At Deschutes, we’re all about the human body’s largest organ, the skin! We check our patients for problems such as skin cancer, address chronic conditions such as eczema, even remove irritating warts. Overall, we want to help our patients have the best skin they can, all the while enjoying all of the outdoor fun we have here in Central Oregon.

To that end, there are some things you can do to help your skin. So, here are some tips from the Deschutes team.

Sunscreen. We all age, obviously. But how our skin ages is in large part contingent upon how we take care of it. Sun exposure is the main culprit behind all skin aging beyond the normal passage of the years. Sun damage is what leads to wrinkles, sunspots, age spots, and other skin problems, not to mention skin cancer.

That’s why we’re the #1 cheerleader for the use of quality sunscreen. Opt for a “broad-spectrum” sunscreen (that blocks both UVA and UVB rays) with at least 15 SPF or higher. Most sunscreens are now waterproof, but still reapply after you’ve been in the water or sweating.

Smoking. Cigarette smoking is another factor in skin aging. It does this in a couple ways. First, smoking narrows the blood vessels on the outermost layer of the skin, decreasing blood flow to the surface and depleting oxygen and other nutrients that keep the skin healthy. Chemicals in cigarette smoke also damage collagen and elastin, the two proteins responsible for keeping the skin firm and structurally supported.

Be gentle with your skin. Cleansing with harsh soaps and shaving aren’t necessarily nice to your skin. When shaving, you can help your skin by lubricating it first. Then make sure your blade is sharp and shave in the direction that the hair grows, not against the grain. That can damage the hair follicles.

If you take baths, don’t make the water so hot you can barely get in. Overly hot water tends to deplete the skin’s natural oils.

Use moisturizers when your skin feels dry. Try and match the moisturizer with your skin type.

Eat better. You are what you eat is definitely true with your skin. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains will improve your skin. A vitamin C-rich diet has been proven to help your skin look younger.

Another key to healthy skin is having a yearly checkup with the team at Deschutes. Living in a sunny climate like we have in Bend, these checkups are where we can see the signs of skin cancer and treat it early. Call us at [primary_phone] to make your appointment.