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Protecting Your Skin with Tips From Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Peraza

Jun 04, 2021 11:26AM ● By Rosa Simone McCann

It’s summer again in the Upper Valley, and with temperatures set to climb and sunny days on the horizon, it’s more important than ever that New Hampshire and Vermont residents pay attention to the health of the body’s largest organ: the skin. Luckily, Peraza Dermatology Group is here to help.

Peraza Dermatology Blog provides a general “Healthy Skin Checklist,” reminding clients of the importance of regular face washing, moisturizer, and sunscreen, even when it’s cold. We should “think about sunscreen like [we] think about brushing [our] teeth,” another article recommends. “Never miss a day of one or the other.” In addition, Peraza Dermatology offers a few unexpected pieces of advice: monitor your shower temperature, for example, and use a retinoid cream in order to minimize acne, wrinkles, and the appearance of pores. 

This month, we interviewed board-certified dermatologist Dr. José Peraza of Peraza Dermatology Group: he has provided us with his own top tips for maintaining skin health this summer. 

Q: Can you describe a bit of your own skincare routine?

A: “I have very few needs. I’ve been blessed with healthy skin,” says Dr. Peraza. He doesn’t overwash his face, he tells me, and soaps sparingly, especially in the winter, when his skin tends to be dryer. He uses sunscreen every day – always 30 to 40 SPF – and moisturizes with Cetaphil lotion. He always wears a hat outdoors. Of course, Dr. Peraza tells me, this skincare routine works for him: different peoples’ needs will vary depending on their skin types, lifestyles, and complexions. Women, for example, tend to use more facial cosmetics and so need to think about daily makeup removal. Those with fair complexions should take extra care to avoid sun exposure. 

Q: Which dermatological services would you recommend for clients looking to improve their overall skin health?

A: This, Dr. Peraza tells me, varies from client to client. It depends on what each individual is looking for: his or her needs and expectations, complexion, skin type, and skin history. Underlying conditions, family history, and medical history all affect the treatment each person will require to maintain skin integrity. However, Dr. Peraza recommends “head to toe” skin examinations for clients with fair complexions and freckles, especially if they’ve spent considerable time in sunny climates. “Where they’ve lived makes a huge difference,” Dr. Peraza says, “whether it’s Miami, Florida, Texas, or North Dakota.” 

Q: What long-term benefits can clients expect to see when they look after their skin health during the summer?

A: “You can’t avoid gravity,” Dr. Peraza tells me: skin will become less elastic, and wrinkles and expression lines are natural accompaniers of age. “But,” he says, “all those things can be delayed if you avoid sun exposure.” Sun damages the skin in many ways, some less visible than others. Prolonged exposure to UV rays destroys the skin’s underlying connective tissue, leading to a prematurely aged complexion. Of course, Peraza Dermatology Group provides corrective procedures: they can rejuvenate the skin with lasers, lift it with cosmetic threads, or tighten it with ultrasound treatments. But nothing beats the preventative protection that sunblock provides. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my discussion with Dr. Peraza, it’s that we should all incorporate sunscreen into our daily skincare routines.

Q: Can you provide any skincare tips for people who don’t have a lot of time or money to invest in expensive products or complicated skincare routines?

A: Dr. Peraza gave me three simple steps to proper morning skincare. First, cleanse gently. And Dr. Peraza means very gentle. Although people should avoid dead skin cell build-up, harsh scrubs or exfoliants only act as irritants, damaging the skin. Second, apply sunscreen, and third, a moisturizer. “Some sunscreens offer moisturizing bases,” he says, two-in-one products which save both time and money. He also suggests an antioxidant, a vitamin A or C serum, which people can apply once, just before bed. These prevent wrinkles, boost collagen production, and protect against sun damage. Dr. Peraza frequently recommends retinol, a vitamin A derivative, which is available at Peraza Dermatology in the form of a cream. 

Q: What are some common skincare mistakes or misconceptions, and how can we address them?

A: Too many young people believe that they’ll never age, that “they’re always going to look 20.” We realize that isn’t the case, Dr. Peraza says, when we reach our late twenties or early thirties. Tanning salons, or “hours on the beach on vacation without sunblock,” age us prematurely, especially those with fair complexions, who don’t have built-in melanin to protect against sun damage. That’s another important misconception: tanning isn’t good for you, nor does it provide skin protection against the sun. In fact, tanning is the result of UV damage, a “response to environmental insult.” We produce melanin when we’ve received too much sun exposure. A tan means sun damage has already occurred. People who experience just two or three sunburns a year significantly increase their chances of melanoma, Dr. Peraza tells me. In short: sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen!

Another common mistake, I learn, is over scrubbing. “You don’t need to scrub your face every day,” says Dr. Peraza. “You don’t need to exfoliate.” 

And, finally, not all skin types are the same. Generally, fairer complexions can get away with less sun exposure, but everyone should mitigate skin dryness (with moisturizer) and UV damage (with sunscreen.) 

Most importantly, however, Dr. Peraza tells me that a healthy attitude towards life is the best beauty treatment. “Your attitude reflects in your appearance,” he says. “Happy people just look healthier.”

About Peraza Dermatology Group

Established in 1980, Peraza Dermatology Group has operated in the Upper Valley for over forty years, providing clients in Hanover, Lebanon, Claremont, Windsor, and New London with a wide array of skin care services. These services fall into three distinct categories: general dermatology – which treats everything from acne and age spots to rosacea and psoriasis – cosmetic treatments, and spa services. Customers interested in body contouring or hair restoration should browse the cosmetic treatments page on the Peraza Dermatology website. Laser treatment is also available for hair removal, as well as tattoo removal, pigmentation correction, and much more. Peraza Dermatology offers a wide range of injectables, including Botox and dermal fillers. Spa services include facial treatments, lash and brow enhancements, and waxing appointments. In addition to these in-office services, Peraza Dermatology also carries the products clients need to maintain skin health every day. This includes products aimed at sun protection and skin rejuvenation, as well as anti-aging products from trusted brands like ENTÉ, AlumierMD, EltaMD, Vanicream, and more. 

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