National Skin Care Awareness Month in September – Remember to read the labels!

Our remarkable skin is the largest organ of the human body, protecting us from microbes and the elements, helping regulate body temperature, and permitting the sensations of touch, heat, and cold.

Skin is unique in many ways, demanding much daily attention and concern. But as the calendar turns to September, Parasol Dermatology in Monterey reminds the community about National Skin Care Awareness Month.

“It’s the perfect time to put extra focus on our skin,” said Parasol founder Dr. Christina Bolante. “With so many things to think about over a busy summer, it can be easy to forget about our skin. September is a good checkpoint because those summer months can wreak havoc on our skin, especially if we forgot to protect it from the sun’s harsh rays.”

Named Parasol due to its comprehensive, A-to-Z skin care under one “umbrella,” the practice at 900 Cass St., in Monterey, aims to help patients of all ages achieve healthy, beautiful skin through the latest and most advanced treatments available.

Dr. Bolante suggests examining our skin from time to time, keeping track of any details which may require an expert opinion. A qualified dermatologist can advise patients on how to take better care of their skin moving forward, and help alleviate any concerns someone may have regarding their skin health.

Parasol offers the following tips as the calendar turns to fall:

·  Staying hydrated is essential for good-looking, healthy skin. And watch your alcohol intake. Water flushes out toxins, reduces puffiness, and makes wrinkles less visible, while alcohol does the opposite.

·  Continue to use sunscreen, even if temperatures drop. Protecting your skin from the damaging effects of UV rays can help you prevent wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and other similar signs of aging, not to mention skin cancer. Controlled studies have shown that regular use of an SPF 30 or higher broad-spectrum sunscreen reduces your chances of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40 percent, melanoma by 50 percent and premature skin aging by 24 percent.

·  Wash your face twice a day with a gentle cleanser. This is important because facial skin is especially prone to environmental factors such as air pollution and other irritants. More than removing excess oil, makeup and sunscreen, it’s important to wash away dirt and sweat.

·  Get the recommended daily dose of Vitamin D, which calms inflammation, protects the skin, and improves cell turnover. The average, non-deficient adult should aim for 600 International Units (IU) per day in their diet. As far as natural Vitamin D intake from the sun, prevailing studies show that people who use high-SPF sunscreen daily can still maintain their vitamin D levels.

·  Perform monthly self-skin exams to look for changes to moles and spots with unusual shapes or colors, which can be signs of skin cancer. In addition, skin changes including itching or a rash can be the first sign of other health issues.

·  Eat healthy. Some of the season’s most enjoyable traditions can lead to some unhealthy eating habits. Tailgating, trick-or-treating and lavish holiday celebrations can lead to a sharp increase in processed foods. Foods high in refined carbs and those with a high glycemic index can cause sugars and hormones to spike, which can worsen acne and other skin conditions.

While there are some valuable things we can do to protect our skin, making regular visits to a dermatologist remains the most important step in maintaining skin health.

 For more information on Parasol Dermatology visit www.parasoldermatology.com.

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