For those that suffer from skin issues like eczema, psoriasis or sensitive skin, summertime can bring a set of very unique problems. Any skin condition can make us feel unattractive and while those with skin conditions such as acne may feel self-conscious, society general knows what those bumps are. The same cannot be said for skin conditions such as eczema. Despite that over 30 million Americans suffer from eczema, many people don’t have a clue about the rough, inflamed and sometimes blistering skin patches that occur during an eczema flare up. To help us understand more about our skin and tackle the unique summertime challenges of eczematous skin, this writer turned to Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Ranella Hirsch.
Called an “Expert Derm” by Allure and a “Beauty Guru” by Marie Clare, Dr. Hirsch is a frequently quoted expert in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology. Due to her unique expertise in the areas of skin care development and laser-skin interactions, Dr. Hirsch is highly sought after as an expert. As Dove’s Global Partner Dermatologist, she is a co-creator of the Dove DermaSeries premium range. Dr. Hirsch is the author of several articles and book chapters on the subject of injectable neurotoxins and other dermal fillers. McGraw-Hill released her most recent textbook, “Aesthetic Regional Rejuvenation”.
Yvonne P. Mazzulo: What causes dry skin?
Dr. Ranella Hirsch: There are a multitude of causes in addition to some people having a genetic predisposition. Contributing factors can include the weather, humidity, bathing habits, and using skincare products that are too harsh or any combination of these.
YPM: What’s the difference between severely dry skin and eczema?
Dr. Hirsch: There is some overlap in symptoms but generally eczema refers to a hereditary condition of dry skin known to wax and wane. For some people there are also certain allergic tendencies along with it.
YPM: Summer brings skin-baring clothes. For those of us that suffer with skin issues, what can we do to prepare our skin for the summer?
Dr. Hirsch: Prevention is key. Think about sun protection appropriate to your level of activity, so as an example, look for something labeled for an active person if you will be outside in the heat. With other conditions, such as dry or oily skin, think about getting ahead of the curve. Look for products that help keep dry skin well hydrated, like Dove DermaSeries products that are specifically formulated for extremely dry, compromised skin. For oily skin, look for products in a gel form that are labeled as mattifying.
YPM: For those of us with severely dry skin or eczema, is it possible to “overdo it” with the moisturizer?
Dr. Hirsch: Interesting question! I suppose it would be theoretically possible to use SO much of something SO heavy that you could get break outs, but it would be difficult. As a general rule, best practice with dry skin is leaving the skin damp and then applying a product to seal in the moisture like Dove DermaSeries Intense Repairing Body Cream – its rich formula and potent humectants go a long way to build a more resilient skin barrier.
YPM: Shaving and summer go hand-in-hand and shaving can exacerbate existing skin issues. What’s the best way for us to approach shaving?
Dr. Hirsch: -Shaving brings with it both good and potential for challenges so it’s helpful to get it right. When done properly, on well-lubricated legs, which have had time for the hair to soften, it is a great form of exfoliation. In fact, a great beauty trick is to shave as a way to prep for applying self-tanner. However, shaving dry skin can cause it to become very irritated especially in the delicate bikini area.
YPM: What things do you recommend that we avoid during the summer?
Dr. Hirsch: -Well, I am a dermatologist so the most appropriate answer is too much sun! Not saying it needs to be avoided, just respected though.
YPM: Once we achieve a healthy state for our skin, how do we maintain this throughout the warmer months?
Dr. Hirsch: -Maintenance is key. Once you get your skin into a good place, look for skincare that supports where you want to stay. Avoid picking, scratching, and too much sun.
Note: A very special thank you to Dr. Hirsch! The Dove DermaSeries Collection can be found at Dove and select retailers partners nationwide.
©2014 Yvonne P. Mazzulo, All rights reserved. Connect with Yvonne! Follow @ypmazzy