Skin care and repair

  Throughout your life, your skin has been making first impressions. It can show if you are hot or cold, tired or well-rested, sick or healthy. As you age, your skin changes in response to the elements attacking it, especially the sun. Deep down, you may feel the same as always, but the effects of the years on your skin may be sending a different message.

  Some diseases, especially skin cancer, become more likely to occur, while daily stress and exposure can change the tone and contour of your skin. In part, your genes determine whether your skin will stand the test of time. But environmental factors also play a big role. Each year, doctors diagnose more than 1 million cases of two types of skin cancer that can be cured: basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. But for nearly 70,000 people, the diagnosis will be melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer. That’s why it’s so important to take steps to avoid UV radiation from the sun and tanning beds to prevent skin cancer.

  The World Health Organization now ranks people who use UV tanning beds in the highest category of cancer risk. If vitamin D is what you’re after, tanning beds aren’t a good option, but for most people, it’s safe to spend a short amount of time in the sun.

  There’s a lot of good news when it comes to skin treatments, including treatments for diseases and beauty problems. But it’s important to choose your treatment carefully. Check and double-check the reputation and certification of the clinician performing the invasive skin procedure. Choose your skincare products wisely. The market for anti-aging creams and cosmetic surgery is booming. Americans spend an estimated $1.6 billion a year on anti-aging products. Procedures to improve the appearance of skin through cosmetic procedures such as botox injections and laser treatments increased to more than 10 million in the United States in 2008, with non-surgical procedures accounting for 83 percent of the total. This report aims to help you categorize your choices by providing information based on scientific research and our own experience.