Everyone desires beautiful, smooth, healthy skin. The good news is that you don’t always have to undergo a medical procedure or chemical treatment to achieve it. In fact, many of the nutrients you need for glowing, healthy skin can be attained through the right combination of vitamins found in foods and antioxidant-loaded topical treatments.
Antioxidants are nutrients (vitamins and minerals) that can help to prevent and repair damage to your body's skin cells. Incorporating the right antioxidants into your diet and skin care routine can have a positive effect on your skin, making it appear youthful and healthy. The following nutrients are among the very best to consume for healthy, young-looking skin:
- Vitamin C. This important vitamin is key to the production of collagen, a protein that aids in the growth of cells and gives skin its firmness and smoothness. It also helps counter the adverse effects of too much sun. Citrus fruits, leafy greens, bell peppers and cauliflower are rich in this nutrient.
- Vitamin E. This vitamin repairs skin and quells dryness by helping the skin retain its natural moisturizers. It’s found in most sunscreens, as well as nuts and spinach, which keep skin looking supple and soft. This nutrient is very effective in fighting free radicals—the main culprit in the aging process. Vitamin E oil may also be used to minimize scars.
- Vitamin A. Found in many topical night creams, Vitamin A is essential for the maintenance and repair of vital skin tissue. You can improve your intake of this vitamin by eating foods such as sweet potatoes, carrots and leafy vegetables. Supplying your skin with vitamin A can help reduce signs of aging by diminishing fine lines and boosting the skin’s natural elasticity. It can also help control acne.
- Vitamin B. Oatmeal, bananas and eggs all contain the vitamin B Complex nutrient, which forms the basis of our hair, skin and nail cells. Topical creams containing vitamin B help hydrate cells and even out skin tone.
- Vitamin K. Vitamin K applied topically is especially beneficial for fading skin discoloration and minimizing dark under-eye circles.
Because vitamins have such an impact on the health of your skin, it's important to make sure your skin is getting enough of the right nutrients. One place to start is by eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, which are loaded with antioxidants. You can also talk to your dermatologist about the best topical treatments containing these nutrients that will replenish and repair damaged skin.
The right combination of antioxidants can reduce damage caused by the sun, smooth fine lines, keep skin moist, improve your skin’s texture and give you a healthy, youthful glow.
Many people enjoy basking in the sun and spending extra hours outside, especially in the summertime. Unfortunately, too much time spent soaking up the sun’s rays can be damaging to our skin, as evidenced by a dull, wrinkled complexion that makes us appear older than we really are.
Premature skin damage and wrinkling from sun exposure is known as photoaging. Unlike natural aging, photoaging causes dry, leathery and discolored skin, as well as deep wrinkles and sunspots. Talk to your dermatologist for easy ways to minimize sun damage and restore your youthful appearance. There are many ways we can help you soften and remove those unwanted wrinkles brought on by sun exposure.
Here are a few tips for improving sun damaged skin:
Moisturize. Because the sun is very drying, it is important that you rehydrate your damaged skin by applying moisturizer daily. This is an easy way to restore the moisture lost from over-exposure to the sun and improve dull, leathery looking skin.
Chemical Peels. Chemical peel applications are effective for removing fine lines, minimizing sun damage and smoothing out the skin. This procedure removes the damaged upper surface of the skin to expose newer, brighter skin.
Mircodermabrasion. This nonsurgical procedure involves exfoliating the top layer of aging skin to stimulate new skin growth. This procedure works best on mild to moderate skin damage and may require multiple treatments. Following treatment, fine lines appear softened and wrinkles are shallowed. Your skin will be rejuvenated, smoother and younger looking.
Laser skin resurfacing. This laser treatment uses high-energy light to remove a thin layer of damaged skin. As the skin is dissolved, it also minimizes wrinkles, sunspots and scars. New, blemish-free skin grows back smoother and tighter, which results in a younger looking you.
Prevention. Remember, prevention is key to addressing sunspots, wrinkles and other types of sun damage. Be smart when you’re outdoors, and limit the amount of exposure you get to the sun. Prior to stepping outside, always apply sunscreen, wear hats and sunglasses and seek shade when possible.
The good news is that with proper prevention and a treatment plan to repair signs of sun damage, you can restore your youthful glow. Talk to a qualified dermatologist and find out if you are a candidate for any of these cosmetic procedures.
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes afflicts more than 25 million children and adults in the United States. Of these, 7 million do not know they have the disease. At some point in their lives, about 1 in 3 people with diabetes will develop skin problems related to the disorder.
Most skin conditions suffered by people with diabetes are due to immune-system deficiencies caused by high blood sugar. These outbreaks can be as harmless as dry skin or a rash, or may result in a serious infection. Diabetics tend to get the following skin conditions more easily:
- Bacterial infections--such as styes, boils and nail infections
- Fungal infections--such as athlete’s foot and ringworm
- Neuropathy--which can lead to foot ulcers, and in severe case, amputation
If not cared for properly, a minor skin condition in a person with diabetes can turn into a serious problem with severe consequences. The good news is that most skin problems can be prevented and treated with proper care and early detection. The role of your dermatologist can be very important in early recognition of skin conditions associated with diabetes.
Tips for controlling your diabetes and improving your skin health:
- Control your blood glucose level. Manage your diabetes by following a proper diet, exercising and checking your blood sugar levels on a regular basis.
- Moisturize. Prevent dry skin by using a lotion after washing.
- Inspect your feet. Feet are especially vulnerable to injuries due to poor circulation and lack of sensation that is associated with diabetes. Make sure your shoes fit properly, never walk barefoot, use extra precaution when cutting toenails and check your feet daily for minor injuries that can often go unnoticed.
- Keep skin clean and dry. Keep your skin clean by washing regularly in warm water and using mild soap. Gently pat your skin dry, paying extra attention to places where water can hide.
- Protect your skin from the sun. Always apply sunscreen to protect your skin from burning and blistering that can lead to serious infections.
- Inspect skin daily. Check daily for any changes in your skin, paying special attention to known problem areas such as the feet. Changes in skin color or temperature, swelling, pain or open sores that are slow to heal may signify a problem. Notify your dermatologist right away if you suspect a problem.
Keeping your diabetes under control is the most important factor in preventing the skin-related complications of diabetes. Follow your health care provider's advice regarding nutrition, exercise and medication. A dermatologist can help diabetic patients identify skin conditions and recommend the best course of prevention and treatment.
Brown spots and skin discoloration are frequent complaints for many people. The most common form of irregular pigmentation is hyperpigmentation, a condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. Some people have abnormal skin pigmentation from a young age, and for others it is brought on later in life by sun damage or injury to the skin. Individuals of all ages, ethnicities and skin types can be affected, although those with darker skin tones are more prone to develop it.
Hyperpigmentation usually appears as brown spots and dark patches on the face, chest, arms and hands. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin. Sun exposure, acne, genetics and hormonal changes can trigger or worsen irregular pigmentation.
Not all pigmentation problems can be avoided, but you can follow preventive measures to control and reduce dark spots from forming. It is especially important to use adequate sunscreen, manage your acne and discontinue the use of any oral medications that may be contributing to the problem.
How Can I Combat Hyperpigmentation?
The good news is that skin hyperpigmentation isn’t dangerous, and proper treatment can help rejuvenate troubling patches on the skin. There are many treatments at your dermatologist’s disposal, ranging from topical creams and dermabrasion to chemical peels and laser procedures. Your dermatologist will work with you to determine the most suitable treatment for your particular skin type and problem.
Although a frustrating condition, your skin complexion can be improved and corrected. Talk to your dermatologist about the best treatment options for you.
If you find yourself constantly brushing off white flakes of skin from your shirt collars and shoulders, then you may have a common skin condition known as dandruff. Dandruff is the shedding of excessive amounts of skin from the scalp, a condition that can be itchy, bothersome and embarrassing.
Most cases of dandruff are a mild form of a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis, an inflammation of the scalp and sometimes the skin of the eyebrows, eyelids, nose, ears and chest. It occurs in areas that have the greatest number of sebaceous (oil) glands and is likely caused by a combination of an overproduction of skin oil and irritation from yeast. Psoriasis, a fungal infection or simple dry skin may also trigger dandruff. Hormonal or seasonal changes often make the itching and flaking worse.
The good news is that dandruff can almost always be controlled. Most mild cases of dandruff can be managed by shampooing regularly with a gentle, over-the-counter shampoo to reduce oiliness and skin build up. Your dermatologist can help you determine the best shampoo for your specific needs. Other tips for controlling dandruff include:
- Limit hair products. Hair sprays, gels and mousses can create excess build-up on your hair and scalp, increasing its oiliness.
- Treat your scalp gently. Harsh shampoos, daily blow-drying and forceful brushing can damage your scalp and make dandruff worse.
- Avoid scratching. Although tempting, scratching at dandruff can cause further irritation.
If you don’t see an improvement after several weeks of over-the-counter treatment, or if the condition worsens, visit your dermatologist. Severe cases of dandruff may need a prescription-strength or antifungal dandruff shampoo or cream to improve the skin condition.
Don’t throw away your dark clothes yet! With a little persistence and extra care, it’s possible to get your dandruff under control.
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