People believe that beauty is only skin deep; what’s on the “inside” is what matters. While our insides are vital, our skin is our first line of defence against the outside world. Skin can also provide critical information about your general health. Learn to take care of your skin so that it may continue to take care of you.
Skin defends your body in a variety of ways. “The skin serves as a barrier to protect the body from bacterial invasion and other potential environmental risks that might be harmful to human health,” explains NIH dermatologist Dr. Heidi Kong.
Skin also serves additional functions. It has nerve endings that let you to feel when an item is excessively hot or sharp, allowing you to immediately draw away. Sweat glands and small blood veins in your skin aid in temperature regulation. In addition, cells in your skin convert sunlight into vitamin D, which is essential for bone health.
Skin can also alert you to a health problem. A red, itchy rash might signal allergies or infections, and a red “butterfly” rash on your face might be a sign of lupus. A yellow tint might indicate liver disease. And dark or unusual moles might be a warning sign of skin cancer. Be on the lookout for unexpected changes to your skin, and talk with your doctor if you have concerns.
If you don’t drink enough fluids or spend too much time in the sun or in dry circumstances, your skin might become excessively dry. “While hand washing is vital for excellent hygiene, washing your hands too frequently can contribute to dry skin,” Kong warns, especially if you use hot water and strong detergents. Use moisturising creams or lotions to treat dry skin, then bathe and wash with warm rather than hot water.
The sun can also cause skin damage. Sunlight includes ultraviolet (UV) light, which causes sunburn and accelerates the ageing of your skin, resulting in more wrinkles as you get older. “There is a substantial association between UV exposure and skin cancer,” Kong says. So, shield your skin from the sun. Wear caps and other protective clothes, apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and limit your time outside.
Many skin experts, like Kong, are interested in the skin’s microbiome, which consists of bacteria and other tiny creatures that dwell on your skin. Some of these bacteria are beneficial. Evidence shows that they can keep you healthy by boosting your body’s infection-fighting immune system. “However, there are some skin illnesses that have been linked to certain microbes,” Kong notes. “We’re attempting to comprehend.”