By Stacy D. Tompkins, M.D.
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably seen the doctor recently on an issue pertaining to your skin. That’s because according to a new study at the Mayo Clinic, dermal disorders are the number one reason people visit their doctors in the United States.
From all other non-acute conditions, skin problems like rashes, lesions, acne and pre-cancerous pigmentation were top causes for visiting the doctor over a five year period.
Researchers studied a medical database of more than 142,000 individuals, discovering in the process that skin issues exceeded all other health concerns like joint disorders or back pain, which respectively ranked as the second- and third-most reason to visit the doctor. Of the individuals studied, demographics like age and gender were nearly identical to that of the United States, with the exception to race which varied only slightly from the rest of country.
Conditions fluctuated by age including younger patients visiting their doctors for rashes and acne, while older patients received care for lesions or pre-cancerous conditions.
The study was published in the January 2013 issue of the Mayo Clinical Proceedings.
Skin care: 3 ways to stay healthy
You can take a proactive approach to keeping your skin healthy. Save a trip to the doctor this year by keeping close watch on your skin. Here’s how:
1. Wear Sunscreen
The best way to reduce your risk of skin cancer and pre-cancerous moles or pigmentation is by the daily use of sunscreen. Always apply lotion containing at least an SPF 15 active ingredient on a daily basis. For the face, always use an SPF 30 or greater to keep skin looking young and healthy.
2. Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Keeping skin acne-free involves careful at-home care including the use of proper face wash while keeping your skin clean on a regular basis. Be careful not to overdo it, though; over-zealous scrubbing using harsh ingredients can exacerbate the condition. Use gentle products with active ingredients designed to combat acne. We’d be happy to discuss what products would work best for you.
3. Limit skin’s exposure to harmful environments
Rashes and lesions can often occur as a result of exposure to harmful environments. Avoid direct contact with plants, animals or chemicals that are suspected to cause harm to the skin including poison oak, pets if you have allergies, and ammonia, bleach, drain cleaners and other toxic, volatile chemicals. Wear gloves, long pants and other protective gear when entering hazardous environments.
The board-certified dermatologists at North Coast Dermatology can easily advise you on some more specific ways to keep your skin healthy. We treat both adult and pediatric patients with various types of common dermatological problems, such as eczema, psoriasis and acne, with the most advanced techniques.
For more information on keeping your skin healthy, or to ask a question about a skin concern, call my office, at 760-436-2300 and schedule your consultation today.