8 Tips for Healthier Skin

1.) Don’t touch your face. Fingers transfer bacteria very easily, so try to keep your hands off your face as much as possible, says Dr. Roger Kapoor, a dermatologist with Beloit Health System.
And try not to pick or pop your skin.

“I see a lot of that in the dermatology office – it definitely leads to scarring, and that can be more difficult to fix,” he says.

2.) Check your car windows for UV protection. Front windshields usually block UVA and UVB radiation from the sun, but all passengers may not have the same protection from side windows, Kapoor says.

“UV radiation can reach you through the window of a car unless you install UV-blocking window films,” he adds.

3.) Always wear sunscreen outside – even in fall and winter. While babies less than 6 months old shouldn’t be slathered in sunscreen – they need protective clothing – anyone older than 6 months should wear sunscreen every time they leave the house.

4.) Wear lip balm with SPF. Your lips are just as susceptible to UV damage as any other body part, so lip balm that has SPF adds extra protection. You can still apply lipstick over it, Kapoor says.

5.) Schedule a skin cancer screening starting at age 50. Not every physician will ask if you’ve had a skin cancer screening, but it’s still important.

6.) Check your medications for sun sensitivity. If you can’t understand why your skin suddenly seems more sensitive to the sun, check your medications and talk to your primary doctor. It could be that your blood pressure medication or another pill has thrown off your body’s normal reaction to UV rays.

“Antibiotics, even over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen, can make your skin more sensitive to the sun,” Kapoor says. “You can get sunburn more easily just from the medicine you’re on, or possibly sun poisoning.”

7.) Know the qualifications of your health care providers. Medical degrees aren’t necessarily required to perform certain aesthetic procedures.

8.) Take responsibility for your health. How you treat your body can have a huge impact on how you look as you age. Exercise; drink lots of fluids; try to eat well; try to be healthy. ❚