SEATTLE—Dr. Andrea Kalus - Medical Director of Dermatology at the University of Washington -- says genetics determine a skin's condition. But there are ways to keep your skin at its best.
"I think sunscreen is probably the number one thing, that and avoiding smoking those are probably the two biggest things people can do to keep their skin in the best shape possible," she says.
She says "do" reach for the sunscreen. And yes, even here in Seattle.
"Doesn't have to be a clear sunny day to get a sunburn -- and we still see lots of skin cancer in patients who've grown up their entire lives in the northwest," Kalus said.
Dr. Kalus says whether you're dealing with acne, psoriasis, rosacea or eczema, simple things like eating a balanced diet can help improve it.
"Your body when it's trying to heal a wound or has a rash it's in a very catabolic state. Its using up a lot of your resources to try to repair the skin."
Dr. Kalus says any skin-care regimen that includes nourishing and detoxifying ingredients like antioxidants, fiber, and probiotics is helpful. Also if you have ssoriasis - fish oil supplements have been shown to help. So what about about chocolate or greasy foods?
"A lot of people say avoid those things. But honestly, unless you're putting the grease on your face it's not going to affect your acne. Avoiding chocolate and acne has been studied and it's not an issue."
In addition, Dr. Kalus says lifestyle interventions like stress management and sleep are far more helpful in managing skin issues than any gimmicks or expensive creams. The bottom line: eat well, sleep, cleanse, hydrate and moisturize. Remember, too much of anything is bad for your skin.
"Moderation is probably key with everything."
Dr. Kalus adds, kick your smoking habit if you have one. Smoking increases wrinkles and changes the collagen support in your skin similar to U.V. rays.