UV exposure is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology asks “Do You Use Protection?” and encourages you to practice safe sun every time you are outdoors. Seek shade, wear protective clothing, and use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with SPF 30+ to reduce your risk. Watch the video below to learn more!
Dry skin is a problem in Oklahoma, particularly in the winter time, because of the air getting dryer. Most houses have gas heat, and that dries the moisture out of the air. When you get low humidity, then your skin loses moisture to the atmosphere, so you need to do something to try and keep the humidity up in the house. If you walk across the carpet and you get a static electricity shock at the light switch, your humidity is probably about that of Death Valley, so you need to consider a cold ultrasonic humidifier.
I would recommend using it [the humidifier] in the bedroom, where you’re going to be spending a great deal of the day – typically about 8 hours. Additionally, I wouldn’t recommend using heated blankets or heated water beds, because they tend to dry out the air around you, and I’d keep the temperature in the bedroom on the cooler side.
The other thing you need to consider is taking a shower without super hot water. The hotter the water, the more you dry the oil off the skin. Try to tone the temperature down a little bit. In addition, use a moisturizer as soon as you get out of the shower. Studies show that you lose moisture within three minutes of getting out and drying off. You need to do it [apply moisturizer] immediately while the skin is damp. I would recommend a cream instead of a lotion.
As far as soaps, I would use a soap that is very mild and gentle, such as liquid Dove for sensitive skin. Or even Cetaphil liquid cleanser, which is a soap-free liquid cleanser. One soap that you should never use is Ivory, which is extremely harsh and very drying, and that will make your dry skin much, much worse.
It is never okay to tan in a tanning bed. Ever. Not once.
There is a new study that shows that one time in a tanning bed increases your lifetime risk of melanoma by 20%. If you go more than once, it’s 2% more for every time you go past that.
So if you have gone 100 times to a tanning bed, your lifetime risk is 220% that you’ll develop a melanoma during your life.
For more on this topic, read our other post on tanning beds.
As you plan and finish your holiday shopping this season, consider giving the gift of radiant skin. It’s a gift that will keep on giving, long after the holidays are over. The following are some simple (and some elaborate) gift ideas in a variety of budgets to spark some ideas.
- Put together a “Love Your Skin” gift box. Include Neutrogena 100SPF sunscreen, Cetaphil Cream moisturizer, and Cetaphil Liquid Cleanser. They’re the best on the market. Wrap it up with some pretty ribbon in a basket or a box, and you’re set! – $24
- For the snow skiers and boarders in your life, get them a travel size sunscreen that can easily fit in their pocket. Remind them that for every 3,000 feet above sea level, they’re getting 10% more sun damage to their skin! These folks need to be applying sunscreen more often than just once or twice a day. – $12
- For the frequent volunteer in your life, consider getting them a gift set that not only helps their skin, but helps their community too. Each year, Kiehl’s does a gift collection of products, and 100% of their profits go to Feeding America®. The purchase of this set provides approximately 408 meals! – $50
- Have a friend who always buys organic? Take a look through Lush (online or in-store), an all-natural handmade cosmetics company. All of their products are 100% made from natural ingredients, so you’re able to give them the gift of chemical-free care. Choose from bath and shower bombs, hair products, lotions, soaps, and much more. – Prices start at $5 dependent on the product.
- If you know a makeup-lover, help them keep their pores clean at the end of the day with a French-engineered makeup remover set! Put it in a pretty makeup pouch instead of wrapping it, and that way they can use the bag it came in too! Start with Bioderma sensitive skin makeup remover wipes, and follow it up Bioderma’s micellar water. – $25
- For that friend in your life who is always on the go and has no time to slow down, get them a wet-skin moisturizer, such as the one from Curél. This type of moisturizer is applied immediately after a shower, while the skin is still damp, which means that it’s easy to work in to anyone’s busy routine! – $11
- If you’re looking for a great stocking stuffer, and you know someone who is always applying Chapstick, help them keep their lips moisturized and happy with Burt’s Bees® Must Have Moisture pack. At such a low price, this would also be a great as an appreciation gift for a teacher, caregiver, mailman, or anyone in your life that could benefit from moisturized lips. – $10
- Do you have a tea-lover on your shopping list? Green tea is excellent for healthy skin, and is also great for increased brain performance and health, weight loss, dental health and heart health! There are so many kinds of green tea out there, get them a sample kit such as this one from DAVIDsTEA, and they’ll be able to learn what they like best. Pair it with a cute mug in a tissue-paper filled box and you’re set! – $35
Athlete’s foot is a fungus. Typically, it occurs more in males than in females. It is usually between the toes or on the bottom of the feet. It is never curable. Although companies that make medications would like you to believe it is, it is not. Until we figure out why certain people get the fungus and other people don’t, we are not going to have a cure for it. It is very treatable however with topical creams. Sometimes it is severe enough that they will need to take an antifungal antibiotic to get it under control, and they use the cream to prevent it. If they sweat a lot, they need to use an absorbent powder that has an antifungal built into it for prevention.
Common skin rashes can be broken down into children vs. adults. In children, you have common skin rashes such as two types of measles. You can have fifth’s disease which was the fifth childhood rash that was developed, that’s erythema infectiosum. If you get that, it’s a virus such as measles. Chickenpox is a very common childhood rash that you see also. A lot of that you don’t see as much as you used to because of immunizations, but there is no immunization for fifth’s disease. That looks like a child has a fever, and as the fever goes away, it looks like they have slapped cheeks on their face and this lacy pattern on the body. It’s not a dangerous thing although it is kind of scary to the parents. It will fade on its own in a couple weeks, and there is really no treatment necessary for it.
If you talk about adults and rashes, then you are talking about things like eczema. Eczema is a very common condition. It’s not really a rash that itches, it is an itch that rashes. You get itchy, you start rubbing and scratching, and you break out with a rash. It can run in families with allergies more commonly, but you don’t have to have that. There is treatment for it. Stress is one of the triggers for it as well as too much water or too much soap. Things like that tend to trigger that.
There’s psoriasis. Psoriasis is genetically inherited from the parents. The parent doesn’t have to have it, but if each parent has half the gene, the child can get the full complement of the gene. And that is a condition that is not usually very itchy although it can be. Very commonly the elbows, knees, and scalp are affected, but it can be a very generalized eruption too.
People will ask me commonly, “What can I do to rejuvenate my skin?” There are several things you can do to help improve your looks. One is the use of Retin-A. Retin-A is the only FDA-approved medicine for anti-aging. It got the approval many years ago, and it does work well, but you have to use it over many years. It’s not a quick fix. It helps with the fine little wrinkles, but it does nothing for furrows or the deep wrinkles. It also helps to even out the skin tone. Unfortunately it’s expensive because insurance companies know it’s used for cosmetic procedures, so over 25 or so, they’re going to question why it’s being used. If you look at the use of that, and spend 300-400 per year, versus cosmetic procedures it’s a bargain.
So I would start with that. Also, sunscreen on a daily basis. In fact, the studies show that you have to use the sunscreen if you’re going to use the Retin-A to get the improvement. That’s something you should do to start with.
If you want to consider other things…In the past, there were a lot of facelifts done, and that’s not something that’s done as much anymore because it’s been shown that as we age, the skin on your face loses volume. That’s why you see furrows and such. If you go back and look at a picture of you 20-30 years ago and look at your picture now, you’ll see if that volume were back, it actually tightens things up a little more. Now we’re more into fillers and Botox. Botox is simply something that paralyzes muscles that leads to wrinkles. It’s a temporary thing, just as fillers are temporary. Fillers usually have to be done every year, year and a half, and Botox every 3-6 months depending on the person.
You can improve your looks significantly doing those simple things without doing cutting at all.
Sunscreens have different chemicals and different makeups. There is a lot of controversy as to whether or not you should use avobenzone in a sunscreen. Even though it’s approved by the American Academy of Dermatology, there have been no studies to show that there’s been any problems in humans. There are still some things out on the internet about whether it’s safe or not, so people want to have an alternate choice.
There are sunscreens that have physical blockers, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and those are inert and they sit on the surface of the skin, and they’ve ben compounded such that they basically block the light rather than use a chemical method to decrease the amount of ultraviolet light that gets to your skin. The other sunscreens may or many not have avobenzone, they may have parasol 1789, or they may have other UVA agents in them. Those have to sit on your skin for about an hour before they’re totally effective.
For children between 0 and 6, they shouldn’t be outside, so you shouldn’t have to worry about sunscreens on those kids, and between 6 months and 1 year, I would recommend a physical blocker that has titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. But once you get past age 1, any of the sunscreens are fine.
The physical blockers only go to about SPF 60, and the chemical blockers go all the way up to SPF 110.
Sunscreens have different chemicals and different make-up. There is a lot of controversy as to whether or not you should use avobenzone in a sunscreen, even though it’s approved by the American Academy of Dermatology. There have been no studies to show that there have been any problems in humans. There are still some things on the internet about whether it’s safe or not, so some people want to have an alternate choice. There are sunscreens that have physical blockers, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, and those are inert, and they sit on the surface of the skin. They’ve been compounded as such so that they basically block the light, rather than using a chemical method to decrease the amount of ultraviolet that gets to the skin. The other sunscreens may or may not have avobenzone, they may have PARSOL® 1789, they may have other UV agents in them. Those chemicals have to be on the skin for about an hour before they’re totally effective.
For children, between 0 and 6 months, they really shouldn’t have to be outside. Between 6 months and one year, I would recommend a physical blocker that has titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, but once you get past age 1, any of the sunscreens are fine.
The physical blockers only go up to about SPF 60, and the chemical blockers go up to about SPF 110.