November is National Healthy Skin Month

As we head into November, temperatures and humidity start to drop and winds become blustery. The winter season can be tough on people with dry skin. It is important to be aware of the functions of the skin and how to keep it healthy. Skin is considered an organ and needs gentle care, as it can suffer from a variety of conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, dandruff, and rosacea to name a few.

  • Wear sunscreen year-round: The sun’s rays are more powerful in the summer, but they can still cause damage in the winter. Don’t forget the sunscreen and protective clothing and hats when going on your mid-winter beach vacation.
  • Eat a healthy diet: What we put into our body is just as important as what we put on our body. Aim for a diet that also includes fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
  • Reduce stress: Stress is a huge contributor to skin problems, including acne.
  • Avoid long, hot showers or baths: Although it may feel great as the temperature drops, it also causes a loss of natural oils. Use warm water versus hot. Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it.
  • Shave carefully: Protect and lubricate the skin with a shaving cream, gel or lotion. Use a clean, sharp razor. Shave in the direction of hair growth, not against it to reduce irritation.
  • Moisturize: Your skin needs to be hydrated to be healthy. Apply moisturizer to your entire body every morning and at night before you go to bed. It is best to apply moisturizer after bathing while skin is still slightly damp. Some fragranced lotions can be irritating or drying to the skin. Keep hand cream with you or at your desk. Don’t forget your lips and use a lip balm with SPF to prevent chapping.
  • Add moisture to the air: Humidifiers can be a helpful addition to prevent your skin from drying out.
  • Don’t smoke: Smoking damages collagen and elastin and decreases blood flow. This depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health. November 19 is the Great American Smokeout Day. What a great time to help your skin!
  • Have your skin checked regularly: Be aware of any changing, growing, or bleeding spots or moles on your body. See a dermatologist yearly for a skin cancer screening or look for a free screening in your community.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/skin-care/art-20048237?pg=1

https://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/health-and-beauty/general-skin-care/dry-skin-tips

http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/recognizing-november-national-healthy-skin-month/

http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/picture-of-the-skin

Written by:  Melissa Welker M.Ed., B.S., Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Fulton County, Maumee Valley EERA, welker.87@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Donna Green, Family & Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, Erie Basin EERA, green.308@osu.edu

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