Healthy Skin

Healthy Skin

Staying out of the sun and away from tanning beds is the easiest way to get great-looking skin. The suns UVB and UVA rays cause skin damage, which is prematurely aging, and skin cancer. Every day you should wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which blocks UVB and UVA rays, with an SPF of 15 or higher. Reapply at least every two hours while outdoors. For a dewy glow, use skin-care products with 10 ingredients or less to reduce irritation, use moisturizer and feed your skin from within. Dark chocolate and antioxidant-rich foods such as cantaloupe, citrus fruits, blueberries and leafy greens improve the skin’s appearance.

Recently Answered

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    AShirley Madhere, MD, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, answered
    What can I do to improve my jowls and drooping chin?
    To improve jowls and a dropping chin, there are many options including creams, devices, lasers and surgical procedures. Watch plastic surgeon Shirley Madhere, MD, share the various ways you can fight the signs of aging on your chin and neck.
    View All 2 Answers
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    ASalvatore Pacella, MD, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, answered on behalf of Scripps Health

    Aging is a complicated process. As the face ages, there’s more going on than just sagging skin. The foundation of the face (the superficial muscular aponeurotic system, or SMAS, layer) loosens. At the same time, the face is also losing subcutaneous fat. Understanding these factors is important when planning a facial procedure, which must re-suspend the foundation layer and correct for fat loss.

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    AKimberly Snyder, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Are there foods I can eat to reduce the appearance of cellulite?

    Foods that can reduce the appearance of cellulite are ones that build up or plump collagen, and ones that are anti-inflammatory, including cilantro, citrus fruits, fiber and oat groats. Watch nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, CN, describe these foods.


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    AKulreet Chaudhary, MD, Neurology, answered
    From an ayurvedic perspective, the health of your skin is directly related to your diet. In fact, one of the reasons that stress can cause sudden and severe acne outbreaks is because of the immediate impact that stress has on your digestive system. To help improve your digestion, follow the general dietary guidelines listed below. Remember, this is a long-term commitment and you have to keep these recommendations in mind for the long haul.
    • Eat warm, soft, cooked foods.
    • Avoid raw vegetables and salads.
    • Drink beverages at room temperature or warm.
    • Avoid cold drinks and frozen desserts (such as ice cream, popsicles, frozen yogurt, etc.).
    • Reduce light, dry, crunchy food.
    • Reduce spicy, sour, fried, and fermented foods.
    • Reduce yogurt, alcohol, coffee, vinegar, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and cheese.
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    AArthur Perry, MD, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, answered
    Depending on your precise issues -- whether you have wrinkles, oiliness, brown pigmentation, visible pores, acne, or loose or thin skin -- your physician will prescribe a skin care regimen that includes one or more creams. If you are serious about your skin, you will have to make some changes.

    A skin care program begins with clean skin. You should wash thoroughly in the morning and the evening. Your cleanser should be mild and not leave a residue. Creams need to be applied in the morning and evening. Common products include tretinoin, vitamin C, hydroquinone, hydrocortisone, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) as well as a sunblock, and maybe a toner. Other treatments may be prescribed.
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    AArthur Perry, MD, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, answered
    Glabridin, an ingredient of licorice extract, is a natural skin lightener. While it does not work as effectively as hydroquinone, it does not appear to have long-term side effects. Glabridin shows promise as a skin lightener but needs more studies, and like so many "naturally occurring herbs," there is little standardization of purity of glabridin and little agreement on the needed concentration.
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    AArthur Perry, MD, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, answered
    Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs) have many of the same benefits as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) but are less irritating. As antioxidants and moisturizers, they improve the appearance of sun-damaged aging skin. PHAs can be used in combination with retinoic acid for acne and with hydroquinones to lighten the skin. PHAs do not increase sensitivity to UV light, and they provide AHA-type anti-aging benefits as well as moisturization and protection from free radical damage.
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    AArthur Perry, MD, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, answered
    Many skin creams do not work because they simply cannot penetrate the protective outer layer of the skin. Even though a cream may work on cells in a test tube, that does not mean it will work clinically and make skin healthier and more attractive. Small molecules, such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and vitamins, have a chance at penetrating the upper layers of skin and acting on the lower layers. Large molecules, such as growth hormones, proteins, collagen, and hyaluronic acid, really have little chance of penetrating the skin. Whether peptides, strings of amino acids, can penetrate the skin is also questionable.

    The skin can be viewed as a chain-link fence. Ping-Pong balls and marbles fit easily through the holes. Tennis balls may be able to squeeze through, with a little help. Anything larger, such as a baseball, won't pass through. Even though some creams may be capable of astounding marvels in a test tube, if they can't get through the fence, they can't play ball. They will be useless. In a nutshell, that's the problem with many large-molecule creams. Botox is injected through the fence; glycolic acid, vitamin C, and tretinoin pass right through the holes. But proteins, collagen, and other large compounds just sit outside.
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    AArthur Perry, MD, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, answered
    The major classes of drugs for the skin include the alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), also called fruit acids; vitamin C; vitamin A as tretinoin (Retin-A); and the newest drugs, the peptides. In addition, there are pigment reducers, exfoliants, moisturizers, toners, and cleansers.
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    ADaniel Hsu, DAOM, Alternative & Complementary Medicine, answered
    Autumn's dry weather can severely dry out your skin, your nose and your throat. Try these delicious and useful Chinese foods and herbs to protect yourself from the ravages of dryness.

    Lotus Root. Popular in Southeastern Asia and especially good for the elderly and children, lotus root is not only one of the best foods for moisturizing the body but also one that is rich in iron, antioxidants, polysaccharides, polyphenols and vitamin C. It is also believed to have powerful cancer fighting properties. They're great in soups or stir fried. But be careful if you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The fiber in lotus root may be too much for you!

    Black Sesame Seeds. 90% of a black sesame seed is made up of unsaturated fatty acids and linoleic acid, both of which promote heart health. The sesamin in the seeds can even help to lower bad cholesterol and prevent skin cancer. Just make sure the seeds are ground well before eating!