Healthy Skin Awareness Month in the United States
Skin covers the entire human body and protects a person against diseases and infections. The skin also performs other functions such as protecting vital organs, guarding against pathogen invasion, provides insulation and temperature regulation, prevents dehydration and fluid loss, and provides the sense of touch and synthesizes vitamin D. Human skin contains mesodermal cells, melanin and pigmentation which protects a person against damage from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
In America, the month of November is “Healthy Skin Awareness Month,” which is sponsored by the American Academy of Dermatology. The goal of the campaign is to ensure the highest quality of dermatological care for every person in the United States. The care and protection a person gives their skin now directly relates to long-term skin health later in life.
Why is Raising Awareness for Healthy Skin Important?
It is very important for a person to take proper care of the skin; good skin care can help delay wrinkling and prevent many skin problems and disorders. There are a number of simple things a person can do in order to protect their skin, which includes:
- Avoid the sunlight during peak hours: from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm the sun’s rays are strongest so a person should reduce the amount of time spent outdoors without using a strong sun block.
- Wear protective clothing: a person should keep the skin covered with clothing, wear a hat, and long pants when outdoors in order to prevent sunburn. Tightly woven fabrics are better than loosely knit clothing and several companies make sun protective clothing which blocks out ultraviolet rays.
- Use sun block: use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater. Apply sun block 20 minutes before going outside and reapply to skin every 2 hours. Always use sun block during all seasons, the damage from ultraviolet sun rays can happen all year-round so protecting skin with sun block is very important.
- Cleanse the skin and body gently: use warm water for bathing and avoid strongly perfumed soaps which can strip the skin of protective oils. Avoid using irritating additives in shampoos, perfumes or lotions, which can irritate the skin and cause an allergic reaction. Remove eye make-up using a cotton ball, soft sponge and use an oil-based product to remove heavy, waterproof make-up. Pat the skin dry after bathing using a soft cotton towel and immediately moisturize the skin with cream or oil to seal in the moisture.
When skin is not protected properly from the sun, the results can be premature aging, wrinkles, sun spots and skin cancer. According to the statistics from the Center for Disease Control, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and strikes more than 53,000 people each year. To avoid an increased risk of sun damage and prevent skin cancer, following the tips mentioned above can be extremely beneficial and help a person keep the skin as healthy as possible.