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Posts for tag: laser

By Susan Peterson, RPA-C
January 08, 2014
Category: Skin Care
Tags: sunscreen   tanning   myths   laser   acne   antiaging  

  

Skin Care Myths and Beliefs

We always hear about new, must-have products, antiaging treatments and skin care advice.  It is often difficult to separate hype from reality.  Here are some facts to aid you:

Belief:  Tanning booths are safe as long as they don't contain UVB rays.

We all know that tanning in the sun is unhealthy and can lead to skin cancer.  But what about tanning booths?  Many tanning booth companies say that they filter out the sunburning UVB rays.  When you go to a tanning booth you are still being exposed to UVA rays.  UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin and cause damage that can lead to premature aging and skin cancers. 

So avoidance is best.

Belief:  The higher the SPF, the better the protection.

UVA rays penetrate the skin deeply enough to alter pigment to produce a tan.  UVB rays are the rays that are primary for producing a sunburn.  These rays also damage DNA to cause photoaging, pigment changes and skin cancers.  There are also UVC rays that are absorbed by the atmosphere and do not make it to the ground.

The SPF on a sunscreen refers to the amount of protection against UVB rays abd sunburns.  Most sunscreens now protect against UVA and UVB rays.  That is why on the package you will read broad spectrum.

When purchasing a sunscreen, look for an SPF of 30 containing 6% zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for maximum protection.

Belief:  You don't need sunscreen on a cloudy day.

Even on a cloudy day, UV radiation from the sun reaches the earth's surface.  So sunscreen is a must each and every day.  Reapplication is also important especiaally after perspiring heavily or swimming. 

Remember that make-up that contains SPF is not enough.  Make-up should be applied over your sunscreen.  Most make-ups would require that you use about 15 times the amount of make-up that you normally do to provide the labeled SPF coverage.

Belief:  Scrubbing your face with soap will keep your skin healthy and acne free.

When you scrub your face you actually remove some of the protective oils and barriers.  Instead use a gentle cleanser and your fingertips and followed by a moisturizer if needed and then your sunscreen. 

You will never scrub away acne.

Belief:  It is better to get the pus out of a pimple by popping it.

It feels really good to release the pus from a pimple, but unless done properly it can be pushed deeper causing further inflammation and possibly scarring. 

If you absolutely feel it is necessary to pick at a pimple, use a comedone extractor.  These are inexpensive and can be purchased at your local pharmacy.  The proper way to use this instrument is to apply it firmly and roll it across the pimple.  This will help to prevent further damage, inflammation and spread to adjoing pores.

Belief:  Facials are good for your skin care routine.

Facials may actually cause acne breakouts in 80% of people.

Facials feel great and offer an advantage as far as relaxation, but exfoliation of the top layer of the skin by microdermabrasion and peels do better for revealing healthy skin and clearing pores of oil and debris.

Belief:  Expensive skin care products work best.

Most active ingredients found in over the counter products are similar whether purchase in a local store or a fancy boutique.

Physician strength products will be more beneficial because of higher concentrations of active ingredients.  These can be purchased at your dermatology office usually.  The cost may appear slightly higher, but usually less product is necessay to achieve effectiveness.

Beliefs:  Antiaging products and wrinkle creams can erase wrinkles

Most creams for antiaging and wrinkles simply hydrate the skin.  This plumping by attracting moisture to the area will make lines appear better temporarily.

However, products containing reinols and retinoids have science behind them that will reverse some fine lines.  These products penetrate the skin and increase cell turnover.  They will also be effective against acne and cause some reversal of photoaging or sun damage.

Antioxidants such as vitamin C will also help in the prevention of environmental damage.  Sunscreen applied daily and year round will prevent the signs of aging due to UV exposure.  Many physician strength sunscreens include antioxidants.

Belief:  Lasers can make you look 20 years younger.

Lasers have improved over the years, but patients need to be realistic about what can be achieved. Most lasers specifically target certain aspects of photosdamage. Some will target dark lesions, while others may be more specific to vascular or red lesions. Some lasers will penetrate to deeper tissue in an attempt to stimulate collagen to diminish fine line and wrinkles.

Some lasers require healing time, while some will have lessened healing time. Be aware of what your desired goal is and remember to include sunscreen as a strategy to prevent damage and to continue to look as young as possible.



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