Sponsored by the American Academy of Dermatology, National Healthy Skin Month reminds us of the hard work our skin does every day and that proper care is essential to its job. Despite our best efforts, our skin faces unique challenges thanks to genetics, hormones, the environment, and lifestyle choices.
From dryness, wrinkles, melasma, and hyperpigmentation to eczema, psoriasis, and even skin cancer, your skin faces potential problems throughout your life. At Easton Dermatology Associates, our team can help you treat damage that’s already been done, but you can do a lot on your own to prevent skin issues from cropping up in the first place. Here are some key ways to keep your skin as healthy as possible, so you can either avoid problems or give your skin the best chance of fighting the ones you do face.
1. Feed your skin
Your skin is an organ, and like your heart, liver, or kidneys, it needs certain nutrients to function properly. In fact, if you pay more attention to your diet and include skin-healthy foods, you can save the money you spend correcting various skin problems. For instance:
- Tomatoes can protect you from sunburn and the harmful UV rays
- Olive oil can protect you from photoaging (sun spots and wrinkles)
- Green tea (and its polyphenols) can rejuvenate dry skin cells and help with psoriasis and dandruff
This is just a mere sampling of the long list of healthy skin foods. But there's another list that’s just as important: the unhealthy skin foods, including processed foods, unhealthy fats, refined sugars, and carbohydrates.
2. Keep your skin moist
Healthy skin is moist skin, and you can keep yours dewy fresh by using a good quality lotion or cream that contains humectants, which actually attract water and hold it. Of course, do things to prevent your skin from losing moisture, like:
- Taking short showers, and use warm, not hot, water
- Pat your skin dry, don’t rub it
- Use gentle soaps and detergents
- Use a humidifier in the winter
You can also hydrate your skin from the inside out by drinking plenty of clear, fresh water throughout the day. Keep in mind that dry skin and dehydrated skin are two different conditions. You treat dry skin with emollient creams and lotions, but dehydrated skin needs water. So, in addition to guzzling H2O, limit your alcohol and caffeine intake, as both of these rob your skin’s hydration.
3. Stop stressing your skin
Stress can motivate you to meet a deadline and alert you to danger, so it’s good in brief doses. But when it sticks around, it causes health problems, and that includes your skin.
Studies show that stress can trigger all kinds of skin issues, including:
Whether you’re a teen or an adult, you should know that stress is also directly related to acne flare-ups. Stress activates your production of oily sebum, which blocks your pores and causes pimples.
4. Don’t smoke
It probably doesn’t surprise you that smoking is bad for your lungs and your overall health, but you might not realize what it does to your skin. Because smoking constricts your blood vessels, it robs your skin of the essential nutrients and oxygen it needs to thrive. It may also break down the collagen and elastin in your skin, so it becomes less resilient.
5. Check your skin often
Get to know your skin. The more familiar you are with your unique skin, the better you’ll be able to detect any anomalies you need to get checked out. The same goes for us: The better we know your healthy skin, the sooner we can spot signs of trouble. That’s why we offer skin cancer screenings to give you peace of mind and to begin early treatment, if necessary.
Help, I’ve neglected my skin!
It’s never too late to begin caring for your skin, but if you’re already noticing signs of aging and damage, we can treat those issues and help you reclaim your once-healthy skin. Whether it’s the Icon™ laser treatments to address wrinkles and pigmentation problems, Botox® or dermal fillers to plump and smooth, or corticosteroids and other drugs to treat medical conditions, you can count on Easton Dermatology Associates to care for your skin from head to toe.
To find out more or make an appointment, contact us at either our Easton or Salisbury locations today, and celebrate National Healthy Skin Month with a step in the right direction.