A favorite middle schooler question is “What is the largest organ in your body?” It’s a great one because, unless the target of the question has an older sibling at home or parents who are “on the ball”, chances are s/he is not going to know the answer. Skin does not really fit the stereotype of an organ – internal, pinkish, covered in some form of slimy membrane and not exposed to the elements – but it is a vital one.
Skin is an extremely important organ, albeit one that is routinely taken for granted by the population at large. And it is, arguably, more widely abused than any other organ. This abuse, is condoned and in fact even promoted by certain factions of society. The abuse can be severe with adverse health impacts, as in the case of “lying out” in the sun or use of a tanning bed, particularly without appropriate sunscreen protection. It can also be “abused” subtly such as applying heavy make makeup without appropriately cleansing and moisturizing afterwards. The former can cause long range problems such as skin cancer, and the latter can trigger signs of premature aging, redness, wrinkles and dryness – ironically some of the conditions which the makeup was intended to disguise in the first place.
The advantage of skin as an organ, however, happens to be precisely in the fact that it is external to your body. Although this exposes it to substances which can harm it in different ways, it also makes it an easy organ to care for and monitor. In fact, as in the case of oral care, a good examination of the skin can actually help a physician diagnose conditions and diseases that may be brewing, hidden within the body’s other organs and systems. For this reason, it is important to care for your skin, to monitor your own skin carefully (just as woman do with routine self-breast examinations), and to visit a dermatologist for a baseline and routine check-ups as needed, just as you would any other physician.
Caring for your skin is not vain. Caring for your skin is smart – and important. This is why it is also important to find a good dermatologist.
If you live in New York City, chances are you are familiar with the name Jonathan Zizmor, M.D. I personally have sat across from, and under, countless posters bearing his image and contact information on my rides to and from work. I can recall seeing them from the time I first started working early in my 20’s. This is no surprise as Dr. Zizmor has over 25 years of experience in the field of dermatology. He is an accomplished author, having written such books as as Dr. Zizmor‘s Skin Care Book and Dr. Zizmor‘s Guide To Clearer Skin. He has participated in innumerable lectures and has been featured on television, radio and publications such as The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Harper’s Bazaar in which he was recognized as one of the “Top Ten Doctors” in America. Although he is known for his fruit acid peels and laser treatments, Dr. Zizmor is an advocate for good skin health, having worked with thousands of patients. He is also well acquainted with the challenges that we Latinas face (no pun intended) with our own skin care.
Some of Dr. Zizmor’s time proven skincare tips include:
- “Get enough sleep. Most adults need 8 hours.
- Eat a healthy diet. Include plenty of nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits.
- Keep yourself hydrated. When you don’t drink enough fluids, your body will use what is available for essential functions; this means that your skin gets robbed of its moisture.
- Stay active. Exercise increases the delivery of oxygen to your skin.”
He also advises adults to:
- “Get regular check-ups to detect any skin cancers or suspicious lesions.
- If you suffer from acne, ask about available treatments. Acne has various causes; a specialist can determine which treatments are best for you. Light therapy, antibiotics, topical creams and other methods are possible options.
- Rosacea is less common in Hispanic skin, but it may manifest as redness and a bumpy rash, especially in those with sensitive skin.
- Beware of using steroid creams for long periods of time, as this is associated with rosacea.”
If you are concerned about your own skin, or have specific questions about something you have recently noticed, such as a new mole or change in your skin, there is never any better moment to do something about it than the present. In addition, if you call his office to make an appointment (1-800-771-6654) or to learn more about Dr. Zizmor’s services, you can receive a free gift during your next visit with Dr. Zizmor by providing the code LMB2012.
Having good looking, healthy skin is as important to your physical health as it is to your self-esteem. Visiting a dermatologist for me is always one of the easiest and quickest ways to make sure I am healthy, and I always leave with helpful advice on how to look better. Call Dr. Zizmor’s office today (1-800-771-6654) and make your appointment. You will learn a lot, you will receive the care that only an experienced dermatologist can provide, and before you know it you will be feeling and looking healthier.
Visit www.drzizmormd.net/es to learn more about skin care and call 1-800-771-6654 to make an appointment. If you would like to read more about Dr. Zizmor in Spanish, feel free to visit his following websites: