The other day I was having lunch with my cousin who is a baseball player at a local college in the area, and he mentioned that he avoids wearing his baseball hat as much as possible because he heard that wearing it often can cause hair loss. Although it is a common belief that wearing a baseball hat can cause hair loss, it in fact can not. The only way that it can possibly cause hair loss is in the form of traction alopecia (constant tight pulling on the scalp, usually occurs with braided hairstyles). This discussion though, did bring up an interesting topic about the many myths in relation to the field of dermatology.
Below are just some of the many dermatology myths.
Myth #1 – Foods can cause acne.
As discussed in a previous article, what you eat does have an influence on the health of your skin, but in regards to acne that is typically related to genetics. Foods cannot cause you to contract acne, but it is possible though for them to contribute to it.
Myth #2 – Genetics determine how your skin will age.
Another common myth is that genetics play a large role in how your skin ages. Although genetics can play a role, a larger role is played by lifestyle and health choices.
Myth #3 – If I get a base tan at a salon, I won’t sunburn outdoors.
This one couldn’t be further from the truth. A tan is actually a sign of damage to the skin and in no way prevents further damage to future sun exposure. The best way to prevent sunburn is to avoid tanning and use a sunscreen.
Myth #4 – Any sunscreen will adequately protect my skin from the sun.
A sunscreen must have an SPF of at least 30, combined with ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. This will help to block both UVA (long-wave radiation which can lead to wrinkling and aging) and UVB (short-wave radiation which can cause sunburn) rays, both of which can lead to skin cancer.
Myth #5 – Once I apply sunscreen it is not necessary to do it again that day.
Sunscreen must be reapplied every two hours or after exposure to water (which can wash it off).
Myth #6 – If I shave my hair it will grow back thicker.
Unfortunately for people with thinning hair this is not true. Hair may indeed appear thicker after shaving but this is just an optical illusion. The hair is the thickness it was before shaving.
As you can see there are a lot of myths in relation to dermatology, but hopefully being aware of some of them now will help you have healthier skin and hair in the future.
With the official beginning of summer upon us, many people will be spending more time outside the next few months. This means more time spent in the sun exposed to its harmful rays. Here are just a few important things to keep in mind to help protect your skin this upcoming summer:
• When applying sunscreens, layering them does not give added SPF protection. The SPF you end up with is only the SPF of the highest sunscreen you applied. So for example, if you apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 then apply one with an SPF of 25, you will only have protection of the SPF of 30.
• The American Academy of Dematology does recommend applying two layers of sunscreen on all exposed areas though. The second layer should be applied about 30 minutes after the first, at least 30 minutes before sun exposure.
• SPF protection is on a logarithmic scale, meaning there is a bigger difference between SPF 25 and SPF 30 than there is with SPF 30 and SPF 45.
• SPF’s below 15 are essentially worthless.
• If you do contract sunburn take Advil or Motrin, they block inflammation and can actually lessen the burn.
Just remember these care tips to keep your skin safe and healthy this summer!