November is National Healthy Skin Month — and it’s the perfect time to talk about the body’s largest organ that works hard every day to protect you and renew itself. Your skin is an important component of your outward appearance — but keeping it healthy is more than a cosmetic concern.
Healthy skin can help keep germs and invaders out of your body, and is better able to heal itself from assaults like dryness, cuts and scrapes, and other damage. Taking care of your skin doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Here are some tips to keep your skin looking and feeling great without spending a lot of time or money:
- Use a moisturizer with sunscreen every single day — even when the weather gets cold. You know you should protect your skin from the sun when you’re going to be outside for a while. But even incremental exposures of a few minutes here and there will add up to damage (this goes for men and women alike). Sun-damaged skin is prone to premature aging — and most importantly, skin cancer. Most drugstores have a good selection of light, easy-to-apply moisturizers that have SPF, so you can quickly apply it before you head out the door each day. Look for broad-spectrum protection listed on the bottle, and at least SPF 15.
- Be gentle with your face. For most people, there’s no need to scrub with harsh sponges or washcloths. Just your bare hands and a gentle cleanser meant for the face is enough to keep it clean. Using harsh, drying products will not help oily skin get better — in fact, overdrying your skin can make oiliness worse. And dry skin definitely needs extra care with no harsh detergents or scrubs.
- Don’t neglect your hands. Hand washing is important for preventing the spread of illness, and ideally, you wash your hands several times a day or more. But all that washing — along with using alcohol-based hand-sanitizer, can really take its toll. Hands can get dry and uncomfortable, itchy, and even crack and bleed. This also can leave you open to getting germs inside your body. After you wash, gently pat dry (don’t rub) and quickly slather on some hand cream. If you replenish moisture after washing, you can combat these problems.
- Take stress seriously. Stress can have a profound impact on your health — including the health of your skin. Stress can trigger flare-ups of acne, psoriasis, eczema, and possibly other skin conditions. If you’re feeling stressed, look for ways to unwind that you enjoy. Exercise, like a walk, and relaxation routines are good choices.
- Talk with your physician if you have a skin problem. Whether it’s acne breakouts, an itchy rash, eczema, or another issue, there are many effective and safe treatments available for skin conditions. Your physician can discuss your symptoms and recommend a treatment, or may refer you to a dermatologist.
Give your skin the respect it deserves. With a little care and protection, your skin can be at its best every day.
CarePoint Health Primary Care
Your primary care physician can help you manage your healthcare, and answer any questions you have about your health. Your PCP will help you navigate your well visits and specialist care throughout your life, and will be your health care advocate. To find a skilled primary care physician at CarePoint Health, please contact us.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.