November is National Healthy Skin Month, so now is an ideal time to take a look at your skin care routine and ensure that you are making the healthiest choices for your skin. The American Academy of Dermatology offers a variety of tips and resources to help you keep your skin as healthy as possible.
What are dermatologists’ top tips for healthy skin?
- Don’t…. Smoke or use tanning beds. These things can negatively impact the health of your skin. Also, don’t pop pimples or bite your nails, as these actions can transfer bacteria into your skin or mouth, respectively.
- Do… Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Self-examine your skin. Take note of any new or unusual-looking moles, spots, or lesions and have your doctor or dermatologist examine them.
- Always protect your skin from the sun. Use sunscreen every day. When you’re outside, wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and clothing that covers up your skin so that you can minimize your risk of sun damage.
What if I don’t have health insurance?
- Be honest and open with your dermatologist. Ask whether discounted bills are available for uninsured patients, and if you can’t afford a prescribed medicine, be honest about it. Your dermatologist may refer you to a local free clinic and/or may recommend that you seek assistance from one of several drug-assistance websites.
- Call your local hospital. Many free health screenings are not widely promoted. Call your local hospital and ask to speak to a social worker–social workers are familiar with when and where local free and low-cost screenings will be held.
- Find local free screenings. The American Academy of Dermatology offers free skin cancer screenings that are open to everyone.
How can I maintain a healthy skin care routine on a budget?
- Don’t cut sunscreen from your budget. Dermatologist recommend that you use sunscreen every day to fight against sun damage, which can cause wrinkles, age spots, and/or skin cancer.
- Use dual-function products. Consider trying products like a sunscreen/moisturizer combo or a lip balm that contains sunscreen.
- Consider useful but inexpensive products. You don’t need to break the bank to have good skin care habits. One tub of petroleum jelly, cost-effective and easily accessible at your local pharmacy or drugstore, can moisturize dry or cracked skin on the body, hands, or lips; help repair dry cuticles and peeling nails; prevent chafing when running or biking; and serve as a diaper ointment.
- Maximize your moisturizer. In the winter, apply moisturizer as soon as you’re done showering or bathing. This helps lock the water into your skin for moisture that lasts.