National Heathy Skin Month

It’s National Healthy Skin Month

What better time to talk about our favorite subject, the skin! The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) designates November as National Healthy Skin Month, providing an opportunity for dermatologists to educate on the importance of good skin care.  From dermatologist visits to skin care products, there are simple habits anyone can adopt for healthier skin.

Some facts about your skin:

  • It’s your bodies first line of defense against harmful pathogens acting as a waterproof barrier. Your skin has a complex network of immune cells that are crucial against infection, and tissue reconstruction when your injured.
  • Your skin has 3 layers, the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous layer.
  • We shed skin cells continually, completely renewing itself every 28 days. As we age this process slows down, especially after age 50.
  • We start losing 1% of our collagen starting around mid-20’s.
  • If you have psoriasis, skin cells actually speed up. Similarly, keloids are overactive fibroblast cells producing high amounts of collagen where the skin thickens.
  • Felt like you aged overnight? It’s not all in your head. Declining hormones have an effect on the way our skin looks and functions, making it thinner, drier, and slower to heal.
  • You have 16-22 square feet of skin, weighing in between 9-11 pounds.
  • Your skin can be a measure of your overall health. Itching, a rash, some skin discoloration like on the neck and be a sign of diabetes (acanthosis nigricans).

Healthy Skin Do’s and Don’ts 


Go see a board certified dermatologist for an annual skin exam. Caught early skin cancer is highly treatable.

Equally important is doing your own self skin exam. Skin cancer is more often found by the individual, a family member or spouse who points it out.

Also, go see your dermatologist if you have chronic acne, rosacea, or any skin condition that causes you emotional distress or discomfort. Searching endlessly for the latest miracle product often prolongs seeing improvement, it can even make your skin look worse. Some skin conditions need medication in addition to skin care.


Tan your skin. The evidence is overwhelming that UV radiation from the sun AND indoor tanning promotes skin cancer, and accelerates skin aging.

Skip Sunscreen. Remember, sun damage is accumulative and protecting your skin early in life pays off big time as you get older.

Smoke. It’s terrible for the skin, constricting blood vessels, and chemicals in the tobacco can even damage collagen and elastin fibers.

Pick, pop, squeeze pimples. This can spread the infection, create permanent scars, or leave discolorations that need further treatment. There is an area on the face called the “danger triangle” from the bridge of the nose to the corners of your mouth that bacteria can travel to the brain. Although rare, some cysts can get pretty bad, so it’s something to be aware of.

Eat too much sugar. Ever heard of glycation? This is a process where excessive sugar binds to the collagen in the body. Glycation looks like cross hatched wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and decreased function in the skin.

Cosmetic Dermatology

Find skin care products you like to use. We know this seems obvious but it’s easy to get bogged down with all the choices and give up.  They do not have to be expensive and there are some good products available at places like Ulta, Sephora, even Target.

A good basic skin care program including a face wash, moisturizer, and a sunscreen. Here are a few dermatologists recommended brands to look for: Cetaphil, CeraVe, La Roche-Posay, Vanicreme. If you are seeing a dermatologist for a skin condition, it’s important to use what was recommended in your treatment plan.

If you are concerned about skin aging, use a retinoid. It is still the best way to rejuvenate your skin from home. Prescription tretinoin has the most research making it the preferred choice, but you can now get adapalene gel (Differin®) over the counter and a close second.

Retinol is harder to determine because there are so many products to choose. Knowing the efficacy is also hard to substantiate. Retinol however is better tolerated, and because of this, patient will keep using which is key to being successful with any retinoid. You’ve got to use it long term for the benefits.

If you’re mid 30’s or older and unhappy with the way your skin is changing, consider a laser treatment. Lasers like Fraxel® can really improve your skin, reduce the look of sun damage, and improve skin texture. We all reach that point where we need more than just skincare and leveling up your treatment is an option to achieve this.

Social Media

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is, so don’t believe everything you hear on social media. Skin care advice, trends, and products have exploded to get you engage with their content. There is a lot of misinformation and claims being made that are unsubstantiated. Devices and tutorials that encourage home cosmetic treatments can be dangerous. Don’t try removing moles and skin tags at home as an example.

For more on the subject, check out the AAD’s blog, “What is National Healthy Skin Month?” It includes unsafe trends to avoid. For advice you can trust be sure to follow the AAD (@adskin1) and ASDS Skin MD (@asdsskinmd) on Instagram. Give us a follow too (@victormichalakmd)!

Your Dermatologist Knows Skin

Dermatologists have extensive training diagnosing and treating over 3,000 diseases of the skin, hair and nails. Cosmetic dermatology is an extension of general dermatology that includes dermal filler, neuromodulator like Botox, Laser, hair restoration, and body contouring.

They are the real skin experts and the best choice for administering safe advanced treatments.  CSDI Medical Director, Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Victor Michalak, FAAD, has over 30 years of expertise in general dermatology, cosmetic, and dermatologic surgery. Dr. Michalak along with his team are leaders in the Issaquah community when it comes to diagnosing and treating skin cancer.

lasix pill is lasix a water pill