As the largest organ in your body, your skin is exposed to the environment 24 hours a day, protecting your body from all sorts of debris, germs, and potential health risks. It makes sense to do all you can to keep your skin as healthy as possible.
Fortunately, keeping your skin healthy isn’t difficult. All it takes is just a little time and effort to help your skin look, feel, and function at its best.
At Southwest Michigan Dermatology in Portage, Michigan, our team offers medical dermatology and cosmetic services so patients of all ages can enjoy optimal skin health. To mark National Healthy Skin Month®, our team is dedicating this post to helping you learn a few simple habits to help you have healthier, more beautiful skin.
Your skin needs plenty of moisture to maintain its natural barrier and stay firm and supple. Drinking plenty of water helps flush toxins out of your system, reducing the risk of breakouts and other problems.
Thanks to ultraviolet (UV) rays, sun exposure is the leading cause of age-related changes in your skin (called photoaging). Use sunscreen daily — even on cloudy days and during the cold months of winter. Please choose a product with an SPF of 30 or more, and reapply it after physical activity or when your skin is exposed to water.
The sun isn’t the only source of UV rays. Tanning beds can harm your skin, too, and increase your risk of skin cancer. If you must be tan, consider using a self-tanning product to give you the same glow without the risks.
You transfer germs and dirt from your hands to your skin when you touch your face. Not surprisingly, that makes you more prone to breakouts. Don’t pick at your skin or squeeze blemishes since you could get bigger infections or scars.
Like every organ, skin depends on the proper nutrients to stay healthy. Avoid prepackaged and heavily processed foods, sugary snacks, and deep-fried foods. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially deeply colored varieties that contain antioxidants known for fighting off skin damage. Healthy fats from fatty fish and nuts are also good choices.
Smoking isn’t just bad for your heart and lungs — it also takes a toll on your skin. Smoking affects circulation, reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrients your skin receives. Smoke also contains toxic chemicals that can harm your skin and make you look much older.
Regular skin exams are essential for identifying serious skin issues, like skin cancer, as early as possible. They can also help ensure you get the care your skin needs to stay healthy through every phase of life. Our team can recommend a skin evaluation schedule for your needs.
Soaps, body washes, shampoos — even your laundry detergent — all contain chemicals that can irritate and dry your skin. Read labels and choose gentle products. Not sure which brands to choose? Our team can help.
Stress certainly takes a toll on your emotions, but it causes negative effects on your physical health, too. Stress can lead to frequent breakouts and flare-ups in chronic skin problems like eczema and psoriasis. Find a relaxation technique or activity that works for you, then practice it regularly.
Sleep is when your body repairs itself, and that includes your skin. Inadequate sleep leads to dark under-eye circles, dull complexion, and other signs of premature aging. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night, and don’t be afraid to nap.
To learn more about treatments and habits that can help your skin look and feel its best, call 269-321-7546 or request an appointment online at Southwest Michigan Dermatology today.