The skin is so important to our wellbeing in part because it is the largest organ in the body.
One of the major challenges to skin health is moister. Our skin craves moisture and in a desert environment like Utah dry skin causes can cause itching and rashes. Cleanliness saves lives but over use of soap can cause rashes especially in the winter time when the humidity inside the home drops to very low levels. One rash commonly caused by dry skin is Nummular Dermatitis which causes coin shaped patches of red especially on the legs of men.
This condition is commonly associated with harsh soaps like Zest, Irish Spring, or certain body washes. The thicker creams sold in tubs work better than most lotions. Coconut oil works well, too. It is best to apply after you shower or bathe.
If you have a spot on your skin that you are worried about, use the abcde’s to decide if it needs to be seen by a doctor. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has a great explanation of the abcde’s (including a video) here: https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-cancer/learn-about-skin-cancer/detect/what-to-look-for
The AAD recommends never letting the rays of the sun touch your skin. If sun exposure cannot be avoided, they recommend using a good quality sunscreen. Their recommendations can be seen here: https://www.aad.org/media/stats/prevention-and-care/vitamin-d-and-uv-exposure.
I have a more moderate approach to sun exposure. As a Family Doctor, I see the benefits of sunshine on your happiness. My recommendation is to never get a sunburn, always use sunscreen, and don’t use tanning beds.
If you do have a history of sun exposure, let your family doctor see any spot that is changing on your skin so it can be removed as soon as possible. Skin cancers are easy to remove when they are tiny but very difficult to remove when large.
If you would like to make an appointment with Dr. Hogenson call 801-798-7301.
Canyon View Family Medicine