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  • Ryan Harris, MD

Setting Your Skin Care Goals for 2023

Young woman holding balloons that spell out "2023"

As we start the new year, it's a great time to set goals to inspire you. While I realize that taking proper care of your skin isn't likely to be your most important goal, it can still be a very important part of improving your happiness, health, and confidence this year. For some of you, setting proper skin care goals could even save your life. Below I will list what I think should be some of your top goals for your skin this upcoming year.

Goal #1: Wear Sunscreen and Use Sun Protection

Woman applying sunscreen to her face at the beach

I wouldn't be a proper dermatologist if I didn't include this as the most important skin care goal for 2023. Wearing sunscreen benefits you in so many ways. Using sunscreen has been shown to decrease rates of skin cancers including melanoma. Melanoma kills nearly 8,000 people in our country each year, so anything that can reduce your risk of dying of melanoma is extremely important.

If getting skin cancer doesn't scare you, remember that nothing causes your skin to look old more than sun damage. If you want to look young for your entire life, you will need to protect your skin from the sun. Good sun protection reduces wrinkles and prevents skin discoloration including moles, melasma, sun spots, and other signs of aging. Sun damage also thins your skin making it more prone to bruising, tearing, and scarring.

Goal #2: Moisturize Your Skin

Bottle of Epionce Renewal Body Lotion

Every day I see patients with itching, rashes, infections, and a variety of other skin issues due to dry skin. While prescription medicines are usually part of the treatment plan for these patients, I also always emphasize the need to take care of dry skin through proper use of moisturizers. Doing so leads to a healthy skin barrier which not only reduces common problems of the skin, but also helps your skin look younger and healthier. Do your skin a favor and use a high quality moisturizer once or twice daily.

Goal #3: Take Care of Any Annoying Skin Issues

Woman with acne looking in a mirror with a shocked face

I am constantly amazed by the skin issues people put up with for months or years that can be easily fixed by a dermatologist. Whether it is a rash that just won't go away, acne, a painful cyst or skin growth, or even just an unsightly mole, you don't have to live with these problems. If you have anything that has been bothering you, schedule an appointment. I think you will be surprised with how easy it is to fix most skin issues.

Goal #4: Learn the Signs of Skin Cancer

Image of a melanoma showing irregular color and borders

Skin cancer is a major problem in our country leading to hundreds of thousands or surgeries, procedures, and even deaths. Many of these could be prevented, or at least the procedures required could be much simpler if patients would learn the signs of skin cancer and come in earlier for evaluation. There are three main types of skin cancers. Melanoma is the most dangerous type and usually appears as a dark, irregular appearing spot. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common but least aggressive form of skin cancer and is usually a pink, shiny bump that bleeds. Squamous cell carcinomas tend to be hard, scaly spots that are painful to the touch. For more information on these skin cancers, please see our website to familiarize yourself with the features of skin cancer.

Goal #5: Develop a Skin Care Regimen

Epionce product line for daily skin care

Ok, I'll admit it. This goal is as much for me as it is for you. For many years I have done little more than just rinse my face with water in the shower. While there is nothing particularly wrong with this approach, it isn't helping my skin look younger. I just turned 41 and I would like to not feel old every time I look in the mirror. Currently, I use a topical retinoid such as tretinoin most nights, but that is about it. My wife is in love with the Epionce products we carry and seeing how much they have helped her has motivated me to do better with my skin care regimen. This year, I plan on using the Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser, Renewal Facial Lotion, and Lytic Plus Tx. I may even throw in the Epionce Renewal Eye Cream or Luminous Eye Serum as well as I am starting to get more wrinkles and dark circles under my eyes (I blame it on my 5 kids). And of course I will continue to wear sunscreen.

Goal #6: Get a Skin Cancer Screening

Doctor looking at a patient's mole with a magnifying glass.

If you have risk factors for skin cancer or have any concerning spots on your skin, schedule a skin cancer screening by a dermatologist this year. Risks for skin cancer include having more than 25 moles, having fair skin, history of sunburns or significant sun exposure, any history of tanning bed use, personal history of skin cancer or atypical moles, and a family history of melanoma. While knowing the signs of skin cancer and examining your own skin is a great starting point, dermatologists are much more skilled at detecting skin cancers at earlier stages than patients or regular doctors. I have found hundreds of skin cancers that patients hadn't even noticed despite having regularly looked at their skin. If you are in need of a screening, stop putting it off and schedule an appointment today.

Goal #7: Help Others With Their Skin Issues

Two hands held out together

This one can be a little tricky. While you don't need to go around being critical of others and their skin problems, if you have learned something that has helped your skin, don't be afraid to share it with others. If you have a product you love, tell your friends about it. If you know someone who needs to have a concerning spot looked at, encourage them to see a dermatologist. If you see a spot on someone at the pool or somewhere else that looks like melanoma, recommend they see a dermatologist. Sharing what you know can not only make others happy, but could help save someone's life like this girl did while at a hockey game (Hockey Fan Spots Cancerous Mole at Game and Delivers a Life Saving Note).

Here's to a Great 2023!

I think those are enough skin care goals for this year. If you have any other suggestions or would like to make us aware of your specific goals this year, feel free to comment on this post. I personally am really looking forward to 2023. I love seeing our practice grow and seeing how many lives we are able to help each day. So here's to a wonderful 2023 that will hopefully be filled with great things including better skin!

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