Dr. Steven Grekin, of Grekin Skin Institute, stresses the importance of moisturizing skin as the warmer weather comes to Michigan.

Dr. Steven Grekin, of Grekin Skin Institute, stresses the importance of moisturizing skin as the warmer weather comes to Michigan.

Photo by Erin Sanchez


Local dermatologists discuss taking care of your skin in the warmer weather

By: Josh Soltman | C&G Newspapers | Published March 14, 2018

 Dr. Bobbi Edwards, who owns Edwards Hair Restoration & Dermatology Group in Southfield, encourages people to use sunscreen anytime they spend an extended amount of time in the sun.

Dr. Bobbi Edwards, who owns Edwards Hair Restoration & Dermatology Group in Southfield, encourages people to use sunscreen anytime they spend an extended amount of time in the sun.

Photo by Donna Agusti

METRO DETROIT — As the weather starts to warm in metro Detroit and the sun sticks around a little longer each day, residents may be ready to throw open their doors and spend some time outside.

But don’t forget to take care of your skin first.

While the warmer weather in spring and summer may mean trips to the beach, an amusement park or other outdoor activities, local dermatologists say people need to take proper care of their skin if they are going to be in the sun.

In fact, Dr. Bobbi Edwards, who owns Edwards Hair Restoration & Dermatology Group in Southfield, said people should put on sunscreen anytime they are in the sun, even in the winter.

“As long as you are out when the sun is out, you should put on sunscreen 30 minutes before you go out and reapply every two to three hours,” Edwards said. “The only reason we don’t do it all year is we are covered up and inside (in the winter). But even in the winter, you have some days when it is still really sunny and you can get a sunburn in January.”

As people prepare for a spring break trip or the summer months on the water, Edwards said sun protection is key.

A sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher is recommended, and one with water resistance will provide better coverage at the beach, she said.  Edwards said there are also sun protection pills that people can take daily that will help, but sunscreen should still be used anytime people are outside for an extended period of time.

Dr. Steven Grekin has Grekin Skin Institute offices in several metro Detroit cities, including Warren and Shelby Township. When it comes to sunscreen, Grekin said one of the most important things to do when spring and summer creep up is to check the expiration date.

“You don’t think about it, and then you are ready to go watch your kid at their soccer game or a day at the beach, you find it is expired and you burn to a crisp,” Grekin said. “Safe summer skin care revolves around proper sunscreen. You basically need a shot glass full of sunscreen for the average-sized American, which is a lot more than anybody thinks.”

While the sun is a big concern in the warmer months, Grekin said there are other things that people need to do to take care of their skin in the spring and summer.

The first is proper moisturization that helps keep the skin hydrated and creates new skin cells. Grekin said he suggests moisturizing creams as opposed to lotions that have alcohol that can dry out the skin, and he recommends applying the cream in the shower with the water turned off for best results.

With moisturizing also comes exfoliating, which Grekin said helps stimulate the skin. He said people can make their own exfoliating scrub by taking a gentle cleanser and combining it with a teaspoon of baking soda. 

“We prepare our house with spring cleaning and we get our cars all serviced with new tires, but no one thinks about what to do for their skin this time of year,” Grekin said. “This is the season of renewal, so you have to be prepared.”

Edwards said people may think more about moisturizing their skin in the winter months when the cold air is dry and makes their skin drier. The warmer air and higher humidity help in moisturizing the skin, but she said people still need to do their part.

Edwards and Grekin said it is also important for people to care for any underlying or new skin conditions.

Grekin said people should do an at-home skin exam by looking with the naked eye, standing in front of a mirror and then using a handheld mirror to see the hard-to-reach places. If there are any concerns, they should visit a dermatologist immediately.

Some skin conditions can flare up in the warmer weather, Edwards said, so seeing a dermatologist or taking care of conditions like eczema is a must.

“For some, eczema can flare in the sun or if you go swimming,” she said. “Sometimes dry skin isn’t dry skin, but eczema. About 15 percent of people with atopic dermatitis get worse with heat and sun exposure, so if you see changes, see somebody.”

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to the sun is skin cancer, Edwards said. And while it is less dangerous, the sun can also have an aging effect on the skin if not taken care of properly.

“Things that make us think people look old, like wrinkles, dark spots and a leathery appearance on the skin, is actually from sun exposure,” Edwards said. “Skin cancer is the primary thing, and that can potentially be disfiguring or fatal depending on the kind, but the sun can also have an overall cosmetic effect on the skin.”