Dr. John Anders of Anders Medical Corp. has compiled what he considers to be the top ten oversights women over the age of thirty-five routinely make in regard to maintaining the health of their skin, hair, and nails.
1. Too much sun exposure. Minimal, unprotected exposure to the sun consisting of 10-15 minutes per day (3-4 times a week) is acceptable, even beneficial, for the body to absorb needed Vitamin D. Any additional exposure causes skin damage and women should make using sunscreen a matter of daily habit.
2. Frequenting artificial tanning beds and salons. The use of tanning salons is never warranted and does cumulative harm to a woman's skin. For those individuals who believe they are getting a "safe-start" using a tanning bed before vacationing, it is simply not true. The healthiest alternative is to apply an SPF30 sun block on the entire body from day one of a vacation. Bronzers and lotions that "tan" the skin are another safe option.
3. Failure to do regular full body checks for suspicious and/or changing skin conditions. Women should become familiar enough with their bodies to be able to detect any skin changes (both subtle or obvious) including those potentially cancerous lesions or moles that suddenly begin to itch, bleed, or blacken and need to be seen by a dermatologist immediately.
4. Subjecting skin to excessive heat exposure. Come mid-winter, it may feel wonderful to stand under a steaming shower, but too much hot water wreaks havoc on the skin and can precipitate troubling conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.
5. Neglecting to use moisturizers on a regular basis. Three times a day is optimal, but twice daily is the more realistic practice for most women.
6. Selecting the wrong type of skin care products for acne-prone skin. Oil based makeup and cleansers can exacerbate skin prone to breakouts. Women should look for products that are non-comedogenic.
7. Lack of compliance with physician's instructions. By not adhering to specific current directions, there is no plausible reason for expecting subsequent courses of treatments to be effective. In order to achieve success, directions must be carefully followed.
8. Smoking. Notwithstanding the negative damage it has on the inside of a woman's body and its related cancer risks, this habit alone dramatically ages the skin and causes premature wrinkling of the skin.
9. Hair breakage patterns which affect African-American women in particular. Repetitive straightening and the habitual use of relaxers leads to hair breakage (Traction Alopecia) as well as causing the hair follicles to cease functioning. Visible hair loss occurs where the most stress has been placed on the scalp.
10. Doesn't recognize the connection between artificial nails and nail changes. The frequent use of acrylic nail products (and/or an allergic reaction) can affect the overall health of the nail and the nail bed.