body artwork.
After your tattoo removal
As you may have some blistering, bleeding, and swelling after your laser removal procedure, you must treat your skin gently afterward. Keep the area clean and dry to avoid infection.
Additional aftercare involves:
- Avoiding sun exposure
- Keeping the treated skin covered
- Wearing loose clothing over the tattoo site
- Applying antibiotic ointment or cream as directed
If you want a tattoo removed...
See your board-certified dermatologist for a personalized consultation. They have the credentials, skill, and tools to do the job safely and effectively. Call your skin doctor today to find out more about removing tattoos.
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