Tips for Winter Skin Protection

winter skin careIn Bend, we love winter. If we’re not carving our way around the cone at Mt. Bachelor, we’re skate skiing or snowshoeing all around the area. But when you’re out there, don’t forget your skin. Winter can give you a mighty dose of UV radiation.

People think of cold weather issues when preparing for the weather. They protect against frostbite and windburn, but often forget about the sun. UV rays have a greater potential risk, especially at our higher altitudes.

The summit of Mt. Bachelor is 9,068 feet above sea level. That makes for some killer views…and killer UV rays. In fact, UV radiation exposure increases four to five percent with every 1,000 feet you climb above sea level. At 9,000 feet, UV radiation will be up to 45 percent more intense than at the beach. And that’s not counting that the snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV light, so you can actually get hit by the rays twice, from above and below!

Protecting yourself in the winter

Here are some sun protection tips for the upcoming winter:

  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF or 30 or higher. Even on cloudy days, you’ll still get reflection from the snow, too.
  • Use enough sunscreen. For your face, use at least one teaspoon of sunscreen.
  • Use a moisturizing sunscreen with ingredients such as lanolin or glycerin to help keep your skin moist.
  • Be sure to hit the usual missed spots: the lips, ears, around the eyes, the neck, underside of the chin, scalp, and hands.
  • Always wear a lip balm with SPF 15 or higher.
  • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or if you’ve sweated a lot.
  • Don’t forget your eyes — sunglasses or goggles that offer 99 percent or better UV protection will protect your eyes, eyelids, and the sensitive skin around your eyes.

And don’t forget to come see us at Deschutes for your yearly skin checkup, especially after spending all winter outdoors! Call 541-330-0900 for an appointment.

In You In-Cyst

newsHuman skin seems to like to grow other things on it that aren’t skin cells. Warts, moles, skin cancers, pimples, actinic keratoses, and cysts. Cysts are noncancerous, closed pockets of tissue that can be filled with fluid, pus, or other material. They can develop as a result of an infection, from clogging of the sebaceous glands (cystic acne), or around foreign bodies such as earrings. They are common, can feel like large peas under the skin’s surface, and usually don’t require much attention. But sometimes they do. Here’s some info on when the team at Deschutes should remove that cyst.

Why should a cyst be removed?

Most cysts are quiet neighbors just living off the land, your skin. They keep to themselves and can usually be left alone. But in cases where they are inflamed, rupture, or become infected we’ll usually want to take them off.

How we remove cysts at Deschutes

We remove a cyst is dependent upon its location and type.

  • Injections — Inflamed cysts can be injected with a steroid or triamcinolone acetonide to minimize the inflammation and cause the cyst to shrink.
  • Aspiration — For this method, we may inject the cysts with an enzyme solution to make the cyst contents easier to remove. We then insert a needle and drain out the contents of the cyst. Afterwards, we may inject the cyst with a steroid to make it go the way of the dodo bird.
  • Incision and drainage — Simply put, we cut the cyst open and drain out its contents. With this method, however, the cyst often returns.
  • Excision — Obviously, this is the surest way to make the cyst go away. But we can’t cut it out if the cyst is still inflamed. We have to treat that first.
  • Minimal excision — To minimize scarring, we use a tiny incision if possible, drain the cyst, and then totally remove it through the same small incision.
  • Laser therapy — Our CO2 lasers can vaporize cysts on sensitive areas such as the face. There is only minimal scarring.

Wondering about that per-cyst-ent growth? Call us at Deschutes, 541-330-0900, and let’s have a look.