CIGNA members: Please note that you may receive a letter in the mail stating that The Dermatology Center of Indiana is no longer in your network. This communication from CIGNA is incorrect and we would like to reassure you that we are still in network with CIGNA. We look forward to continuing to service you and your family for all your dermatology needs.

Daily Habits That Are Damaging Your Skin

Every day, we do many things to harm our skin – without thinking about it! For many reasons, we want to keep our skin healthy… Our skin is the main defender of our body and it is the first thing people see when they look at us. Below you will find several daily habits that many people do, without realizing they are damaging their skin.

At some point, society decided that a person with skin that had been browned by the sun is more appealing than someone’s natural skin tone, without knowing how harmful it is. That supposedly beautifully-tanned skin is actually damaged skin due to prolonged sun exposure (or exposure to artificial sunlight via tanning beds). Do not tan – whether laying out in the sun or via a tanning bed. Both habits are extremely damaging to your skin and cause a 59% – 67% (dependent on age) increased risk of developing melanoma.

Another sun-related, dangerous habit people do is not wearing sunscreen. Everyone knows that damage from the sun can cause skin cancer, but it can also cause us to age early. Even if you do not tan, you are still exposed to damaging UV rays throughout the day, especially while working outside or even driving. Wrinkles and uneven skin tone (or age spots) can all be caused by sun exposure. A simple solution is to avoid prolonged sun exposure and to wear sunscreen.

Smoking is right up there with tanning… it causes irreparable damage to your skin! We all know that smoking can cause lung cancer or other lung-related health problems, but it is not common knowledge that smoking can cause wrinkles and yellowing skin. Just another reason to stop smoking!

Scrubbing your face clean may sound like a good idea, but is actually extremely irritating to your skin and can cause you more problems. Scrubbing can make acne worse, redness increase, and even make oily skin worse. Harsh cleansers can also contribute to these problems and strip your skin of the oils that are produced to protect your skin. Make sure you clean your face with a gentle cleanser and rub your cleanser onto your skin using light, circular motions.

Many people are tempted to pop a pimple or pick at acne that is bothering them – but don’t do it! Not only can it cause any inflammation to get worse, but it can also cause a scar that does not go away. Picking at your skin also causes pimples to not heal as quickly. If you have acne, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist to get a treatment that is safe and effective.

Disclaimer: This blog provides general information and discussion about medical, cosmetic, mohs, and surgical dermatology. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed dermatologist or other health care worker.