National Healthy Skin Month

Andrea PenningtonNovember is healthy skin month. This is a good reminder that, even though we’re exposed to less sun now, it is still a great time to protect the appearance of and marvel at the uniqueness of our body’s largest organ. I’ve always admired the visual beauty of different skin tones. But understanding the science and purpose behind the various shades of our human tapestry expands my appreciation even more. This month, in a blog called Skin Tones, I share some insights on why we all have ”skin of color.”

Remember when food labels were first introduced and we had to learn to read and decipher them? Now when we peruse our cosmetic choices, we need to do the same thing. Today, companies and products are scrambling to reposition themselves as “green.” It’s certainly trendy, but how much of it is just marketing? Check out my overview in the upcoming article Organic Cosmetics.

Sometimes the little bumps and tags on our skin can be unsightly enough that we consider having them removed for cosmetic reasons alone. But sometimes those troublesome spots need to be removed for medical reasons. This month, Dr. Ramsey Markus explains in the Q&A Levulan Kerastick Treatment, based on a question one of our readers submitted, that one must weight both the benefits and risks when considering removal of precancerous lesions known as actinic keratoses.

When it comes to skin cancer surgery, there’s good news developing. Up to 99% of basal cell cancers and 98% of squamous cell cancers can be cured with a highly specialized “precision surgery” that may stop cancer in its tracks at a cellular level. Dr. Jodi Markus gives an excellent guide to Mohs micrographic surgery in a Health Article titled A Guide to Mohs Surgery, where she discusses the best applications for this exciting approach to curing common skin cancers.

Fight the dry, flaky skin that often accompanies autumn and winter by increasing the moisture content all around you – and inside, too! As it gets cooler, many of us turn on heaters or light fires, decreasing the humidity in the air. Add a scratchy wool sweater and you’ve got the perfect recipe for dull, dry skin.

Be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water or decaffeinated green tea each day, consider buying a home humidifier if your indoor air is dry, and slather on rich moisturizers to hands and feet to keep them from getting cracked and dry. I also love having my hands and feet dipped in hot paraffin wax at the spa to lock in more moisture – which can now be done at home, too.

Wishing you the best of fall,
Dr. Andrea

Published on 11/05/2009 | Last updated on 01/06/2017