Our Dermatology Blog

Posts for tag: sun exposure

July 13, 2018
Category: Dermatology
Tags: safety   Tips   sun exposure   Burns  

According to dermatologists from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), first-degree burns are very common and frequently occur after accidentally touching a hot stove, curling iron or hair straightener. Sunburn can also be a first-degree burn. Burns can easily happen during summer firework and campfire season; However, unlike the more severe second or third-degree burns, first-degree burns only involve the top layer of the skin. If you have a first-degree burn, your skin may be red and painful, and you may experience mild swelling.

“Most first-degree burns can be treated at home, however, it’s important to know what to do,” says boardcertified dermatologist Darrell S. Rigel, MD, a clinical professor at New York University. “Although first-degree burns aren’t as serious as higher-degree burns, they can hurt quite a bit and can leave a scar if not properly treated.”

To treat a first-degree burn, Dr. Rigel recommends the following:

  1. Cool the burn. Immediately immerse the burn in cool tap water or apply cold, wet compresses. Do this for about 10 minutes or until the pain subsides.
  2. Apply petroleum jelly two to three times daily. Do not apply ointments, toothpaste or butter to the burn, as these may cause an infection. Do not apply topical antibiotics.
  3. Cover the burn with a nonstick, sterile bandage. If blisters form, let them heal on their own while keeping the area covered. Do not pop the blisters.
  4. Consider taking over-the-counter pain medication. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve the pain and reduce inflammation.
  5. Protect the area from the sun. Once the burn heals, protect it from the sun by seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, or applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. This will help minimize scarring, as the redness from a burn sometimes persists for weeks, especially in those with darker skin tones.

“First-degree burns usually heal on their own without treatment from a doctor,” says Dr. Rigel. “However, if your first-degree burn is very large, if the victim is an infant or elderly person, or if you think your burn is more severe, go to an emergency room immediately.”

By WARRENTON DERMATOLOGY & SKIN THERAPY CENTER
March 15, 2017
Category: Sun Exposure
Tags: Skin Cancer   Teens   sun exposure   Tanning  

Skin cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in the United States, and recent findings indicate that non-melanoma skin cancer is increasing in young adults, especially young women. It has been shown that ultraviolet light exposure early in life is linked to skin cancer later in life, since younger skin is particularly sensitive to the detrimental effects of ultraviolet light. So, it is particularly disturbing that, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, nearly 2.3 million American teenagers visit tanning salons every year. Furthermore, tanning is now thought to be truly “addictive” because of a proven endorphin release during sun exposure, which only reinforces this unhealthy habit.

More than 80% of teens surveyed did not believe that tanning salons were safer than natural exposure to the sun, yet almost 65% of the students felt that they should be able to use a tanning salon without the consent of their parents. 60% of teens thought that “tan” people were better looking, but 54% of the students said that they do believe tanning now will cause their skin to look ugly in the future; however, they will continue to tan anyway. The overwhelming majority of teenagers did not use sunless tanners.

Clearly, these teenagers believe that “tanner people are better looking.” Although intellectually, these young people (particularly females) realize that tanning may not be healthy for them, they will continue to expose themselves to dangerous ultraviolet rays. Why?!? The two most plausible explanations for this disconnect may be that: 1) teenagers often feel invincible and 2) there is a long lag time between exposure to ultraviolet radiation and the development of skin cancers, so vanity trumps future benefits. So, short of national legislation to prevent teenagers from accessing tanning salons, what else can be done?

The answer may be in addressing the vanity of tanned skin head-on. Rather than continuing to highlight the dangers of tanning to teens who already know it is unsafe but are willing to take the risk…give them safe, affordable, accessible and effective options to get what they want, just without UV exposure: Sunless tanners. Sunless tanning has made huge advances in both ease of application and quality of result over the past few years. Gone are the days of streaky, orange, “fake” looking results. Professionally applied “spray tans” are still available, but there are many at-home products which yield the same great results. There are lotions that can be applied nightly for a gradual change of color over time (Jergens Natural Glow), or pre-moistened wipes which are rubbed over the skin to produce a tan in a few short hours (Tan Towel), just to name a couple. The key to success with any of these products is good exfoliation of dead cells from the skin prior to application, and careful attention to the application directions.

Be proactive and talk with your teen about their safe self-tanner options. As prom and other spring/summer events approach, it is likely that your teen will want to look tan. Help them select the most appropriate self-tanner for their skin type and then be there to support their application efforts. If it keeps them from unsafe sun and/or tanning booth exposure – it just might also save their life!

By WARRENTON DERMATOLOGY & SKIN THERAPY CENTER
November 23, 2016
Category: Skin Care

Winter means battling harsh weather conditions and even harsher skin conditions. This means that you will need to have a seasonal skincare shift:

Exfoliate and Hydrate

For most people, winter brings dry, dehydrated skin to the forefront. However, proper exfoliation must be accomplished before serious hydration can occur. Dead skin cells, sebum, product accumulation, and makeup debris block the pores and prevent moisturizing products from actually doing their jobs. Unfortunately, the granular exfoliating scrubs most often found over-the-counter can compound dryness, or worse - cause micro-tearing of the skin, which may lead to a whole bunch of new skin care issues. If you are going to exfoliate at home, we recommend Finishing Touch, by Revision Skincare. This weekly exfoliating facial scrub contains ultra-fine Polynesian Volcanic Black Sand and Freshwater Silt to deeply cleanse, polish and nourish the skin. It also contains Shea Butter – a rich, natural emollient to condition and hydrate.

Professional Microdermabrasion and mild Peels are the best options to address a number of skin concerns. Unlike scrubs and everyday products, microdermabrasion and peels will remove several layers of the epidermis in one session, and will allow for more intense hydration which could never be achieved with a home remedy. The treatment is also affordable, fast and effective, with no downtime afterward. The best time for microdermabrasion or a peel is when you can stay out of the sun for a few days. Although these are non-invasive treatments, they do leave the skin vulnerable to the sun’s strong rays, so cold weather months when we spend more time indoors are a wonderful time to start a series of treatments, as long as you are still using your sunscreen.

Renew and Repair

During the summer, many people develop dark spots and fine lines from all the time spent in the sun. Microdermabrasion and peels are also recommended to repair these conditions and to naturally boost production of collagen and elastin. Skin naturally repairs itself, but as we grow older we produce far less of the good stuff that keeps us looking young. Regular professional treatments can be a very effective method of staving off the signs of aging by advancing the production of important proteins in the skin.

Protect

You still need sunscreen protection in the winter months! It may not be hot outside, but your skin is still being exposed to the sun’s rays. It’s easy to protect your face with an all-in-one daily moisturizer with sunscreen and antioxidants, which takes care of all your daytime hydration and protection needs in one quick and easy step. We recommend Total Defense + Repair by SkinMedica, or Intellishade by Revision Skincare, both of which are available at Warrenton Dermatology.
To protect your entire body, try EltaMD’s UV Lotion – a full-body moisturizer with SPF 30 sun protection. Apply to moist skin just after showering for maximum effectiveness.

Call Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center at 540-341-1900 today to book a treatment, or schedule a complimentary consultation to talk about your winter skincare needs and which of these treatment options might be right for you

By WARRENTON DERMATOLOGY & SKIN THERAPY CENTER
July 22, 2016
Category: Skin Care

Our bodies need vitamin D to build and maintain strong, healthy bodies. Without vitamin D, the body cannot use calcium and phosphorus, two minerals that are necessary for healthy bones. One of the top sources of vitamin D is the sun; However, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) does not recommend getting vitamin D from sun exposure (natural) or indoor tanning (artificial) because ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and tanning beds can lead to the development of skin cancer. Getting vitamin D from a healthy diet, which includes naturally enriched vitamin D foods, fortified foods, and beverages, and/or vitamin supplements offers a safer alternative. It is important to note that most problems with vitamin D deficiency are nutritional in nature;  And, even though sunlight IS necessary to synthesize Vitamin D, it takes only 10 minutes of morning sunlight or casual/passive sun exposure (like through your car window) to saturate these receptors.  So, tanning or prolonged exposure to sunlight will not increase your vitamin D levels more than what you are getting.

  • Dietary sources of vitamin D do not prematurely age the skin or increase the risk of developing skin cancer like sun exposure does. 
    Dietary sources (foods naturally rich in vitamin D, fortified foods, and beverages) and vitamin supplements are available year-round and can easily be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle. Good sources include fortified milk, cheeses and yogurt, fortified cereal, and oily fish like salmon and tuna. Research shows that vitamin D supplements are well tolerated, safe, and effective when taken as directed by a physician.
  • The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is: 
    400 IU (International Units) for infants/children 0-1 yrs 
    600 IU for children, teenagers, and adults 1-70 yrs
    800 IU for adults 71+ yrs

Because the amount of vitamin D a person receives from the sun is inconsistent and increases the risk of skin cancer, the RDA was developed based on a person receiving minimal or no sun exposure.

  • People need vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for bone health
    Vitamin D increases the efficiency of the body's absorption of calcium 30 to 40 percent, and phosphorus by 80 percent. Fortified foods and beverages are rich in both vitamin D and calcium and maintain phosphate levels. Many dietary supplements also contain both of these minerals. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D is essential to prevent osteoporosis in men and women who are 50 years of age and older.
  • Vitamin D from food and dietary supplements offers the same benefits as vitamin D obtained from the sun (UV light).
    Vitamin D cannot be used by the body until it is processed by the liver and the kidneys. The usable form of vitamin D created by this process is the same, regardless of how it enters the body.

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that anyone concerned about getting enough vitamin D should discuss with his or her doctor the options for obtaining sufficient vitamin D from foods and/or vitamin supplements.

Article Source: AAD.org. For more information about this and other skin-related topics, visit AAD.org.