Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do for dry skin?

We all have a natural oil coating over our skin, produced by the skin oil glands. If this oil is removed, then the skin becomes dry which can lead to cracking, which can lead to inflammation. Dry skin is usually a long-term problem that recurs often, especially in the winter.

Some of the causes of dry skin include long, hot baths or showers, use of harsh soaps and cold weather.

Here are a few tips on preventing or repairing dry skin:

  • When bathing, do not use harsh soap. Soap irritates and dries the skin. When bathing, limit the use of soap to your face, armpits, genital area and feet. 
  • Use lukewarm water, not hot. Hot water dries out the skin. Limit bath time to 5-10 minutes.
  • When toweling dry, don’t rub. Blot the skin so that there is still some water left on the skin.
  • If a medication has been prescribed, apply it at this time exactly as your provider prescribed. These medications have unwanted side effects if used improperly. More is not better.
  • It is then necessary to keep the skin lubricated. This layer serves to seal in the moisture (and medication if prescribed). There are several good skin moisturizers, including Eucerin, Cetaphil Cream, etc. Plain Vaseline is one of the best and cheapest skin lubricants. With these products, more is better. Use moisturizers several times a day.

What should I look for when it comes to skin cancer? 

Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, making it important to catch skin abnormalities early. When self-examining, use the ABC system to help you remember the symptoms of melanoma: 

  • Asymmetrical: Check to see if one half of the area is different from the other. 
  • Borders: Examine the edges of the growth carefully. The outline of a melanoma often blends into the normal skin and is not sharply defined or smooth. 
  • Color: Pay close attention to color. Variation in color or the development of dark black, blue, white/gray or red areas in a preexisting mole could be concerning features. 
  • Diameter: A size greater than 0.6 cm (the size of a pencil eraser) can provide a guideline for detecting melanoma. However, this is only a guideline, and many normal moles may be this large or even a bit larger. 
  • Evolution: Observe the spot over a brief period of time. Does the spot continue to change? 

What sunscreen products should I be using on my skin?

Every person is different, but Dr. Hurst generally recommends the following:

Sensitive Skin/Face

  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Healthy Defense Liquid Moisturizer with Sunscreen
  • Neutrogena Clear Face Liquid Lotion Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 55 (acne)
  • CoTZ Sensitive SPF 40 or CoTZ Facial SPF 40
  • Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 30 or 50+
  • La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid
  • Blue Lizard Sensitive SPF 30+
  • EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46 (acne/rosacea skin)
  • EltaMD UV Physical SPF 41 (sensitive skin)
  • EltaMD UV Facial SPF 30+ (dry skin)

Body

  • Neutrogena, CeraVe, Cetaphil, Vanicream, La Roche Posay Anthelios, Blue Lizard or EltaMD Sunscreens labeled Broad Spectrum with an SPF 30 or higher.

Children > 6 months old

  • Aveeno Baby SPF 55
  • Neutrogena Pure & Baby SPF 60