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The 411 on Skin Care

Tirbod Fattahi, MD, professor and chair of UF Health Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – Jacksonville, answers some common questions.

What is the best skin care routine? We see this question addressed in magazine articles, email promotions, social media, TV ads and from chatting with friends and family. Most of us know that our skin is the body’s largest organ. Many of us don’t realize that the power to protect and care for our skin can begin by being aware of environmental factors around us.

The constant overload of information can hinder us from determining which skin care regimen is best. For those who are unsure where to start, think about how you can protect your skin first.

Tirbod Fattahi, MD, professor and chair of UF Health Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – Jacksonville, answers some common questions.

What environmental factors can affect skin health?

Photoaging, which is the aging of the skin based on sun exposure, is not the only environmental factor affecting skin health and premature aging. Other factors such as smoking, genetics and where you live can play into skin aging. For instance, if you live or work near a factory or nuclear plant, the pollution can affect your skin health. Extra precautions are needed if you work outside and smoking cessation is the number one change you can make to help protect your skin.

What type of sunscreen is best for me?

For most adults, an SPF of 30 and above is all you need. An SPF of 50 and above is recommended for children, because their skin is much more sensitive. Make sure you choose a sunscreen with “broad” protection, noting it shields from UVA and UVB rays.

Which ingredients in skin care products are helpful?

Most ingredients in popular skin care products, including lotions and cleansers you can find in drugstores, are helpful. There are some ingredients, however, that can be even more useful, such as botanicals (e.g., green tea extract, ginger) and vitamin A derivatives (e.g., Retinol, retinoic acid). These ingredients along with citric fruit derivatives such as glycolic acid can be found in popular products and are quite resourceful for skin rejuvenation.

Which ingredients in skin care products are harmful?

In the U.S., due to a fairly strict regulatory process, there are no “harmful” products in skin care products; however, many patients, especially those with sensitive skin, may not be able to use every product. In our practice, patients with sensitive skin are started on a very conservative regimen until the appropriate level of tolerance is obtained. Frequent office visits and skin assessments are performed to ensure proper reaction and outcome.

When should I consult a doctor about my skin?

Since skin aging varies among individuals, there is no true ideal time to initiate a discussion about skin care with a physician. We see a lot of teenagers who are struggling with acne due to puberty. Otherwise, our typical recommendation is for female patients to start an initial skin evaluation after child birth, as pregnancy can affect facial skin. It never hurts to start learning about all the options available for life-long skin care by scheduling an initial consultation.

What are common and typical skin care options offered by your office?

We offer various modalities of skin care. Options include chemical peels, laser resurfacing, administration of neurotoxins (Botox) and dermal filler injections (Juvederm, etc). These non-invasive or minimally invasive procedures are simple, predictable and effective. They require little recovery time and are generally affordable.

Find more Q&A on skin care here.

UF Health Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – Jacksonville is comprised of nationally recognized experts with specialty and subspecialty training and certification, ranking 41st nationally in the 2019-2020 U.S. News & World Report.

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