Thursday, May 7, 2020

COVID and your skin

Stay at home skin

Sun, vitamin D and our skin

    When we are inside more than outside we may not get enough vitamin D for healthy skin.  Be sure and check that your diet is fortified with vitamin D.  It is not necessary to get it from sun, and if you do wish to get it from sun, then you must do it cautiously and should not be out exposed more than ten minutes without sunblock and clothing for protection or the harm of sun starts to outweigh the good.  If you take a supplement, then do not take more than the recommended on the bottle instructions without seeing your doctor, as there is such a thing as getting too much vitamin D.

   There have been studies done to measure how much sun we need to maintain a healthy vitamin D level.  It is controversial, due to genetic variability in how we all metabolize vitamin D, and in the end the best measure is to have your doctor simply check your vitamin D level at least annually and you can supplement as needed.  In addition, we have to be careful which studies we take to heart on sun and vitamin D because some of the researchers were paid by a tanning company. 

   There is no such thing as a safe tan!  Tanning is always damage to your skin cells at a molecular DNA level, and may put you one small step closer to pre-cancers and skin cancers.

Taking care of your skin during COVID

   It is important to maintain a healthy pH of your skin to avoid rashes and breakouts.  While at home, the best way to do this is with proper daily skin cleansing.  You should gently cleanse your face using a mild cleanser twice daily like Cetaphil, Neutrogena, Eucerin or CeraVe or other similar gentle cleanser.  I am not paid to recommend any of these brands.  You should not wash with simply water as that can worsen pH.   
   In addition, while home, take care of your skin with a healthy low-sugar, high plant diet, and regular exercise.

COVID toes and other skin stories unique to COVID

    Mainly children and young adults with COVID can get this painful eruption on the toes.  The toes may swell up and get red at the joints.  It usually shows up 2-6 weeks after COVID infection or exposure.  So there seems to be a delay.  It is being treated with anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen or prescription), blood-thinners like aspirin or ibuprofen, and elevation.  If you think you or someone you know may have this, see your dermatologist or primary doctor ASAP.

   Some children and adults with COVID are getting mottled skin rashes that look like these:

6113193_041720-kabc-11pm-covid-rash-vid.jpg (1600×900) 

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