How often have you skipped washing your hands, using sunblock, moisturizer, or even a healthy meal? The ill effects of our bad choices have a huge impact on the largest organ of our body – our skin!

Here’s a list of roles your skin plays and suggestions on how to promote lifelong healthy skin:

1. Bodyguard: One of the most important jobs your skin does is protect you. It provides a barrier from environmental aggressors that are harmful, like UV radiation, microorganisms, chemicals and toxins.
Take Care: Always make it a point to wash away dirt and makeup from facial skin with gentle cleansers. If in areas with harsh sunlight, a broad-spectrum sunscreen will be critical in preventing premature skin aging and skin cancer. Remember to stay physically active as sweating will flush out impurities and keep the skin healthy.

2. Umbrella: Your skin acts like a barrier to water, as excess water can make it shrivel compromising the skin’s acid mantle and natural barrier function.
Take Care: After bathing or swimming, your skin’s waterproofing effect is compromised and gets dry. You can use body oils or moisturize daily to prevent dry skin and seal-in the moisture.

3. Thermostat: Your skin regulates and maintains body temperature. When hot, your skin cools the body by sweating and also increases blood flow, allowing heat to be lost through the skin. In contrast, when cold, the diameter of your blood vessels decrease, reducing blood flow, and retains heat in the body.
Take Care: Especially when the temperature is high, ensure you replace fluids lost through sweat by drinking sufficient amounts of water.

4. Manufacturing Plant: Your skin synthesizes chemicals. Constantly there are complex chemical reactions going on in your skin to regenerate cells, repairing damage and synthesize vitamins D and E.
Take Care: Ensure all the skin products you use have ingredients that stimulate skin cell renewal, have antioxidants and natural anti-inflammatory like Omega fatty acids. Also, eat healthy as your skin requires the right nutrients to function smoothly.

5. Switchboard: Your skin transfers information. The nerves in the skin respond to different stimuli, including touch, pain, pressure, and temperature and pass along information to the central nervous system. It assists with social and sexual stimulation.
Take Care: Keeping your skin healthy is important for the functioning of the response to stimuli. Apart from the mentioned care suggestions, you can also tap into the power of a massage. This helps in reducing stress and boosting immunity by increasing the ‘feel good’ hormones.

6. Sponge: Your skin has qualities of absorption which is why some patches of medications work as a delivery system.
Take Care: First of all, make sure all products you use have safe ingredients so choose your skin products wisely. Once you have applied treatment products, you can use a warm towel to increase the rate of absorption. Sleep for at least 8 hours as it will rejuvenate the functioning of the skin and improve general health.

Overall, the skin is essential in maintaining immunity and the defense mechanism of your body. Deformed skin can lead to infections and various diseases ranging from minor irritations to cancer. If you do find anything unusual with your skin, a mole that changes in size or color or a patch that is red or itchy, it is best to consult a doctor.

It is never too late to start taking care of yourself, start now and your skin will stay healthy and keep you looking good for the rest of your life!

Author

VISIT Dermatologist

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