“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, so goes the old saying. When it comes to skin health, this cannot be truer. Daily, patients ask me how they can best care for their skin and prevent future problems. Most questions surround skin cancer, premature aging, or dry and fragile skin concerns. My answer is often the same: sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen, and moisturizer.
I cannot emphasize enough how bad the sun is for one’s skin — it’s as bad as smoking is for the lungs! I frequently perform Mohs Micrographic Surgery on patients with different types of skin cancers caused by sun exposure. Using the microscope I exam their surgically removed skin tissue and am able to see the destruction of elastic fibers known as solar elastosis. The damage that ultraviolet light does to the dermis, the second layer of skin responsible for its firmness and stretch, is clearly visible under light magnification. Every second in the sun means more damage to your epidermal and dermal tissue, predisposing you to skin cancer and wrinkles caused by photoaging. Taking steps to protect your skin from the sun’s rays with protective clothing and broad-spectrum sunscreen pays healthy dividends both in cancer and wrinkle prevention.
Many of my patients complain of dry and itchy skin. Dry skin is not only unsightly but may predispose you to uncomfortable rashes and infections. Mature skin lacks the ability to produce natural oils as well as younger skin and easily falls prey to excess soap use. Most patients with dry skin do well to use an unscented, gentle bar soap used mainly on the “dirtier” areas of the body, mainly the face, underarms, groin, and feet, leaving the rest of the skin to be cleansed mainly with water. A healthy application of a thick moisturizer (something scooped out of a jar is best) immediately after bathing and once more daily is generally enough to combat the dryness associated both with seasonal changes and maturing skin.
If you have questions or concerns about your skin, you can make an appointment for a personalized consultation at Dermatology Specialists of Georgia’s Dunwoody office. We offer evaluation and treatment of all medical dermatological conditions as well as advanced skin surgery techniques for both skin cancer and cosmetic concerns. Call today to make your appointment with minimal wait time.
Dermatology Specialists of Georgia
4360 Chamblee Dunwoody Road,