Your skin is your largest organ. In addition to many other functions, it provides a barrier against infections and prevents water loss and protects you from the damaging effects of the sun. Your skin can also reveal the first signs of a more serious underlying health concern. Leading a healthy lifestyle means taking care of your skin, including regular visits with a board-certified dermatologist.
Having a yearly full-body skin checkup by a board-certified dermatologist can catch early signs of skin disorders, especially skin cancer. If you have a history of skin cancer, it may be a good idea to have a full exam more than once a year.
There are many helpful resources on the website for the American Academy of Dermatology where you can learn about general skin care. You can also learn about care related to specific skin conditions, both common and rare. We also encourage you to check out the dermatologic “health library” here.
Additionally, a dermatologist can help you understand more about the specifics of your skin condition and give you tips on general skincare.
Preventive Screening & Clinics
You can make an appointment with a dermatologist at any of our three general dermatology clinic locations to schedule a full-body skin screening. University Medical Center Brackenridge also offers a free skin screening event annually.
To find other free skin screenings, visit the website of the American Academy of Dermatology to use their skin screening search.
Diet and Nutrition
What is going on inside your body can often be reflected in your skin. Generally, a healthy diet and lifestyle can help keep your skin looking its best.
Some skin conditions, such as psoriasis, can reflect underlying inflammation in the body and can increase the risk of conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and blood pressure. Eating right and staying active along with taking supplements like omega-3 fatty acids can help offset these increased risks and can aid in keeping psoriasis controlled. There is some evidence that high glycemic loads (eating lots of simple sugar and starches) and dairy products can worsen conditions such as acne.
Avoid the Sun
Sun protection is vital to keeping your skin looking young and healthy. Limiting sun exposure is also essential to help prevent skin cancers. Regular sun protection is one of the most effective ways that you can care for your skin. Remember, there is no such thing as a healthy tan.
Avoid significant sun exposure during the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A good rule of thumb is to avoid sun exposure during time when your shadow looks shorter than you.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily with an SPF of 30 or greater, and apply it 30 minutes before you go out in the sun. You can find sunscreen and moisturizer combinations that feel less greasy and are easy to use. It is important to apply sunscreen every 2 hours for best protection. Most importantly, find a sunscreen that you like so that you are more likely to use it.
Wear sun-protective clothing such as long sleeves and wide-brimmed hats. You can also find clothing that carries an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating. And do not forget to protect your kids’ skin! Sun exposure during childhood can greatly increase the risk of skin cancer as adults.
Prevention for Specific Skin Concerns
The board-certified dermatologists at Ascension Seton treat a wide range of skin conditions. Select a health concern below to learn more about diagnosis, treatment, and what you can do to maximize your skin health.
- Hair Disorders
- Rashes, Eczema & Skin Allergies
- Skin Cancer
- Skin Discoloration / Vitiligo
- Skin Tags
- Warts / Molluscum
- Wrinkles / Aging Skin
- Additional Health Concerns