SALT LAKE CITY — Nothing is clinically proven to provide more benefit to aging skin than sunscreen, according to one local dermatologist.
"Expensive moisturizers do a nice job with their packaging, but the product doesn't tend to make a huge difference in the long run," said Dr. Adam Taintor, a dermatologist at Intermountain Healthcare's Alta View and Riverton hospitals. He said a good moisturizer with sunscreen is the most important skin regimen.
For Saturday's Deseret News/Intermountain Healthcare Health Hotline, Taintor and Dr. Brian Reuben, a plastic surgeon at LDS Hospital's Avenues Specialty Clinic, will take questions from the public regarding medical concerns and cosmetic procedures dealing with the skin. Anyone interested in speaking with the doctors about such issues can call 1-800-925-8177, toll-free, from 10 a.m. to noon.
Aging is something scientists have been trying to combat for decades, and Taintor said heredity is only partly to blame.
"Most of us have gotten a lot more sun exposure than we should have, especially when we were younger," he said. "Even wearing sunscreen now can make a significant difference to our skin, including reducing the number of skin cancers we get as well as aging."
Another annoying skin condition that patients often ask about is adult acne. Taintor said most complaints can be helped with hormone regulating medications. Acne flare-ups are not, however, associated with a poor diet or use of certain cosmetic products, he said.
"The only thing that is known to make a difference in acne is stress levels," he said. Fortunately, dermatologists have access to a variety of tools and methods to decrease the appearance of scars left over from acne as a teenager or as an adult.
Stretch marks can be treated in a similar way, using lasers to stimulate collagen production and remodeling of the skin to diminish scarring. Taintor said the procedure requires a sizable investment, but is effective.
Botox, Taintor said, has become popular among men and women wanting to make wrinkles disappear. The injectable solution paralyzes overworked muscles in the face, keeping them from moving much and allowing the skin to soften around them.
Such treatments only provide temporary relief from wrinkles, but can help to diminish the appearance of wrinkles over time.
"The most important thing is daily moisturizer and using sunscreen," Taintor said. "Overall, that's what is going to keep your face looking young and keep the majority of the wrinkles on your face from appearing in the first place."
Taintor also helps patients of all ages with various skin issues including eczema, psoriasis, skin cancer screenings and general medical dermatology. He said the majority of issues are routine, common things, but dermatologists "are required to know about anything that can happen to your skin, even your hair and nails."