Dr. Josephine Futrell, M.D., Ph.D., Dermatology

Expert skincare and beauty tips

3 Common Misconceptions About Sunscreen — May 25, 2020

3 Common Misconceptions About Sunscreen

3 common misconceptions about sunscreen.

1) I don’t need sunscreen when it’s cool outside.  This is absolutely wrong.  May is the month I see the most sunburns, and the reason is because you don’t think about sunscreen if it’s not hot.

2) I don’t need sunscreen if I’m in the shade. Actually, you are still getting about 90% of the normal UV rays.

3) I applied my sunscreen before I left home, so I’m good for the afternoon.  If you’re sweating or in the water, sunscreen is gone in 60 to 90 minutes.

For more good sunscreen advice, talk to your dermatologist.

Summer Skin — May 10, 2019

Summer Skin

Now is the time to get skin fit for summer.  Here are a few tips.  

1) Along with your gentle cleanser, don’t forget to exfoliate. Try Skinmedica AHA/BHA.  

2) Wear sunscreen daily and reapply often. If you need to reapply without taking off your makeup, try Colorscience powdered Sunforgettable (comes in several shades).  

3) An antioxidant is a must to neutralize UV damage. My favorite is still TNS Essential Serum.

4) Use HA5 to daily moisturize, but in the event of sunburn, try epidermal repair cream.  

5) Don’t forget your nightly Retin-A.  

We have all these products available at ArkLaTex Dermatology .

Visit our online store. 

When Summer Bites Back – What to Do for a Sunburn — May 6, 2019

When Summer Bites Back – What to Do for a Sunburn

42-26881203Memorial Day is approaching, and with it comes an increased chance of sunburn.  While the proper solution is to avoid burning altogether, here are a few tips if it occurs. 

  1. Take a nonsteroidal drugs like aspirin or Motrin to reduce both inflammation and pain.  
  2. Be generous with emollients.  Epidermal Repair Cream is great, but you may also try CeraVe healing ointment.  
  3. For the lips, use Vaseline, but if fever blisters occur, get a prescription for Valtrex.
  4. Remember, a tanning bed used to “pre-treat” only increases your total ultraviolet exposure and risk for skin cancer.
Take These 5 Products on Your Next Trip — April 5, 2019

Take These 5 Products on Your Next Trip


Summer’s just around the corner. Don’t let your skincare routine take a vacation. Here are my top 5 products to take on a trip:

1. Sunscreen – use it every day
2. Antioxidant serum – something rich in Vitamin C. My favorite is TNS essential serum.
3. Moisturizer for both face and body.
4. Bottled water – don’t let yourself get dehydrated.
5. Packaged hand wipes – plans, trains and autos are huge infection sources.

Use these and have fun!

Sunscreens: Separating Fact from Fiction — June 30, 2017

Sunscreens: Separating Fact from Fiction

Sunblock stripes

1) Myth:  Sunscreens are toxic.  The most common unblocking ingredients, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are probably safer than most of your cleansers and cosmetics.

2) Myth: Organic is better.  Actually sunscreens are divided into 2 groups.  So-called chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s rays (Oxybenzone or Avobenzone).  Physical sunscreens block or deflect the sun (Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide).  Both forms are very effective and are much safer than sunburns.  

3) Myth: Sunscreens disrupt body hormones.  This is not true as there is simply not enough absorption.

4) Truth:  Sunscreens can also moisturize, and some contain peptides and other products to nourish your skin.  

5)Truth: A few people are allergic to certain components in some sunscreens, but most can use zinc oxide products.


Sunburn Remedy — June 26, 2017

Sunburn Remedy

The beach today was great. You had a wonderful time, and now you have the mother of all sunburns.  AND IT HURTS!  What to do?  


1) Cool your skin with a nice air conditioned environment.  

2) For mild sunburn, topical steroids such as 1% hydrocortisone for 2 or 3 days may relieve discomfort.

3) For more severe burns, Ibuprofen 400 mg 2 times a day coupled with Neosporin 2-3 times a day may provide relief.  

4) For severe burns, see your dermatologist.  

5) Keep skin moisturized while healing, and remember you are more prone to burns while healing.


The Perfect Spray Tan — October 30, 2015

The Perfect Spray Tan

Winter is fast approaching. With holiday parties and events coming up, we at Ark-La-Tex Dermatology want to look great, without tanning beds. So it’s time for a spray tan! Here are some tips to maximize results. 

1) Shave and exfoliate before your appointment.

2) Do not use any cream or lotion the day of treatment.

3) Remove your makeup with a toner if you want tanning on your face.

4) Wear loose fitting clothing that won’t give you “wrinkle lines” when you dress after treatment.

5) Bring clothing to cover up while spraying that won’t give you inappropriate tan lines.

6) Go to a center (like ArkLaTex Dermatology) that hand sprays you to get a customized look.

7) Try it out in advance. Don’t get your first spray tan the day before your wedding!



The Darker Side of Tanning — October 23, 2015

The Darker Side of Tanning

Summer tans are fading. So is it time to move indoors to a tanning bed? ABSOLUTELY NOT!   

Photo credit: meganmillscrm / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

What are the dangers of tanning? While skin cancer has been associated with sunburn, even moderate amounts of sun or UVA (tanning bed) may produce the same effect. It can also prematurely age your skin, causing sun spots and wrinkles.

Is tanning good for your health? While Vitamin D is formed in the skin, only a minimal amount of sunlight is necessary. It does not require a suntan.

Are people actually being harmed by tanning? The number of skin cancers is rising, especially in those exposed to extra ultraviolet rays. Many of these are melanomas, which are serious and can result in death.

So what are my wintertime options? Consider a spray tan (available in my office) or a self-tanner bought at the drugstore.

Watch my blog for tips on achieving the perfect sunless tan.