November 22, 2021

Three tips for maintaining skin health during National Skin Month

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skinNovember is National Healthy Skin Month, an awareness month recognized by the American Academy of Dermatology Association.

Skin health is important because it performs many essential tasks for overall health. As the largest organ of the body, skin is a protectant from viruses, infection, and environmental threats. It regulates temperature and fluids.

In honor of National Healthy Skin Month, Lauren Kole, M.D., assistant professor and residency program director in the Department of Dermatology, shares her top three tips for maintaining healthy skin all year long.

Wear sunscreen daily on exposed skin. Kole recommends a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is at least a SPF 30. Broad-spectrum sunscreen covers both UAV and UVB rays. “If someone is outside for an extended period of time, I also recommend wearing a wide-brim hat and sun protective clothing,” said Kole. “Sun protection is the best way to prevent skin cancer and signs of aging.”

Be proactive. Kole recommends beginning an anti-aging regimen early. In addition to daily sunscreen use, she recommends using a daily antioxidant such as vitamin C to help prevent damage that is not blocked by sunscreen. It can also reverse the damage that skin has already accrued. “Nightly retinol/retinoid use is also an essential component of an anti-aging regimen. Retinols can improve skin texture and pigmentation with regular use,” she explained.

See a board-certified dermatologist. Every person’s skin is unique and different. Plus, cold and warm seasons may often present varying skin issues. Kole said its best to see a professional “if you have any questions about your skin or proper skin care.”

The UAB Heersink Department of Dermatology offers comprehensive care to patients. From pediatrics to geriatrics, dermatologists help manage patients’ preventive skin care, skin diseases, and other issues. For scheduling, call 205-996-SKIN (7546).