Posts for: April, 2020
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.
Is it time to seek medical attention regarding your rash?
No, not all rashes are the same. This symptom can appear for many reasons and can take many forms, from small itchy welts to widespread blisters. While some rashes may respond to home remedies and cortisone cream it’s also important to know what’s causing your rash and when you should turn to our Valparaiso and LaPorte, IN, dermatologist Dr. William Applegarth.
What Causes Rashes
In order to properly treat a rash it’s typically necessary to understand the root cause. Treating the underlying cause itself can eliminate the rash. Common causes of rashes include,
- Poison ivy or poison oak
- Athlete’s foot
- Diaper rash
In short, rashes may be the result of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi. They can also be caused by certain reactions to medications or allergies. Most rashes will go away on their own; however, there are simple measures you can take at home to ease symptoms.
If the rash is itchy you may choose to apply cold compresses to the area and use an over-the-counter cortisone cream, which can alleviate the itch. Oatmeal baths can also provide natural relief. If your rash is due to allergies (hives) taking an antihistamine can also help.
Know When to See a Doctor
Most rashes aren’t anything to worry about; however, sometimes a rash could be a warning sign of a more serious condition. In this case, it’s imperative that you visit our dermatologist here at his Valparaiso, IN, office as soon as possible. These symptoms include,
- A widespread rash that affects most of the body (signs of a serious allergic reaction)
- A fever accompanied by your rash (could be a sign of infection)
- A rash that appears suddenly and spreads quickly
- A rash that contains painful blisters, particularly around the face or genitals
- A painful rash
- An infected rash, which is often characterized by yellow, oozing fluid, crusting, redness and pain
Our dermatologist, Dr. Applegarth, has been providing comprehensive skin care to patients living in and around Valparaiso and La Porte, IN, since 1998. If you are dealing with a severe, painful and worrisome rash, know that the team at Applegarth Dermatology can help. Call (219) 548-0360 for our Valparaiso office, or (219) 362-0161 for our La Porte location.