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    Help your patients with summer skin issues

    Summer’s coming! Time for longer days, fresh air... and a lot of skin issues. Here are ways to help your patients handle the biggest summer-skin concerns!

    Your patients probably won’t be surprised to hear you recommending sunscreen. But to make it even easier for them to follow, consider mailing and offering in-office samples of sunblock to your patients. And instead of giving general recommendations, are you sure that they know the specifics?

    • Quantity: Dabbing on a little lotion, or wafting a quick spray, won’t do. Adequate sun protection requires half a teaspoon of sunscreen for the face and an ounce all over the body, and reapplying every two hours.

    • Quality: Expired sunscreen, or low SPF levels, may not be helpful enough to prevent sun damage.

    • Risk factors: Not spending much time outdoors? Darker skin? Surprise: still need sunscreen.

    Consider developing a relationship with a local eyecare business in which you promote each other’s services. Quality UV-blocking sunglasses are an important part of sun protection, preventing wrinkles from squinting and sun damage as well as protecting eyelids. (7)

    Sun damage rightfully gets a lot of attention, but you should also help your patients remember the other common summertime skin issues they may confront. Outdoor activities can result in outbreaks of poison ivy or heat rash. Sweaty skin can be prone to yeast or fungal infections. Add a column to your website, newsletter, handout or other communications with a wide range of the summer-skin tips they might need, from sunburn to poison rashes, grill burns to bug bites, heat rash to tinea versicolor, folliculitis to molluscum.

    Don’t forget to add aesthetic recommendations, including getting regular facials from a trained professional, and using self-tanner if your patients prefer having darker skin in the summer months.

    And get specific! In addition to materials and information that you make available to all patients, consider conducting customized outreach to give patients helpful summer tips that are based on their own specific skin concerns, such as:

    • For those to whom you’ve prescribed retinoids - why it’s extra-important to use sunblock religiously

    • For those with acne issues - why it can help to use oil-free and non-comedogenic sunblock, and to wash sweaty skin and clothes as soon as possible

    • For females - because summer months make skin oilier, why it’s important to wash makeup brushes regularly

    You can convey this information to your patients in person when they arrive for annual checkups, or in any of the HIPAA-compliant methods you may have established for patient communications.

    During summertime, we all want to enjoy the weather with some rest, relaxation, and fun - and, if you help your patients take care of their skin, they can!

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