Sunscreen Myths | Insight from Your Southlake, TX Dermatologist

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Over 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer every year in the U.S. One of the best protection against skin cancer is by covering up in the sun and regularly applying sunscreen. Unfortunately, there are dozens of sunscreens to choose from and everyone has a different idea about what’s good for your skin. Skip looking for answers in magazines and contact your dermatologist.

You Don’t Need Sunscreen on Cloudy Days

False. Whether the sun is visible or hiding behind clouds, the ultraviolet A and B rays (UVA and UVB) still penetrate the clouds and your skin. Yes, the clouds reduce some, but only about 25% and if you go outside without protection, 75% is still infiltrating your skin. The best answer, according to Southlake, TX, dermatologists is to never skip or skimp on the sunscreen when heading outside.

Additionally, make sure to add protective clothing, including sunglasses to protect your eyes and a hat to protect your scalp. Sun can penetrate your skin, which is why you’ve probably felt a little sore after a day in the sun without that hat. If you’re concerned about sun damage to your scalp, make an appointment with your local dermatologist.

Having a Tan Protects Your Skin Enough

False again. In fact, this one is scary because that tan is your body’s response to UVA and UVB exposure. The sun has already damaged your skin and by heading outside again without sunscreen, it’s going to increase the damage and your risk of developing skin cancer. Additionally, some people believe that heading to a tanning booth for a baseline tan can add another layer of protection. Instead of helping your skin, taking these steps can cause additional harm. If you have questions about tanning booths and their safety, speak with a dermatologist about the damage these devices can do to your skin.

Naturally Dark Skin Protects Your Skin from the Sun

The pigment of your skin doesn’t protect you from cancer. Whether you have a light or dark complexion, the only way to prevent skin damage and cancer is to cover it up, both with a quality sunscreen and with clothing.

You Don’t Need to Put Sunscreen Everywhere 

Many people believe that you can’t get skin cancer in areas that aren’t exposed to the sun. However, this is another false statement. If you notice an area of your body with an unusual rash, even if it’s somewhere you’d never think about spreading a layer of sunscreen, such as your armpits or the soles of your feet, contact your Southlake, TXdermatologist for the next available appointment. The most successful path to stopping cancer is a prompt diagnosis and beginning treatment as soon as possible.

Swimming or Water Protects You from the Sun

Actually, the opposite is true. UVB rays penetrate water, which means even if you’re up to your neck in a pool, lake, or the ocean, you’re still being exposed. Plus, water reflects sunlight, increasing your exposure to UV rays. Always apply sunscreen before and after getting out of the water, even if the brand is water-resistant. For questions about water-resistant sunscreens and how effective they are, speak with your Southlake, TXdermatologist.

You Can’t Tan with Sunscreen

Even if you apply sunscreen regularly throughout the day, the sun will still penetrate your skin and leave a tan. But, consider applying a fake, spray tan instead. It looks great, isn’t painful, is safe, and best of all, a spray tan won’t increase your chances of skin cancer (as long as you continue to wear a sunscreen with a high SPF.)

If you’re concerned about the safety of spray tanning products, make an appointment to speak with a Southlake, TXdermatologist. He or she can recommend products that are safe and help you find the right sunscreen and other skincare products to protect and care for your skin. For the best results, look for a sunscreen that includes all of these ingredients for full-spectrum protection.

All Sunscreens Are the Same

Just like the prices vary, the ingredients, effectiveness, and safety of the products are different. Always check the active ingredients before purchasing or applying sunscreen. For example, titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, and ecamsule filter out UVA and UVB rays while avobenzone blocks the sun. Additionally, these come in different SPFs, varying from 15 to over 50. For best results, always use the highest SPF.

You Don’t Need to Reapply Sunscreen

This is a big mistake people make that causes sunburns and can lead to skin cancer. Always reapply sunscreen every two to four hours and more often if you’re in the water or competing in sports or other activities that increase sweat and reduce the effectiveness of the sunscreen. No matter how high the SPF is, there are no sunscreens that last all day long. Also, always check the expiration date on your products. If it’s past the date, toss it and buy a new bottle. For questions about the safety of sun care and sunscreens, contact your dermatologist for a consultation.

If You Always Wear Sunscreen, You’ll Never Get Skin Cancer

Covering up and wearing sunscreen is the best way to prevent skin cancer. However, nothing is 100% full proof. However, you can reduce the chances of developing skin cancer by wearing sunglasses, loose protective clothing, and hats when you’re in the sun and staying out of the sun during peak hours. If you can avoid outdoor activities, even on cloudy days between 10 am and 1 pm, it’s possible to reduce exposure and your risk of skin cancer.

However, you also need to consider other factors, such as family history. If you are concerned about your chances of developing skin cancer, it’s important to speak to your primary care doctor and keep regular checkups with your dermatologist.

The best place to get help with sunscreen facts is at Compassion Dermatology, your Southlake, TX dermatologist. If you have any questions or concerns about skin care, schedule an appointment today.


Common Skin Problems Your Dermatologist Can Help | Keller, TX

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Healthy skin is not just a matter of personal appearance. The skin is a very important part of the immune system. It is the barrier protecting the rest of the body from pathogens, allergens, and pollution in the environment. Skincare routines need to remove dirt, toxins, sweat, oil, and everything else that accumulates on skin throughout the day in Southlake, TX.

The tricky part is removing all of the substances that build up on skin without harming delicate cells or disturbing the skin’s natural pH balance. An appointment with a dermatologist is a great way to establish a healthy skin care routine and identify any potential problems.

Unhealthy Skin Care Habits

Many factors affect skin health and increase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Skin ages prematurely as the effects of poor skincare build up over time. Going to bed without removing cosmetics is a common habit that damages skin.

Cosmetics clog pores and irritate skin when they remain on the face for hours overnight. They also trap dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants against the skin. Mascara and other eye makeup can scratch the eyes during sleep and create a breeding ground for bacteria that cause eye infections. Remove makeup with a gentle cleanser before bed, even if a shower or bath is out of the question until morning.

Hot showers and baths irritate skin and exacerbate any existing skin conditions. The hot water removes natural oils that protect skin and keep it hydrated. Red skin is a clear indication that water is too hot. Skin develops red coloration in hot water because epidermal cells are damaged and inflamed.

Keep showers short, and make sure the water temperature is warm and comfortable instead of hot. Apply a high quality moisturizer immediately after bathing to lock moisture into skin cells. A knowledgeable dermatologist can recommend appropriate cleansers and moisturizers to help damaged skin cells heal and prevent damage in the future.

Each skin type requires different care. People with oily skin often believe that scrubbing their faces with strong soaps is beneficial. They are actually making the problem worse. Friction from scrubbing damages skin and lets irritants from the soap into exposed areas. Irritation triggers even more oil production because the skin is trying to protect itself.

Never scrub skin forcefully with a washcloth, loofah, or other bathing accessories. Use an oil-free cleanser with warm water and rub a soft cloth gently in circular motions. Excessive oil production could be a response to an underlying problem. Consult a dermatologist if skin seems to produce more oil than usual over an extended period.

People with dry skin in Southlake, TX, often experience flaking, irritation, and dull or discolored areas on the face. Heavy cleansers and moisturizers are not always effective remedies. The first step in relieving dry skin is keeping the body hydrated. Dry skin may be a sign of consistent dehydration or a nutritional deficiency. A dermatologist helps clients identify causes of dry skin and their corresponding solutions.

Sun Exposure

Exposure to sunlight poses a significant threat to overall health. The sun’s ultraviolet rays damage skin cells and increase the risk of melanoma and other skin cancers. Melanin in the epidermis, or the skin’s outer layer, provides protection from UV radiation, but this protection can be overwhelmed with consistent exposure. A sun burn occurs when UV radiation damages or kills skin cells.

Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside in Southlake, TX. Visit a dermatologist for a skin evaluation on a regular basis to detect early warning signs of possible cancer or damage to the skin in general. Medical professionals can recommend appropriate sunscreen.

Consult a Dermatologist for Acne

Acne is one of the most commonly reported skin care problems. Most acne outbreaks occur on the face, back, and shoulders, although they can appear anywhere on the body. Some myths concerning the causes of acne still persist. Common myths claim that chocolate, greasy food, or sugary snacks cause acne. Refusing to eat certain foods will not have any effect on acne. A dermatologist can explain the real causes of acne and help client’s separate myths from facts.

There are several causes of acne. Sebaceous glands produce a slightly oily substance called sebum that protects skin cells and retains moisture. Acne, including ‘whiteheads’ and ‘blackheads,’ occurs when blocked pores in the skin accumulate sebum, dead skin cells, and contaminants from the air and environment.

Sweat and dirt can clog pores after outdoor activities during warm days in Southlake, TX. Blocked hair follicles can also fill up with hair, oil, and dirt. Sometimes blocked follicles lead to ingrown hair. Infection occurs when bacteria enter blocked pores and hair follicles.

Cystic acne is a painful condition characterized by swelling and inflammation. Sometimes individual blemishes in cystic acne outbreaks are called ‘blind pimples’ because the sore, infected ‘pimple’ seems to be under the skin. “Popping” cystic acne blemishes is rarely beneficial.

Cystic acne is almost always caused by a bacterial infection. The infection can spread deep into the dermis, or the layers of skin underneath epidermal cells. Successfully ‘popping’ a blemish releases infectious fluid and spreads the bacteria to new areas.

Squeezing or poking cystic acne can also damages tissues and generate scar tissue because significant force is necessary to expel fluid from deep layers of the dermis. A needle or other sharp object damages tissue and creates a wound in the epidermis that lets more bacteria reach the infected area.

Mild cleansers are best during an active acne breakout. Use caution with over-the-counter acne relief products. Many of these products contain harsh chemicals or exfoliators that damage sensitive skin. Consult a dermatologist for help with cystic acne and any type of acne that occurs repeatedly.

An appointment with Compassion Dermatology in the Southlake, TX area, when acne breakouts first appear can save clients a great deal of time and aggravation. Many people with acne notice improvement within days of receiving appropriate medications from a dermatologist.


7 Skincare Routines for Aging Gracefully | Tips from Your Fort Worth, TX Dermatologist

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Everyone ages at a different pace. However, there are some steps you can take to slow down the process, such as following a strict skincare routine. Below are suggestions from Dermatologists in Fort Worth, TX, on how to keep your skin soft, healthy and glowing as you grow older.

Start Each Day with a Facial Cleanser

No matter your age, starting each day cleansing your face is essential to remove dirt, oils, and dead skin cells that can clog pores and lead to blackheads, whiteheads, acne breakouts, and even infections. Depending on your skin tone, it can increase oil production or lead to dry skin that’s itchy, red, and flakey. Additionally, the other products you may use in the morning and throughout the day, such as moisturizers, eye care solutions, and blemish creams can’t penetrate your skin and won’t be effective.

Also, consider using cream-style facial cleansers as you age to reduce moisture loss that occurs with more traditional, foaming ones. This type helps rehydrate your face for a more soothing feel and fresher appearance. For questions about how to improve your skincare routine, schedule a consultation with your dermatologist.

Exfoliate Regularly

It would be best if you used an exfoliating cleanser at least once a week to clean any excess oil, dirt, and dead skin cells that are on your face will clog pores. Another option is to use a physical exfoliator, such as clothes or facial exfoliating devices that gently clear the skin. As with regular cleansing, regular exfoliation allows moisturizers and other skin products to penetrate the top layer of skin and work deeper for better results.

Never exfoliate more than twice a week, especially if you have sensitive skin. Too much can leave your face red, raw, and painful to the touch. It can also leave you more susceptible to infections. If you develop these symptoms after exfoliating, contact a dermatologist, immediately.

Follow-up Cleansing with a Toner

Wrinkles, fine lines, scars, and skin imperfections increase as we age, which is why an extra cleansing step with a toner is vital before piling on the moisturizers. Toners grab the last of the dirt, oils, and makeup that cleaning may have missed, and helps restore your skin’s pH balance. Plus, when you grab every last speck of foreign contaminants from your face, it further reduces acne outbreaks.

When choosing a toner, pay attention to your skin type. If you experience regular acne flare-ups, pick one that’s alcohol-free but still offers alpha hydroxy acid, which is beneficial for skin, but won’t irritate it. To find out what toner and other facial products work best for your skin, schedule an exam today with your dermatologist.

Moisturize

After scrubbing, cleansing, exfoliating, and using toner, your face needs moisturizer. When applying moisturizer to your face, continue down your neck and chest area—Unless you live in turtlenecks, these areas are also visible, experience as much exposure to the elements as your face, and need cleansing and moisture along with the rest of your body. Additionally, you want these areas to have the same skin tone as your face. If your skin is excessively dry, there may be an underlying condition, and it’s essential to see a Fort Worth, TXdermatologist as soon as possible.

Add a Serum

You should also bring a serum into your daily routine after 40. These lightweight moisturizers dive deeper into your skin than traditional moisturizers and can serve different purposes depending on the ingredients. For example,

  • Anti-Inflammatories, such as arnica (a type of mushroom extract), zine (mineral), aloe vera and goldenseal (plant extracts) offer neutralizing properties to reduce redness and prevent cell damage from inflammation
  • Antioxidants, including vitamin C, grape seed extract, and pomegranate extract help protect your skin from environmental damages like sun, which also increases signs of aging
  • Hydrators, such as amino acids, essential fatty acids, and ceramides strengthen barriers that breakdown faster as you age and lead to excessive dryness and fine lines in the skin

For questions about different serums for your skin, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. They may recommend specific products for your tone and skin type.

Use a Targeted Eye Treatment

One of the facial areas that ages the fastest are around the eyes. Eye creams are thicker, add more moisture, and help reduce those fine lines that accompany the aging process. Ones that contain collagen can help improve the skin’s elasticity, reducing the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes or crows’ feet, which is the popular term. If you’re concerned about lines around your eyes, dark circles, or puffiness that’s not improving with over-the-counter treatments, contact your dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX, to schedule an exam.

Always Remove Makeup at Night

Next to not cleaning your face in the morning or skimping and even skipping the moisturizers, the most significant skincare mistake is sleeping in makeup. When you don’t remove makeup, it increases the buildup on your face and within pores, worsening acne and making it harder to clean from your face in the morning.

Use a Nightly Wrinkle Cream

Aging and wrinkles go together, but you can reduce their appearance with a nightly wrinkle cream. However, it’s important to remember that without the other steps, cleaning, exfoliating, toning, and moisturizing, adding a wrinkle cream, no matter how expensive, won’t stop or reduce wrinkles. For concerns about wrinkles, speak with your dermatologist.

Try a Weekly Face Mask

While it’s not essential or as crucial as the other steps in your regiment, a weekly face mask can reduce the signs of aging, hydrate your skin more, and be incredibly relaxing for you. There are many types to choose from that carry a variety of additional benefits, such as,

  • Brightening
  • Clay or Charcoal to remove excess oils
  • Peels to remove facial residue and dead skin cells

You can get more skincare tips and help with selecting products that work and will reduce the signs of aging by speaking to your Fort Worth, TXdermatologist.

Contact Compassion Dermatology at 817-380-5911 or schedule an appointment online with a dermatologist in Fort Worth, TX, for a routine, comprehensive exam, or any problems or concerns about your skin.


Benefits of Exfoliating for Men and Women | Tips from Your Keller, TX Dermatologist

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There are several steps you can take to keep your skin clear, smooth, and looking younger, even if you’re already seeing a dermatologist in Keller, TX. Along with cleaning, moisturizing, and minimizing sun exposure, exfoliation is a safe, easy face and body care step that promotes healthier and happier skin with a natural glow.

You can exfoliate your face and body using manual tools, such as an abrasive cloth or sponge, with enzymes, and with chemical-based products. For questions on which of these methods is best for your skin type, consult with a dermatologist.

CLEARS PORES 

You have small holes all over your skin to release oil and sweat. The problem is these tiny openings clog with dead skin cells, dirt, makeup, and debris from various environmental factors. When pores fill up, it can cause whiteheads, blackheads, and dreaded outbreaks of acne. Slow cellular turnover can increase the rate of clogs, which occurs from excess stress, an unhealthy diet, and poor skincare.

If this continues to occur, speak with a dermatologist in Keller, TX, to see if there are other solutions to reduce buildup. For specific locations, such as the chin or around the nose, there are different removal methods and products they can recommend.

REDUCES ACNE

When done correctly, removing dead skin cells and keeping your pores clear with exfoliation can reduce acne outbreaks. It’s essential to pay attention to your skin type and only exfoliate accordingly. For example, if you have sensitive skin, don’t scrub too long and limit this step in your skincare routine to once or twice a week. Many products use salicylic acid, which is excellent for clearing acne but can cause irritation for people with sensitivities.

If your skin continues to look red and puffy following a reduction in exfoliating, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist in Keller, TX. After the acne clears, they can recommend a less abrasive exfoliator for sensitive skin.

EVENS SKIN TONE

Your outer layer of skin can vary in the shade even when your face is clean because of those clogged pores and excess dead skin cells. As people age, their skin produces less oil, leaving it drier, leading to more dead skin cells. These also cause the skin to look dull and lackluster, even after a full night’s sleep and with a healthy diet. Regular exfoliation rejuvenates the skin, making it glow and reducing signs of aging.

Patients with conditions such as eczema and psoriasis experience cell build-up at younger ages and their symptoms can worsen as they age. For help with products specific to these diseases, set up an exam to speak with your dermatologist.

IMPROVES MOISTURE ABSORPTION

When you clear away the dead cells and other dirt and oils clogging pores, your skin’s moisture absorption rate increases. The dead cells act as a barrier, blocking your skin’s ability to breathe, rejuvenate with moisture, and providing the conditions for acne and infections.

Additionally, improving absorption rates also enhances the effectiveness of skincare products. For questions on other ways to increase the efficacy, consult with a dermatologist in Keller, TX.

SOOTHES SKIN

You want your skin to be soft and touchable from your face to your toes. Between weather and aging, this isn’t always easy, but it is possible. Regular exfoliation in your skincare routine can help soften even the most hardened skin. Use manual or chemical methods depending on your skin type, and if you have any concerns, contact your dermatologist.

Another way to keep skin smooth and improve moisture is to increase your water intake. Hydration can help your skin glow and for fewer trips to the bathroom, use a humidifier, avoid products that have alcohol, especially deodorant and soap.

BOOSTS CIRCULATION AND LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE

Exfoliating your skin regularly can help detoxify through the increase in circulation and promotes lymph drainage. This ancient technique is a form of Ayurveda medicine that removes dead cells and allows the skin to breathe, absorb moisture, and expel toxins through the body’s pores. For questions about boosting circulation through exfoliation, contact a dermatologist for an appointment.

REDUCES SKIN INFECTIONS

People that neglect skincare can develop serious inflammatory skin conditions that are both embarrassing and painful. More specifically, if you don’t wash certain areas, especially with some vigor, the dead cells that clog pores and cause pimples and other outbreaks just build up on the skin causing scaly, dark patches containing oil, moisture, dirt, sweat, bacteria, and other germs and environmental items. If this buildup gets into a cut or other open sore, it can cause dangerous bacterial infections.

Patients that have very sensitive skin and avoid cleaning all or specific areas of their face or body should schedule an immediate exam with a dermatologist that can help them reduce discomfort and get their skin, happy, healthy, and glowing again with the right care products.

On the other end of the spectrum, over-exfoliating your skin can be just as dangerous as avoiding the task. This can lead to at bare minimum, irritated skin that’s red, puffy, and painful to severe infections and even scarring from too much scrubbing or use of chemical exfoliators. To avoid this situation, don’t exfoliate daily. If you find yourself getting red and puffy, stop entirely and speak with a dermatologist.

Exfoliation is an essential skincare step for people of all ages. By perfecting this part of your routine, it’s possible to reduce acne, blackheads, and whiteheads, as well as improve your skin’s appearance and texture and minimize lines and other signs of aging.

Contact Compassion Dermatology today at 817-380-5911 or schedule an appointment online to keep your skin healthy, moist, and glowing year-round with a dermatologist in Keller, TX.