Protect your neck and decolletage!

This post was inspired by a request- which I love! Please comment or send a message if you have a topic request.

Everyday a patient asks me why their neck and chest are so red (or brown) Usually the answer is- long term sun damage. Take a look in the mirror- is your neck or chest red or brown in color? This discoloration is  most likely due to chronic sun exposure. Many are surprised by this answer- because they wear sunscreen and or clothing. So why the sun damage?

We have covered the sunscreen issue- we don’t wear enough or reapply frequently enough to provide significant protection.   You need to apply about two teaspoons every two hours to get adequate protection- I don’t even apply that much! What about clothing? Light colored clothing doesn’t provide much protection. A white shirt has an SPF of about 4. Clothing with low necklines provide no protection (of course). Dark clothing and clothing with SPF is much better. You could be a fashionita like me and wear a high neck rash guard (J crew and Athleta have great ones-  I was not sponsored to say this).

So this summer- remember to apply sunscreen to your neck and chest and consider clothing that covers this area or a wide brimmed hat.

Additionally, remember to include your neck and chest in your anti aging routine. I apply my retinol cream to my neck, chest and tops of the hands. Bleaching creams can also be used in these locations. If creams aren’t getting you optimal results lasers (such as intense pulsed light and others) can be used.

As usual, if you notice concerning changes on your skin ask your doctor!



Is your manicure going to give you skin cancer?

Gel and shellac manicures are all the rage right now- and I personally know why- they look great, dry instantly and last longer than regular polish. However, these types of polish require light to harden/set and many salons use small UV light sources, which raises the question of skin cancer safety.

This type of salon service is relatively new, so it will be many years before we really know if there is an increased risk of skin cancer. A recent article in a dermatology journal had the opinion that the risk is minimal. I feel that UV exposure at the salon is completely unnecessary. It has a risk of cancer (even if it is small) and causes photo-aging (this means ugly brown spots). LED lights can be used and give the same results (great nails) without any UV exposure. I had one manicure with UV and noticed a sun spot on the top of my hand. That was my first and last manicure at a salon that used UV light.

Bottom line- If you want to try gel or shellac, look for a salon that uses an LED light source.