With over 3,000 known skin disorders, there are many different symptoms that can arise exhibiting skin problems. Some are easily treated and temporary, while others can be lifelong and cause emotional distress.
The skin is the largest organ of the body, made up of three layers, the subcutaneous, dermis and epidermis layers. Healthy skin forms a protective layer for the body, protecting it from debris, UV rays and moisture.
Any breach of the skin, such as cuts or wounds may allow pathogens into the body, causing infection. The oil glands in the skin secrete sebum, which moisturizes the skin. Sweat glands keep the body cool.
Skin has many nerve endings, which relay information to the brain about temperature, pain and other sensations. The skin also contains blood vessels and hair follicles.
Almost everyone has suffered from a skin condition at one time or another, common conditions that arise from the skin are rosacea, dermatitis and ringworm. Other conditions that commonly affect skin come from viruses such as herpes simplex and papilloma. Herpes simplex and Herpes Zoster (shingles) are the most prevalent skin conditions that bring people to doctor’s offices.
The signs of skin conditions can include blisters, rash, boils, bumps and burning.
Factors That Affect Skin
Diet and stress are internal factors that can have affects on skin health. Stress can affect immune function in the body, triggering skin conditions or making them worse. This is particularly common with cold sores or fever blisters (herpes), psoriasis and rosacea. Diet also plays a role, with certain foods capable of triggering flare-ups in conditions such as herpes. Food allergies are also common, causing symptoms such as hives, atopic dermatitis and angioedema.
Sun can also have an effect on skin, causing sunburn, skin cancer, and triggering cold sore flare-ups.
- Sunscreen is vital for skin care. A broad spectrum sun screen with an SPF of at least 15 should be used to protect the skin from damaging ultraviolet rays.
- Do not smoke! Besides the obvious damage smoking does to the body, smoking decreases blood flow to the skin, depleting vital nutrients essential to healthy skin. Smoking also damages elastin and collagen in the skin, causing wrinkles.
- Treat skin gently, do not use strong soaps or detergents on delicate skin. Avoid overly long hot baths or showers which strip the skin of natural oils. Use shave cream, gels or lotions to avoid razor drag on the skin and shave in direction of hair growth. Moisturize skin daily.
- Skin needs nutrients! A healthy diet rich in vitamin C and low in processed and refined foods promotes healthy skin. It may be hard to get enough nutrients from diet alone. Supplements for healthy skin can help ensure you get the proper nutrients and keep the immune system strong to avoid problems such as herpes flare-ups.
- Stress Management. It is crucial to manage stress levels to avoid breakouts, flare-ups or other skin problems. Take steps to manage your stress. Herbal supplements can help with stress relief along with awareness of stress levels so that steps can be taken to reduce stress.
Follow these tips, keep skin clean and moisturized, and with the proper nutrients you can achieve beautiful healthy vibrant skin, free of blemishes and flare-ups!