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Expert Tips to Protect Your Hands From Aging and Skin Cancer

hands with hand cream in the shape of a heart

Expert Tips to Protect Your Hands From Aging and Skin Cancer

Posted by Johns Creek Dermatology in Skin Conditions 30 Oct 2015

photo of fingernails drying in a light box at a nail salonWhen most people think about protecting their skin, what first comes to mind is the face or neck. What about the hands? They receive a vast amount of sun exposure over time; unless you are always wearing gloves. About 90 percent of the visible changes that appear on your hands such as wrinkles, leathery skin, and brown spots, are caused by UV rays from the sun. The Staff at Johns Creek Dermatology want you to know that most of the squamous cell and basal cell (SCCs and BCCs) carcinomas that cause over a million malignancies each year are caused by exposure to UV rays. Here is how to care for your hands and prevent early aging signs and skin cancer.

Take Care of Your Whole Self

Most skin care tips that medical professionals provide amount to tips for overall good health. The body is a unit that comprises of separate but intertwined components. The skin and the nails on your hand will thrive after a basic, daily healthy routine. To keep your hands and nails smooth, young-looking and healthy, think about your diet. Research documents that a diet with plenty of vitamin C, and fewer carbohydrates and fats will keep your skin looking younger. You also need to stay well hydrated. External conditions such as dry air and harsh soaps can cause dry skin. But, drinking lots of water will help your skin to retain moisture.

Give Yourself a Mini-Cure

A manicure may not be what you receive daily, but it is one of the things that keep your nails healthy and attractive. Thus, use moisturizers on your nails and skin. Your night treat can include warming your favorite essential oil and giving your nails a therapeutic soak. If your nails become discolored, avoid using polish for a while. Also, use acetone nail polish sparingly because it can damage your nails. Nail lamps that emit UV rays have become a regular part of the salon trips. These lamps are usually used to speed-dry typical manicures. Such UV-emitting lamps have been linked to skin cancer and premature skin aging, and they should be avoided. Instead, go to a salon that uses LED lights instead.

Moisturize

A good moisturizer can help treat and prevent dry skin on your hands. They reserve that needed water in your skin’s outer layer, making them softer and smoother. They also make your outer skin act as a temporary shield of protection. Most people like using a water-based lotion, but this is not the best choice. At first, lotions make your hands feel great, but this water evaporates quickly, and your hands become dry again. But creams are thicker and last longer. Most creams are water-based, but if you have extremely dry skin, consider using oil-based creams. Oil will hold the water on your skin for longer periods.

Wash with Care

Washing your hands prevents you from spreading bacteria, viruses, and other bad organisms to yourself and others. Thus, wash your hands frequently. Washing in the right way makes them look and feel better. However, when washing, use non-drying soaps and avoid using harsh soaps. Liquid non-soap cleansers also work well. Rinse them well and dry them by blotting or patting gently.

Apply Sunscreen

Although common moisturizers relieve parched skin for a while, they don’t protect you from sun damage. So, instead of slathering on cream or lotion, use a moisturizing sunscreen that has an SPF of 15 or higher, and a combination of UVA filtering ingredients such as:

• Stabilized Avobenzone
• Ecamsule (Mexoryl SX)
• Titanium dioxide
• Zinc oxide

Your hands make contact between you and the outside world. You need to take good care of them by washing carefully, eating a good diet, moisturizing, and using the recommended sun protection. Following these tips will keep them soft and younger-looking. If you have any issues with your skin, contact Dr. Shereen Timani at Johns Creek Dermatology to receive help. Johns Creek Dermatology is located in Johns Creek and serves the residents of Gwinnett, North Fulton, and South Forsyth counties and the surrounding North Atlanta area. Give us a call at 770-771-6591.

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