Skincare can be challenging, especially when presented with a wide variety of conflicting information on what works “best”. A board-certified dermatologist is the best person to turn to when you have questions about your skin, or what products may work best for your individual skin type. Here are four questions that we get asked often, and our recommendations as board-certified dermatologists.
Is It Really Important to Use Medical Grade Skincare Products?
Medical grade skincare is superior to generic over the counter products because these companies are vetted by physicians and scientists. Their ingredients are of the highest quality, and these products have been developed and tested in the labs to ensure that they deliver results.
Although specific molecules found in nature are known to be beneficial, in order to effect change as a topical medication, the ingredient needs to be purified, isolated, and stabilized in the appropriate highly concentrated forms. For example, we know that Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and can be found in a glass of orange juice; however, most people know that rubbing their daily orange juice on their face will accomplish nothing. In our office, we only offer products that have the data to back up their claims. These companies have invested the time, energy, and money to perform the trials to demonstrate that their products work. Furthermore, medical grade products tend to have more elegant “fillers” in their products, which can improve tolerability and feel better on the skin, which motivates daily use. They may be more expensive than drugstore options, but in this case…you get what you pay for. Hilton Dermatology and Aesthetics carries several medical grade skincare lines to help you reach your skincare goals. Revision Skincare, EltaMD, and GlyDerm are just a few of the brands that we carry in office. For more information on these, please call us at (985) 649-5880.
Any sunscreen is better than no sunscreen. The most important aspects of choosing a sunscreen is the SPF factor and frequency of use. “Natural” or “organic” based ingredients are not necessarily better than chemical-based sunscreens if the SPF factor is less than 30 or if the formulation is off-putting to the patient and is left unused. In general, if your skin is easily irritated or sensitive to chemical sunscreens, it is better to use purely physical sunscreens whose only active ingredients are zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Also patients with pigment disorders or melasma will benefit more from a physical sunscreen. Otherwise, a sunscreen with SPF30 or higher is most important. Reapplication every 2 hours while actively in the sun is also another important factor despite how high the SPF is.
What is the Best Way to Monitor Moles and Skin Changes at Home?
If you have a lot of moles or a personal or family history of melanoma, it is best to see a board certified dermatologist at least once a year for a check. Sometimes it takes the eyes of a professional to see the subtle changes that initially present in moles. It is also recommended that patients be cognizant of their own bodies. Always look for moles that have enlarged, change colors, or become symptomatic. Everyone has a smart phone these days, so I encourage patients to photograph anything that looks unusual to them. Having a partner or family member monitor any areas not readily accessible like the back is also helpful. It is not uncommon for patients to come in for a check-up only because their spouse noticed something unusual, and then to be diagnosed with a malignancy. You should be the one to know your body the best. For the parts you can’t see, allowing others, including your dermatologist, to help is the key to healthy skin. To schedule your yearly skin check-up with Hilton Dermatology, please call us at (985) 649-5880.
Does the Food That I Eat Actually Affect How My Skin Looks?
Like almost every other organ in the human body, what you eat or drink most certainly matters to your skin. There are many disease processes that are specific to certain foods ingested – for example, gluten in patients with celiac disease. Aside from these more serious diseases, an unhealthy diet can lead to unhealthy, aged skin in all patients. Free radicals are abound and can damage skin. This can result from free radicals in fried foods or alcohol for instance. Studies have also shown that high glycemic diets can lead to acne. Dehydration can lead to dull, dry, itchy skin. As with all other aspects of life, everything in moderation. Eat healthy and hydrate frequently.
Have More Questions?
If you have a skin condition that you have concerns about, or if you think it’s time to come in for a full body check, please call the board-certified dermatologists at Hilton Dermatology and Aesthetics in Slidell to schedule your appointment today. We can be reached at (985)649-5880 Monday through Friday and look forward to serving your skincare needs in the Northshore area.