Improve Your Health

Healthier Skin at Any Age

About The Author

Dr. Edit B. Olasz Harken

Dermatologist

Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin

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As we age, our skin changes and the damage from years in the sun can begin to show. A personalized skin care routine can do wonders for your skin. It starts with using sunscreen daily. I recommend generously applying water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 to all exposed skin. Reapply every 2 hours, or after swimming or sweating. Seek shade when appropriate remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. In addition to using sunscreen, wear protective clothing, such as a long sleeve shirt, pants, a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses when possible.

May is Melanoma Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to increase your understanding about the health of your skin and ways to protect it. A common myth is that getting a base tan at a tanning salon can help protect your skin from sun damage. A tan from a tanning bed gives you very low level of protection that does not justify the risks. In fact, repeated exposure to UV radiation from tanning beds or the sun increases your risk of premature skin aging and skin cancer.

No matter your age, you can slow or stop signs of aging and sun damage and take steps to improve your skin health. Skin cancer screenings are often covered by health insurance (check with your insurance provider), so make an appointment with a dermatologist or your primary care provider to get evaluated and learn additional ways you can improve your skin health.

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