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Healthy skin is important


Your skin is your first layer of defense against the outside world. It can also give you important clues about your overall health.

Take good care of your skin — so that your skin can keep taking good care of you.

Skin protects your body in many ways

Your skin acts as a barrier to protect your body from invasion by bacteria and other possible environmental hazards that can be dangerous to your health. It provides other services, too. It contains nerve endings that let you feel when an object is too hot or sharp so that you can quickly pull away.

Sweat glands and tiny blood vessels in your skin help to control your body temperature. And cells in your skin turn sunlight into vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bones.

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. Dark or unusual moles might be warning signs of skin cancer. Be mindful for unexpected changes to your skin and talk with your doctor if you have concerns.

Your skin can become too dry if you don’t drink enough fluids or spend too much time in sunny or dry conditions. To treat dry skin, use moisturizing creams or lotions, and use warm (instead of hot) water when you bathe and wash your hands. You can also try using a humidifier to make the air in your home less dry.

The sun can damage your skin as well. Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) light that causes sunburn and makes your skin age faster, leading to more wrinkles as you get older. There’s also a strong link between UV exposure and skin cancer. Protect your skin from the sun by wearing hats and other protective clothing. Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, and restrict your time in the sun during the late morning and early afternoon hours, when sunlight is strongest.

What’s living on your skin?

Skin researchers are studying the skin’s microbiome — the bacteria and other microscopic organisms that live on your skin. Some of these microbes can be helpful. Evidence suggests that they boost the body’s infection-fighting immune system and help keep you healthy. Certain microbes, however, are associated with skin diseases. The scientists are trying to find ways to support healthy skin microbes while reducing the harmful ones.

Vista Dermatology’s Dr. Karla Muñoz says, “Foods such as fish, eggs, milk and fortified orange juice are good sources of vitamin D. You may also want to take a vitamin D 800 IU supplement daily.”

If you have any questions or concerns about your skin’s condition, contact Vista Dermatology for an appointment today.

Remember these skincare tips:

  • Wash up. Bathe in warm — not hot — water. Use mild cleansers that don’t irritate. Wash gently; don’t scrub.
  • Avoid sun damage. Avoid intense sun exposure, use sunscreen, and wear protective clothing.
  • Never use tanning beds or sunlamps. They emit the same harmful UV radiation as the sun.
  • Keep your skin hydrated. Drink plenty of water, and use gentle moisturizers, lotions, or creams.
  • Don’t stress out. Stress can harm your skin and other body systems.
  • Get enough sleep. Experts recommend about nine hours a night for teens and seven to eight hours for adults.
  • Eat right. A diet rich in vitamins and nutrients benefits your skin.
  • Speak up. Talk to your doctor if you notice any odd changes to your skin, like a rash or mole that changes size or color.


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