Skin Blog

We’ve heard them all. You’re going on a trip and want to develop a “base tan” to protect yourself against getting a sunburn. You have a party or a dance coming up and want to have a little bit of color of for the event. You “never” go to the tanning bed…only a few times a month.

For starters, there’s no such thing as a base tan. According to the Mayo Clinic, using a tanning bed before spending time in the sun on a trip is simply exposing you to more UV radiation. Every little bit of tan is proof of skin damage, and in turn increases your risk for developing skin cancer.

Dangers of Indoor Tanning

The American Academy of Dermatology (ADA) reports that Approximately 7.8 million adult women and 1.9 million adult men in the United States tan indoors. Research also indicates that more than half of indoor tanners (52.5 percent) start tanning before age 21, while nearly one-third (32.7 percent) start tanning before age 18. These statistics are quite alarming when you consider that one indoor tanning session can increase your risk of developing skin cancer (melanoma by 20%, squamous cell carcinoma by 67%, and basal cell carcinoma by 29%).

Dangers of Indoor Tanning

Did you know that as many as 90% of melanomas are estimated to be cause from UV exposure? Melanoma is the leading cause of cancer death in women 25-30 years old and the second leading cause of cancer death in women 30-35 years old. What’s even worse is that this that up to 90% of all cases of melanoma are considered to be preventable. [1]

There’s no such thing as a healthy tan. If you’re looking for alternatives, consider spray tanning. Unlike a tanning bed, spray tans utilize a mist and do not contribute to your risk of getting skin cancer. Sunless tanning is also available in different options, like lotions, that can be applied year-round at home.

If you have more questions about the dangers of indoor tanning, or how to best protect yourself from harmful UV rays please call us at 210-255-8447 to schedule an appointment today.

A good homecare regimen is important when it comes to maintaining healthy, beautiful skin. However, every once in awhile it’s essential to leave it in the hands of experts when it comes to your skin. Enter: facials! Regular, monthly facials can do wonders for your skin, and maybe even your mood! There are many types of facials and they all can have some pretty amazing benefits for your skin.


When you go to get a facial, you can expect a multi-step process. You might experience cleansing, steam, exfoliation, a masque, serums, and creams. Facial massage is included in some treatments and some focus on different problem areas. Depending on your concerns, your aesthetician will choose products that are tailored to your skin type and what goals you are trying to achieve.

Deep cleansing and exfoliation in facials is key. The cleanse, sometimes a double cleanse, is deeper than what you get at home. The debris and buildup are removed from your skin and any exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells. This can help other products that you are using to go on easier and absorb into your skin better, and your makeup will look flawless – that is if you need any!


Facials can also help to clear clogged pores. If you have blackheads or whiteheads, the number one thing to remember is not to pick at home! Picking at home can cause scarring and may even push the bacteria deeper into your skin. Seeking out an aesthetician that can do extractions during your facial and help to remove them more safely than you can is important.

Facials can also help with rejuvenation! Facial massage will immediately increase the blood circulation and oxygen flow, which ultimately promotes collagen production and enhances the elasticity of your skin. Massage can also lead to a reduction of fine lines and wrinkles and prevention of their appearance as it relaxes the facial muscles. Puffiness in the face is also reduced by facial massage.

Are you ready to schedule your facial treatment? Call us today CLICK HERE to book your facial visit and ask about our facial specials!

December 03, 2018
Category: Skin Conditions
Tags: Lupus   Sun Sensitivity  

Lupus can affect the skinFind out what this autoimmune disorder means for your skin health.

According to the Lupus Foundation of America, approximately 1.5 million Americans and five million people globally have some form of lupus. While lupus can affect both men and women, about 90 percent of those with diagnosed lupus are women between the ages of 15 to 44. Even though this chronic autoimmune disease affects millions, significantly less than half of people are actually somewhat familiar with the disease. 

So, what exactly is lupus, how can you contract this disorder and what treatment options are available?

About Lupus

Our immune system is meant to attack foreign agents in our body to fight diseases and other infections. However, if you have been diagnosed with lupus then your immune system actually responds by attacking the healthy cells within your body. This ultimately causes damage to certain organs in the body like your heart, skin and brain.

There are different types of lupus; however, the most common form is systemic lupus erythematosis. Discoid lupus is known for causing a persistent skin rash, subacute cutaneous lupus causes skin sores when exposed to the sun, drug­induced lupus is the result of a certain medication and neonatal lupus affects infants.

Know that you aren’t alone when it comes to handling your lupus symptoms. While symptoms can be severe and affect your daily life talk to your dermatologist about the best ways to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Lupus Risk Factors

While anyone can develop lupus, women are more likely to develop this condition. Also, African American, Hispanic, Native American and Asian women are at an increased risk over Caucasian women. While the cause is unknown, some research has found that perhaps genes play an influential role in the development of lupus; however, there are several factors that could be at play.

Lupus Symptoms

Those with lupus may experience some or all of these symptoms:

  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Skin rashes, most commonly found on the face
  • Fever
  • Chest pain when breathing deeply
  • Loss of hair
  • Pale fingers and toes
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Mouth sores
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Leg or eye swelling
  • Swollen glands

These symptoms may not be present all the time. Those with lupus have flare­ups in which the symptoms will appear for a little while and then go away. Also new symptoms may also arise at any time.

Lupus Treatments

If you’ve been diagnosed with lupus then you will most likely need to see several specialists regarding your condition. If you are dealing with skin sores and rashes, then you will want to talk to your dermatologist about the best treatment plan for you. About 40 to 70 percent of those with lupus experience symptoms when exposed to sunlight.

When you come in our office for treatment our goal is to find certain medications that can reduce pain, swelling and redness and prevent further flare­ups. Furthermore, we will recommend a sunscreen and other lifestyle changes that can help to protect your skin from damaging sun exposure.

As the seasons change, your skincare routine should evolve as well. With the arrival of the winter months and cold, crisp air, humidity levels plummet leaving moisture levels in the skin depleted. Dry skin can flake and cause fine lines to be more noticeable. Dry skin is also uncomfortable, and at its worst, can crack and even bleed. So what can you do to help restore and heal your dry skin through the long winter months?

1. Talk to a skin expert. Dermatologists and aestheticians are experts when it comes to skin. These skin specialists can help analyze your skin type and troubleshoot your current skin care regimen. Then, they will recommend the skin care products that you should be using specifically for your skin type. 

2. Be mindful of shower and bathing routines. Long, hot showers are kryptonite for dry skin. Make sure to limit your bath or shower times and use warm water rather than hot. 

3. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize! Moisturizing is especially important. The moisturizer that you used in the summer time is probably not going to do your skin justice in the winter. Opt for an ointment or cream in the winter rather than a lotion. Moisturizing right after a bath or shower can also help seal moisture into the skin.

4. Add moisture to the air. Using a humidifier in your home can do wonders for your skin in the winter.  While heaters blast us with hot, dry air, humidifiers put more moisture in the air, helping to prevent skin from drying out.

5. Don’t forget the sunscreen! It’s just as important to apply sunscreen in winter as it is in the summer! According to the American Academy of Dermatology,  you need to wear sunscreen every day if you will be outside. Even on cloudy days, up to 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can penetrate your skin. Snow, sand, and water increase the need for sunscreen because they reflect the sun’s rays.

These are just a few tips to help banish uncomfortable, dry skin during the long winter months. If you’re interested in a scheduling an appointment with a Dermatologist or Aesthetician to discuss your skin concerns, give Alamo Heights Dermatology a call at 210-255-8447.  Our medical team is dedicated to helping clients achieve amazing skincare and aesthetic results.  Call us today to set up your consultation!

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.