By Dr. John Browning, M.D., is Board Certified in Pediatrics, Dermatology, and Pediatric Dermatology.
Did you know that November is National Healthy Skin Month? I’m not sure how November earned this distinction but I suspect it has to do with a change in the season as well as some needed penance following a long summer and fall of too much sun!
So how can you develop healthy skin? First of all, start protecting yourself from the sun! A daily moisturizer with sunscreen will do wonders in preventing brown and red spots from the sun. Furthermore, it will keep you looking young as excessive sun exposure can lead to wrinkles. When getting direct sun be sure to wear a hat and sunglasses when possible. Yes, the sunglasses will help prevent crows feet (wrinkles around your eyes) due to squinting. You should also wear a water/sweat resistant sunscreen when exercising. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 30 or higher and UVA protection. Be sure to reapply every four hours and after swimming.
Wash your face every night with a gentle cleanser and then apply a topical retinoid. A retinoid is a form of Vitamin A that helps nourish your skin and promote healthy exfoliation. Regular use of a topical retinoid will help remove unwanted sunspots and superficial skin lines. We recommend Revision or Skin Better which we sell through Renovar MedSpa.
As we move into cooler months, the humidity will drop and your skin will start to dry out. If you are prone to dry, chapped hands during winter, then use a moisturizing soap. Avoid hand sanitizer as the alcohol in it is very drying. Use a hand cream throughout the day. Start early as it’s much easier to prevent cracked hands than to treat them!
Also apply a moisturizing cream to your face and body every night. The moisturizer will replace lost moisture during the day. This will prevent your skin from drying and developing a wrinkled look.
Last but not least, consider seeing your dermatologist this month for a skin exam if it has been over a year since seeing her/him. Your dermatologist can perform a full body skin exam to look at your moles and any suspicious spots on your skin. Often something as simple as a quick skin check can help diagnose melanoma or another skin cancer.
So be kind to your skin this month…and every month to come!