Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and its job is to not only interact with other organs, but also the world around you. It prevents dehydration by holding in moisture, keeps your body temperature constant, contains nerve endings so you feel hot, and it keeps you healthy by protecting your body against harmful bacteria and viruses. With all of these awesome things that your skin does, it is important you take care of it, especially during the winter months when the weather can be especially harmful.
Skin damage can happen during any season, not just the summer like some may think. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause damage to your skin in the form of wrinkles, discolored areas, benign tumors, and the most dangerous skin cancer malignant melanoma. Use sunscreen, stay in the shade, and wear protective clothing when going out into the sunshine.
Smoking causes your skin to look older. It narrows the tiny blood vessels in your face causing a decrease in blood flow to your skin, lacking it of nutrient that gives your skin that healthy glow. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin which are what makes your skin so strong and stretchy. When you damage your collagen and elastin and make repetitive facial expressions such as when you smoke, it causes wrinkles.
Eating fruits, vegetables, proteins and whole wheat grains can help your skin because healthy foods contain vitamins and antioxidants that keep your skin clear and healthy such as vitamin C.
Distress, the negative form of stress, can cause your skin to become more sensitive and prone to acne breakouts. To prevent this, set reasonable limits to whatever is stressing you out and take time out of your day to do what you enjoy.
Written by a member of the Student Wellness Advocacy Team
Revised by Christy Prust
National Institute of Health, (2017). Health skin matter. Retrieved from: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/kids/healthy-skin
Mayo Clinic, (2017). Skin care: 5 tips for health skin. Healthy Lifestyle Adult Health. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/skin-care/art-20048237?pg=1