By Dr. Rachel Anolik
Dermatology Partners – Lexington Park
It’s time to pay attention to your skin. November is National Healthy Skin Month and it could not have come at a better time of the year as we begin to feel the dehydrating effects of the cool, dry, winter air and as we approach the holiday season. This is a great time to start thinking about the health of your skin and how you can help protect and maintain it to keep it looking its best.
You may not realize it, but your skin reveals a lot about your overall health so educating yourself about the skin is important for a number of reasons. As November is National Healthy Skin Month, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Rachel Anolik will make you aware of what it takes to keep your skin healthy as well as understanding how to treat and prevent common skin problems such as the proper use of sunscreen, and helpful tips to check your skin periodically to prevent skin cancer. You’ll find out when it can be helpful to see a provider.
In honor of National Healthy Skin Month, we’re devoting November to raising awareness about the skin, your body’s largest organ and how to keep it vibrant and healthy.
• Wear sunscreen daily – choose a sunscreen that is broad-spectrum, water resistant and SPF 30 or higher.
• Stay out of tanning beds – If you want that golden glow, use a self-tanner instead.
• Simplify your skin care routine – focus on the basics: A gentle cleanser, sunscreen and moisturizer.
• Choose skin care products formulated for your skin type – know your skin type: sensitive (may sting or burn after product use), normal (clear and not sensitive), dry (flaky, itchy or rough), combination (dry in some areas and oily in others), oily (shiny and greasy).
• Give your lips attention, too – use lip balm or lipstick with an SPF of 30 or higher.
• Keep your hands off of your face – avoid popping, picking or squeezing any pimples.
• Check your skin regularly for skin cancer – look for spots that are new, differ from others, itch or bleed or change in size, shade or color.
If you notice a suspicious spot see a board-certified dermatologist.
At some point in our lives, we all have trouble with our skin. Changes in your skin can often be a sign that there is a problem with your overall health.
• Itching or a rash – could indicate a number of conditions, such as an allergic reaction, an infection or an autoimmune disease.
• New growth or changing mole – could turn out to be a type of skin cancer.
• Wrinkles, spots, uneven pigmentation and loss of elasticity – how much outdoor exposure they’ve had by the appearance of sun damage for their age.
• Droopy, saggy, dark circles under the eyes – could be a clue to fatigue.
• Sunken-looking skin around the eyes – indicates if a person is drinking enough fluids to stay hydrated.
• Pale or sallow in color, and have wrinkling around the lips – indicates they smoke.
• Itchy skin – lymphoma, opioids and other medications can cause itching.
• Dry skin – thyroid disorders may cause skin to become dry.
• Dandruff (seborrhea) – Parkinson’s disease, stroke and HIV are more prone to seborrhea.
• Acne – hormonal abnormality, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women.
• Discolored skin – indicates underlying illness (gray, sallower – chronic illness and yellowish or orangish-looking skin – kidney or liver disease), (brown or as spots on the shins – blood is not circulating well, may turn into ulcers).
• Small bumps around the eyes or nose (xanthelasma) – sign that you may have high cholesterol.
Paying attention to your skin can provide important clues to the health and wellness of your body as a whole. Your board-certified dermatologist can help discover whether the following symptoms may be due to something more serious.
It is important to keep your skin looking healthy as it will prevent any development of issues. Many common problems such as acne, eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis and skin cancer can all be prevented before you may develop these issues, but if you are experiencing any skin changes or issues seek out your local dermatologist. ••
If you or a family member have a skin concern about unusual spots or other persistent skin problems, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rachel Anolik at the Dermatology Partners Lexington Park office located at 8001 Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 307. Call 267-731-1333 or visit www.dermpartners.com to schedule online.