May 21, 2009

Tips for Preventing Skin Disease

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

While you may think the skin on your body is merely a covering, you would be surprised at what a complex organ it is with multi-functions. Your skin serves many purposes; it is waterproof and shields your organs from harmful elements. It keeps you warm when it is cold and keeps you cool when it is warm. Together with other organs, skin plays an important role in immunity by combating infections and warding off potentially detrimental microorganisms. It has the innate quality to turn sunlight into vitamin D as well as protect your body from excess ultraviolet rays. If that’s not all, the skin also helps wounds heal.

But the skin is not immune to infections and diseases. Issues related to the skin can vary from being mild to fatally severe.  Skin diseases are not easy to live with. It is after all an important factor in outward appearance. The symptoms vary from disease to disease but mostly the manifestations are often unsightly like redness, swelling, burning, itching, scabs, bumps, and lumps, to name a few. Skin diseases often results in emotional disorders. The treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the disease.

There are many skin diseases, some to do with dermal layer beneath the skin while others are often indication of poor working conditions of other organs and body functions. It is also sensitive to outside elements like insect bites, harsh weather conditions and plants and weeds. Some skin diseases are acne, shingles, rosacea, psoriasis, scleroderma, hives, Angioedema, plantar warts, genital warts, flat warts, eczema, skin cancer, scalded skin syndrome, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Pemphigus.

Here are a few simple ways to prevent skin diseases:

  • Bathing: Lack of personal hygiene can cause diseases of the skin. And while bathing is essential to personal hygiene, it can lead to gradual removal of natural body oils. Bathing once a day is good enough to maintain hygiene unless you live in a hot and humid place, in which case bathe twice a day. Avoid using hot water, instead use warm water and limit your shower/bath time to 15 minutes. Choose mild soaps and add bath oils to your bath for moisturizing purposes. Avoid using antibacterial or antimicrobial soap as they decrease the skin’s acidity levels. Pat yourself dry after a bath; avoid rubbing the water off your skin as you could lose your natural oils along with it. Pay special attention to skin folds as they have tendency to retain more than necessary moisture and can end up in painful rashes.
  • Moisturize: Apply a cream or a moisturizer after you step out of the shower or bath as they help in sealing the moisture in your skin. From drier skins, use heavier water-in-oil moisturizers.
  • Sun protection: Protect your skin from sun’s harmful rays with a sunscreen lotion. Overexposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer.
  • Diet: Your diet should be rich in fruits, whole grains and vegetables. A balanced diet will contain adequate amounts of mineral, vitamins and proteins to keep the skin healthy. Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated.
  • Smoking: Quit while you can. Smoking not only has harmful effects on health but it also leads to premature aging of the face,
  • Exercise : Exercise, even if it is just brisk walking for 30 minutes a day. It will improve your blood circulation, which in turn gives your skin that healthy skin tone and color.

Consult your doctor for treatment for any kind of skin diseases or disorders.