The 2016 Best & Worst Cities for Your Skin reports on how 150 major U.S. cities score and ultimately rank in 17 metrics, including environmental issues that affect skin quality, such as air pollution, smoking rates, temperature extremes and UV index; access to and cost of aesthetic skin procedures; skin cancer rates; and access to dermatologists.
The listing not only could help cosmetic surgeons better understand the skin health strengths and weaknesses in their communities, but also where access to skin care centers and retailers is limited or abundant.
"Just like skin health is vital to preventing skin cancer, the same environmental insults that lead to the development of skin cancer can also lead to photoaging-accelerated development of dyspigmentation, wrinkles, sagging and volume loss," Kira Minkis, M.D., Ph.D., a dermatologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian tells Cosmetic Surgery Times. "Therefore, similar to skin cancer prevention, multiple personal and environmental factors should be taken into account to optimize skin health for the cosmetic minded patient: sun protection, avoidance of smoking, good diet and water consumption, accessibility to a dermatologist."
The ranking, by WalletHub, found the Texas cities of El Paso, San Antonio and Austin were ranked first, second and third, respectively, as the overall best cities for skin health. Minneapolis, Santa Rosa, Calif., and Plano, Texas rounded out the top six winners. Port St. Lucie, Fla., came in last place, or 150 overall, as the worst U.S. city for skin. Akron, Ohio, Shreveport, La., and St. Petersburg, Fla., came in at 149, 148 and 147, respectively.
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Best & Worst Findings
With 87.52 cosmetics and beauty supply stores for each 100,000 residents, Orlando, Fla., earned the top spot among states for access to beauty and supply retailers. That was 12 times more than the number of stores per 100,000 residents in Brownsville, Texas, the city with the fewest, at 7.23.
In addition to looking at how many dermatologists were in each city per 100,000 population (Baton Rouge, La., scored highest in that category with 31.83), researchers analyzed the number of skin care centers in each city, per 100,000 residents. They found Scottsdale, Ariz., had the most with 134.22. Detroit had the least with 1.44 per 100,000 residents.
The median air-quality index is best in Honolulu. It's worst in the California cities of Riverside, San Bernardino, Fontana, Moreno Valley, Rancho Cucamonga and Ontario.
Smoking, associated with skin aging and more, is most popular among people in Fort Wayne, Ind., where 26.2% of adults smoke. San Jose, Calif., boasted the lowest smoking rate among adults, at 9.6%.
Baton Rouge, La., has the most dermatologists per capita, versus North Las Vegas, the city with the fewest derms.
And while a microdermabrasion procedure provided at a dermatology practice tends to cost the least in Little Rock, Ark., Jackson, Miss., and Omaha, Neb., it's likely to cost the most in Anchorage, Alaska, (that's right, Anchorage was the city where dermatologists charged the most for microdermabrasion), Yonkers, N.Y., and San Francisco.
In the climate category, which includes UV index, the best city was Anchorage. The worst: Honolulu.
Learn more about where your city ranks.
Disclosure: Dr. Minkis reports no relevant conflicts.