- What’s the single most important thing I can do to protect my skin? Vigilant sun protection. I see so many folks with skin cancers on their face or bodies from sunburns and years of sun exposure without any protection. A modest amount of sunscreen and/or sun-protective clothing can prevent most future skin cancers. I also would say that skin will look younger and healthier.
- What’s the best way to check for skin cancer? The American Academy of Dermatology suggests using the “ABCDs of melanoma” to remember what to look for on your monthly skin self-exam. A is for asymmetry of the lesion. B is for irregular border of the lesion. C is for a varied color pattern within a single lesion. D is for a diameter of more than 6mm (1/4-inch) for a single lesion. I would always recommend an annual full skin exam by a board certified dermatologic physician if a person has a personal or family history of skin cancer or melanoma.
- How can I improve my skin through lifestyle changes? A healthy respect for the aging and damaging effects of chronic ultraviolet exposure. By this, I mean wearing sun-protective clothing and/or sunscreen when outside from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Daily moisturizing and mild cleansers can help everyone have better skin health. I would always discourage purposeful tanning, in a tanning bed or outdoors.
- How does winter weather impact my skin, and what can I do to combat it? Winter in the Midwest is our low humidity time. When the furnace is blowing warm air, our skin is being dried out. You will recognize this as dry lips, dry nasal passages and dry, itchy skin. The remedy is to add back the moisture via over-the-counter moisturizers. Your local dermatologist can recommend the best products during your next visit.
- What’s Central Missouri Dermatology’s approach to skin care? We offer a complete skin care team for encouraging healthy skin. We can treat all skin, hair and nail maladies, and our services include diagnosis; treatment; Mohs skin cancer removal; phototherapy; laser treatment of excess hair and veins; facial rejuvenation, including Botox; fillers; chemical peels; and a complete line of cosmetic pharmaceuticals.
- You have locations in Columbia, Jefferson City, Boonville, Mexico and Moberly. What’s next for your growing practice? We are always looking for new and more efficient ways to serve our community of central Missouri. We are excited and grateful for each patient who entrusts us with the care of their skin. We will likely increase our staff as the community grows and develops a need for more dermatologists. Please let us assist with all of your skin needs.
- What kind of sunscreen is best? A broad spectrum sunscreen is best. This means a sunscreen that blocks the cancer-causing and aging effects of ultraviolet rays from the sun. Broad spectrum means it impedes UVA and UVB rays; SPF 30 is optimal.
- What is the one thing I might not know about skin care? Ultraviolet injury to your skin cells can take 10 to 20 years to promote a skin cancer. Any protection you do today can help your skin health for many years.
- How do I know if I’m aging well? Protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging effects will manifest as skin that appears less aged and mottled. Your friends will be jealous of your youthful appearance. You will also enjoy fewer problems with skin cancer and sun-induced wrinkles.
10. What should I look for in a dermatologist? A board certified dermatologist with a good bedside manner — someone who is expertly trained in keeping your skin healthy. I, of course, recommend Central Missouri Dermatology Associates. We have put together the most complete team of skin specialists in central Missouri. Give us a try.