Avoid harsh detergents, perfumed soaps, and heavily fragranced lotions that tend to irritate the skin and trigger eczema. For eczema patients: “If it smells good or says ‘baby’ on it, don’t use it!”
It’s great that you are using sunscreen daily but don’t forget to protect your eyes as well. Wide brimmed hats and sunglasses that provide UV protection are also an important part of being “Sun Smart.”
If you have acne, avoid occlusive ointments on the face such as petrolatum. Hair gel and other hair products can worsen or cause acne on the forehead so make sure to keep them off of the facial skin.
Choose make-up brands that are and free of fragrances and dyes that can trigger eczema. Look for the term noncomedogenic if you are prone to acne. Makeup bases that contain sunscreen are great for daily use to combat premature aging.
Soothe your skin with regular applications of a fragrance-free moisturizer to prevent itching and dryness.
A daily vitamin and biotin supplements (2-3mg/day) along with a balanced diet can be helpful in cases of brittle nails and thinning hair.
Resist that urge to pop your pimples. The trauma from popping pimples can lead to worsened redness and swelling and in some cases can cause scarring.
Even if you don’t feel “hot” you are still getting harmful UV rays while outside. Overcast days are infamous for causing bad burns because sunscreen is frequently forgotten and the cooler weather keeps us outside for longer.
Make applying sunscreen a part of your daily morning routine. A daily moisturizer containing sunscreen helps to keep your skin from getting dry while at the same time combating premature aging and skin cancer development.
Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 anytime you expect to spend more than 15 minutes in the sun. If you are going to be around reflective surfaces like water or snow, consider a higher SPF and reapplying frequently (every 2 hours).
Remember the ABCDE’s of melanoma: Asymmetry, Irregular Border, Color (black or multiple colors), Diameter (greater than 6mm or a pencil eraser), and Evolution (change over time).
It is clear that stress worsens skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema. Find some relaxing outlets to manage your stress such as jogging, yoga, or curling up with a good book.
Be careful which fabrics you wear. If you have eczema you should avoid wool or synthetic fabrics and instead try to stick with 100% cotton.
Because water tends to dry out the skin, take short, warm showers and baths. If you're going to have your hands in water for a long time (like when you're washing dishes or your car), try wearing gloves.
The sun's rays are strongest between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM, so make sure you reapply sunscreen frequently and take breaks indoors if you can. Other ways to mitigate the sun during these hours is to seek shade whenever possible, wear wide-brimmed hats and long sleeves.
For those rosy red cheeks in rosacea, a sheer green-tinted primer is a good choice for a makeup base. The green tint can help visually correct redness and even out skin tone. Get one with UVA/UVB protection and you'll help shield skin from exposure that can aggravate rosacea.
The SPF is the “sun protection factor.” If you would normally burn after 10 minutes in the sun, a sunscreen with SPF of 30 would allow you to stay 30 times longer in the sun before burning, or 300 minutes.
Hair is most prone to damage when it is wet. If you are struggling with hair loss or damage it is best to use a wide toothed comb or your fingers to detangle your hair when it is wet. When it has dried it is safer to use a standard brush.
Don’t neglect your lips when it comes to sun protection. Skin cancers on the lip are more aggressive and can be deadly. Your wide brimmed hat will help but consider a chapstick containing sunscreen for long sunny days.
Any new or changing mole that itches, stings, or bleeds should be promptly evaluated by your doctor. Early detection of melanoma can be life saving.
If your small cut or scrape seems to be getting worse despite application of Neosporin, consider switching to plain Vaseline or a double antibiotic ointment that does not contain neomycin as this is a very common cause of allergic contact dermatitis.
Sunscreen stops working around 3 hours after applying so reapplication is key. Forgetting this fact often leads to unexpected burns after a long day out in the sun.