Enjoying the Sun without Regrets
Dr. Porras and The Team of Skin Diagnostics Laser and Rejuvenation working to Transform your skin. From left to right: Anne (Esthetic Nurse), Jayna (Medical Esthetician), Dr. Porras, Kaelyn (Certified permanent makeup) and Carolyn (Patient coordinator). Hair by Caitlyn Klinkenberg.
Photography by Jon Keeling
As the beautiful summer days invite us to have fun outdoors, Beatriz H. Porras, M.D. of Skin Diagnostic Laser and Rejuvenation is vigilant to remind her patients how to protect their skin from sun damage.
“It’s vital to take care of your skin,” explains Dr. Porras. “The way our skin looks often reflects upon our health and how we feel inside.
“The first step to having fun outside in the summer is to use a good sunblock. Honestly, most over the counter products are useless. My family and I found this out during one beach vacation after we all got sunburned while wearing generous amounts of sunblock.”
As Dr. Porras searched for sun block options to protect her and her family’s skin, she ended up developing her own product line, TRANSFORMATION; this is a complete medical grade skin care line. Within this line, there is Sunshield – a medicated sun block that contains the ingredients needed to stay free of sunburn. Skin Diagnostics also carries the Elta MD group of sun blocks that are medical grade and are top of the line sun blocks.
“When shopping for a sun block, you need to read labels and find the right ingredients like Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide,” says Dr. Porras. “Look for SPF of at least 40, UVA and UVB protection. If the product has many ingredients it contains many preservatives and chemicals and I would avoid buying it. There’s no telling what all of those chemicals will do to your skin.” And stay away from sunscreen or any skincare product that is oil based. Think of how you heat up oil when you fry an egg. Putting an oil-based sunscreen on your face will essentially do the same thing when you’re out in the sun.
“Another common misconception is that you should only wear sunblock when you’re going outside in the summer. It should be used every day, year round.” I find that most patients will develop skin cancer on the left side of their face and on their left arm. This happens because of the sun exposure they get from driving around in their car every day. Even though they may feel they aren’t technically outside and enjoying the sun, they are still getting sun exposure and sun damage.
In addition to wearing the right sunscreen, Dr. Porras gives her patients advice on how to safely enjoy spending time working in their flowerbeds, swimming in their backyard pool or relaxing at the beach. “Always avoid direct exposure from the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. when UV light is strongest,” says Dr. Porras. “Both adults and children should reapply sunblock every two hours. You can also find clothing now that has an SPF protection. It is fashionable, long-sleeved clothing made of fabrics that won’t make you hot and will protect your skin. Wearing a hat with a broad rim is also a great idea.”
One of Dr. Porras’patients learned the unfortunate lesson of how important skincare really is. After five surgeries that reconstructed her nose after removing Basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer, Doris G. is on a mission to let others know how crucial it is to protect your skin. “I was a new patient at Skin Diagnostics; I was going to another practice. When I visited Dr. Porras, I am so thankful that she immediately noticed a spot on the left side of my nose. I underwent a major excision to remove half of my nose that was then reconstructed. Through this whole ordeal, Dr. Porras was very caring and concerned about both my wellbeing and the way I looked. She could see that I was shaken and scared about having so many surgeries done on such a visible and noticeable area of my face. She would tell me that it would be OK and, in the end, she was absolutely right; everything is okay.” Doris G. has since changed the way she relaxes outdoors. “You can still have fun outside, but you have to be smart about how you do it. Things that we’re doing now could hurt us 10 or 20 years later and really hurt us in the long run.”
As a dermatologist, Dr. Porras has a passion to teach her patients to guarding their skin from the often-harmful UV rays. “My main goal is to have my patients get their best version,” says Dr. Porras. “We can all transform our skin by using medical grade products, avoiding sun exposure at the wrong times, when the sun is most intense from 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. There is an array of amazing technologies to treat sun damage, improve laxity, wrinkles and sun spots. Lasers, lights, ultrasound and radiofrequency are my most favorite ones. The best accessory that you can wear this summer is your healthy and beautiful skin. If you are wearing makeup, it should be to enhance your beauty and not to cover your skin. I don’t like a lot of makeup and I want my patients to look natural. I don’t want them to look different from the way they are, but to look and feel healthy, confident, radiant and youthful obtaining the best version of yourself.”
Skin Diagnostics is located at 9201 Montgomery Road, Cincinnati, OH 45242. For more information, call 513.632.0059 or visit cincinnatiskinlaser.com.