Do You Have Healthy Skin? Know What to Look For.

National Healthy Skin Month - Female looking at baby

The skin is the largest organ and protects your body in many ways. It is vital that your body’s first line of defense is healthy. In 1997, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) designated November as National Healthy Skin Month. The purpose is to call attention to:

  • The importance of healthy skin.
  • Provide tips for good skin, hair, and nail care.
  • Inspire Americans to take a good look at their own skin, identify any problems, and to adopt good skin care practices.

Signs of Healthy Skin

Unlike other organs, the skin is external and visible, making it easier to determine its level of health. When looking at the skin, one should not expect a perfect, flawless complexion. Rather, healthy skin should feel comfortable, without soreness, burning or itchiness. It should appear flesh-toned, with minimal redness and no signs of a rash. While normal skin is not poreless, you should have no unexplainable moles or other bumps.

Warning Signs of Unhealthy Skin

Your skin tells you when there is a problem. Watch for dry, flaky skin, which may be an indication of a serious condition, such as psoriasis or even thyroid disease. Red or inflamed skin may point to a burn, allergy or infection. Chapped lips may be a sign of dehydration. Moles are colored, raised areas. They need to be watched carefully and examined by a dermatologist to determine if they are signs of skin cancer.

How to Improve Skin Health 

It is important to have healthy skin throughout your lifetime. People of all ages should prioritize improving their skin health. Some tips include:

  • Wash your face. Using a gentle cleanser, wash your face in the morning and before going to bed at night. Also, wash your face after you have been exercising and sweating.
  • Use skin care products designed for your skin type. Consult with a dermatology professional to determine which skincare products are best for your unique skin. 
  • Always wear sunscreen. Don’t leave home without first applying sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30. It is one of the most vital things you can do to protect your skin. 
  • Hydrate. Be sure to drink water and eat water-rich foods to keep your body hydrated from the inside out. Use a moisturizer to keep your skin barrier hydrated and protected. 
  • Do not use a tanning bed. Tanning beds emit the same harmful ultraviolet rays as the sun. You do yourself no favor by eschewing the sun and ending up in a tanning bed instead. Consider a spray tan or bronzing lotion for sun-kissed skin without the risk of skin cancer.
  • Do not smoke. Smoking worsens some skin diseases, increases the skin aging process, and lengthens the healing process.
  • Check your skin regularly for signs of skin cancer. In the U.S., skin cancer is the most common type of cancer. Melanoma, which is curable if caught early, still kills more than 7,000 Americans every year. Look for spots that look different from any other skin spot. If you have a spot that changes in appearance or texture, itches, or bleeds, you need to see your dermatology professional. 

It is important to be mindful of good skin care all year. Be consistent so that you know when to seek immediate medical evaluation and treatment if there are changes. November Healthy Skin Awareness month is the perfect time to schedule an appointment for a skin check with your dermatology professional.

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