Even before I became a Certified PA, I knew I wanted to practice in dermatology. In fact, I was introduced to the PA profession when I, myself, sought dermatologic care for chronic acne. The PA I saw was so thorough and really took the time to talk to me about my concerns and how my acne was negatively affecting me. Shortly after starting her treatment regimen, my acne finally cleared up, and I felt so much more confident. It was my experience with this PA that inspired me to pursue the PA profession – and dermatology.
After I became a Certified PA, I was committed to providing the same level of care to my patients that she provided to me. Every patient is different, and I knew I had to take the time to really listen to each patient and each concern and figure out what treatment plan would work for them. I am so passionate about skin care and empowering my patients to maintain healthy skin because how our skin looks and feels can have an impact on our lifestyle and our confidence. To promote healthy skin, I want to address some of the common questions I receive from patients, and offer some of my favorite skin care tips!
Common Questions Received from Patients
- How can I manage dry skin?
- Moisturize with lotions that contain ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
- Avoid long, hot showers – taking long showers can actually strip your skin its natural oils.
- Is there a way to treat dark spots or hyperpigmentation?
- Apply sunscreen and protect your skin from sun exposure – sun exposure initiates the release of melanin.
- Apply a vitamin C serum.
- Seek help from a dermatology provider – we can write prescriptions for medications that can fade dark spots over time.
Year-Round Skin Care Tips
- My top skin care tip is to wear sunscreen year-round – yes, even in the winter! You might not think to apply sunscreen because it’s colder, and your skin is covered up more, but we still have exposure to the UVA and UVB rays that can damage our skin and increase the risk of dark spots and cancer. My advice is to find a good quality moisturizer that includes sunscreen and wear it year-round.
- Use a vitamin C serum – it’s anti-aging and helps with dark spots and hyperpigmentation. I recommend applying this in the morning under your moisturizer.
- Use vitamin A derivatives (retinoids or retinols) – this is another great anti-aging tool and also helps with dark spots, hyperpigmentation and acne.
Winterizing Your Skin
Our skin can dry out quicker in the winter, as there is less moisture in the air. Here are a couple simple tips I have for patients to get their skin ready for the colder months:
- Add a humidifier to your room – it adds more moisture to the air.
- Switch from a lotion to a heavier cream or ointment to apply to your skin. Furthermore, I suggest applying the cream or ointment right after you get out of the shower while your skin is still damp.
Jameka McElroy-Brooklyn is a Certified PA, and has been practicing in dermatology for three years. She is a member of the Society for Dermatology PAs, and is a graduate of the Southern Illinois University PA Program.