Professional Skin Care Advice
Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It shields you from the environment, protecting your internal organs, muscles and other interior body parts from pathogens, sunlight and a host of other hazards. It also contains nerve endings that allow you to sense heat, cold, touch and pain. Protect your skin by following the safety recommendations of skin-care professionals.
Everyone's skin encounters damaging elements, but your likelihood of developing hazardous skin conditions increases if you engage in risky activities, such as smoking or spending too much time in direct sunlight. A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in skin treatment and maintenance and can give you customized advice about how to care for your skin. For example, if you have naturally fair skin, you might need to take special precautions to protect it.
Sunlight damages your skin. If you must spend time outdoors, protect your skin with sunscreen. Choose sunscreen that has a high sun protection factor, or SPF, which is a number that indicates the degree of protection sunscreen provides. Princeton University recommends using sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, though an SPF of 30 is even better. The university also recommends wearing clothing that protects your body from direct sunlight, such as large-brimmed hats and long-sleeve shirts.
Keep your skin healthy with a good moisturizer. Avoid any product that irritates your skin. For example, lotions with alpha-hydroxy acids are good because they remove dead skin cells, but those with sensitive skin might find these products too irritating, according to Princeton University. The university also advises people to avoid lotions that have sodium laurel sulfate, which the university says might remove natural oils from your skin.
Examine your entire body often to look for potential skin problems. If you find growths, spots or other blemishes, talk to a dermatologist. Your skin problem might be a simple cosmetic issue, but there is a chance it is precancerous or cancerous. Only a doctor can determine whether a particular skin problem is cause for concern.
Women have slightly different skin than men, according to the Partnership for Women's Health at Columbia University. For example, women have thinner skin, so sunlight is more hazardous to them. The organization also points out that, due to customary dressing habits, women are more likely to develop the dangerous skin cancer melanoma on their legs. To avoid this, wear long pants or dresses that protect your legs from direct sunlight.
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