Question: Is it bad to treat itchy skin with hydrocortisone, because it merely treats the itch (if even that) and not the underlying cause?
Despite our best efforts, there are some skin conditions that invariably get worse in the summer. I fully understand why many of my patients come to dread the summer as a time of frustration. Maybe you can relate? They spend fall, winter, and spring clearing their skin and then watch it worsen during the summer despite their best efforts to wear hats and sunscreen. Part of the problem is due to our busy lifestyles and the increase in sun exposure during the summer months. I tell my patients they don’t have to despair; there are actions they, and you, can take beyond sunscreen and hats that will help minimize the effects of skin conditions that worsen in the summer.
What is melanin you ask? Well, melanin is the substance that gives color to your hair, eyes, and skin. The summer is a great time to celebrate skin health, especially since we show it off more now than in other months. Although all skin types can be troubled with the same skin health issues, some conditions occur more often and/or are more difficult to diagnose in individuals with darker skin. These conditions include: melasma, vitiligo, keloids, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
In part one of the series, we looked at melanin and skin coloration, as well as several conditions common in skin of color. As we discussed, melanin is the substance that gives color to your hair, eyes, and skin.
Whether you are fortunate to have clear skin or fighting in the battle against acne, Skinsight would like to enlighten you about acne and the different kinds that are out there. Believe it or not there are different types of acne affecting a wide variety of people every day, such as picker’s acne, rosacea, and acne keloidalis nuchae. For acne awareness month, we have special articles, slide shows, and discussion forums dedicated to the skin condition that affects over 85% of Americans at some point.
Ten rules for healthy skin from the University of Connecticut Department of Dermatology. 1. Wash your face in the morning and evening with a mild, gentle, super-fatted soap to remove dirt, bacteria, make-up, etc. After age 40 you only need to cleanse once per day. 2. Lubricate your skin. Dry skin looks older. 3. WEAR complete (UVA & UVB) SUNSCREENS or sunblocks to protect your skin. Try to avoid the mid-day sun.
The vigorous debate about health care reform is grabbing headlines, and I think the energetic conversation is an extremely important one to have. The bloated, inefficient way we deliver what we call health care is costly, and the results we get for the money are not satisfactory. So it is a good thing to shine a focused light of inquiry on ideas to improve the situation. But it could take a long time, and it won’t be easy.
Fall is a wonderful time for self-nurturing and introspection. As the weather cools and leaves change colors, many of my patients feel the need to look at areas of their lives they’ve let fall by the wayside. After the summer sun (and tan!) fades, we have a wonderful opportunity to take stock of the health of our skin and overall lifestyle and habits to prepare for the winter.