Board-certified dermatologists are experts when it comes to the skin, hair, and nails, diagnosing and treating more than 3000 diseases and conditions, including skin cancer, acne, psoriasis, and eczema. They also help patients address their cosmetic concerns, such as tattoo removal, scarring, and aging skin. But do you ever wonder what skincare tips dermatologists use themselves to maintain healthy skin?
"When it comes to skincare, I like to keep it simple for both my patients and myself", says board-certified dermatologist Ivy Lee, MD, FAAD.
To maintain healthy skin, Dr. Lee recommends the following tips, which she adheres to herself:
WEAR SUNSCREEN DAILY
For the best protection, apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all skin not covered by clothing, and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating. To save time in your skincare routine, you can consider using a moisturizer that also contains sunscreen.
STAY OUT OF TANNING BEDS
Just like the sun, tanning beds emit harmful UV radiation that causes skin cancer. If you want that golden glow, achieve it with self-tanning products instead. When applied correctly, self-tanners look natural and won't give you orange skin, streaks, or splotches.
SIMPLIFY YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE
Less is more when it comes to skincare. Using too many products, especially multiple anti-aging products, can irritate your skin. Instead, focus on the basics, such as a gentle cleanser, sunscreen, and moisturizer. Establish morning and nighttime skincare routines that work well for your skin, and stick with them.
TREAT YOUR LIPS
Since skin cancer can form on the lips, apply a lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher before going outdoors. If your lips feel chapped or dry, apply petroleum jelly for added moisture.
KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF YOUR FACE
Whenever you touch your face, you transfer dirt, germs, and oil from your hands to your face. Do your best to leave your skin alone throughout the day. Avoid picking, popping, or squeezing pimples, as this can cause scarring.
CHECK YOUR SKIN REGULARLY
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the US, affecting one in five Americans in their lifetime. Further, nearly 20 Americans die from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, every day. However, when detected early, skin cancer - including melanoma - is highly treatable. In fact, the five-star survival rate for people whose melanoma is detected and treated before it spreads to the lymph nodes is 98 percent. It is important to check your skin regularly for new spots, spots that are different from other spots on your body, or moles that itch, bleed, or change color, as these are often early warning signs of skin cancer. If you notice any suspicious spots, make an appointment to see a board-certified dermatologist.