November is National Healthy Skin Month and a perfect time to start thinking about skin health all year-round.
Skin conditions are a prevalent issue for a lot of people. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, acne is the most common skin condition in the country and affects up to 50 million Americans annually. Skin cancer is also one of the most common types of cancer in the United States.
Shelley Woodley, DNP, FNP-BC, dermatology nurse practitioner at Bon Secours, offers the following tips to help you take care of your skin.
Protect your skin from the sun
Avoid being in the sun during peak hours, between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Try to stay in the shade whenever possible. It is also critical to wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Shielding your skin from the sun in these ways will help with skin cancer and wrinkle prevention. It is also a good idea to have your Vitamin D level checked regularly by your primary care provider.
Do not smoke
Not only is smoking linked to a wide variety of health issues, it also causes wrinkles in the skin. If you are currently a smoker, start taking steps to quit. Talk with your primary care provider about treatment options.
Practice good skin care on a regular basis
Caring for your skin is something you should incorporate into your daily routine. Wash your face with warm, not hot, water. Avoid strong soaps and use mild cleansers when washing your face. Use gentle lotions and shaving creams on other areas of your skin. Also, it is best to apply moisturizer on skin when it is damp.
Eat a healthy diet
Drinking plenty of water helps keep your skin hydrated. Also, avoiding high-glycemic food and dairy products can help prevent acne breakouts.
Stress can also cause acne breakouts. Make sure mental health and self-care is at the top of your priority list. Also, make sure you are getting enough sleep each night.
Examine skin regularly
Check for skin abnormalities on a consistent basis. Look for things such as moles and spots that bleed easily or itch persistently. There are no set age recommendations for when individuals should start having their skin checked by a health care professional. It is very individualized based on skin type and family history. Talk with your primary care provider or schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to figure out the best course for you.
Learn more about the skin cancer and melanoma treatments offered at Bon Secours.