This week I spoke with Dr. Elise Barnett of the Atlanta based, Dermatology Consultants to learn more about taking care of our largest and most visible organ, our skin. The following tips and information were her responses to the question: “What do you wish all patients over 50 knew out their skin health?”.
- EVERY skin tone can get skin cancer! Please wear a minimum of SPF 30 365 days a year on face, hands, and neck. If you already have sunspots or are fair skinned use 45 SPF.
- Incidental exposure (sitting by a window, driving, walking to the car) equals a minimum of 1 hour of direct sunlight every day… wearing the sunscreen helps prevent both the potential skin cancer but also PHOTOAGING (sunspots) from sun exposure.
- Everyone should have a complete skin check every 2 years. The check should include the scalp, between the toes, bottoms of feet, genitals, underarms. Every piece of skin, not just skin exposed to the sun.
- Clients of lighter skin tones OR clients who have had high sun exposure over their lifetime due to sports, hobbies, or profession should see a dermatologist every six months to a year.
- The highest rate of melanoma (cancer typically caused by intense sun exposure that led to burns, moles, or family history) occurrence for men is on the back and neck. The highest rate of melanoma occurrence for women is on the lower legs and arms.
- Dr. Barnett recommended Neutrogena or La Roche Posay lines for daily sunscreens. “Activewear” typically means it will last about 80 minutes if sweating or washing hands a lot.
- If you have a personal history of sun damage or skin cancer, taking a vitamin supplement or using products with niacinamide (B Vitamin) has been shown to reduce chances of skin damage from high levels of sun exposure (athletes, gardeners, outdoor enthusiasts).
Written by Kristin Dean, Vivo Care Team