Celebrate National Healthy Skin Month with these tips
November is National Healthy Skin Month. While beauty is often the focus of conversations about the body’s largest organ, skin actually performs important roles in maintaining health. Concern for this vital part of the body should go beyond lotions and makeup.
Here are six important functions of skin and some tips for caring for this vital organ.
A protective barrier
Skin serves as a watertight, airtight barrier that remains flexible. At any given moment, a person can be exposed to thousands of pollutant molecules. The healthier your skin is, the less likely those microorganisms can penetrate the body and create problems. Healthy skin not only keeps out harmful microbes, it retains important fluids and prevents dehydration.
Vitamin D supplier
When skin is exposed to sunlight, it produces Vitamin D, an important nutrient that can help prevent osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease and neurological disorders. Vitamin D absorption through the skin is the most efficient way to build up a supply of the vitamin, which helps build and maintain bone strength.
When you get too hot, your skin springs into action to help regulate body temperature. Blood vessels near the surface of the skin enlarge, which allows heat to transfer out of the body. Body temperature can also be controlled by sweat production and the insulating effect of hair on the skin’s surface.
When exposed to UV rays, healthy skin produces melanin, a protective pigment that darkens the skin. Melanin can block UV radiation from damaging DNA and reduce the chances of developing skin cancer.
Keeping the skin healthy
The healthier your skin, the better it can perform its many roles. Wear sunscreen or protective clothing when in the sun to avoid burning and drying out the skin. Keep skin clean with warm, not hot, water and mild soap. Pat skin dry instead of rubbing it and apply moisturizers if the skin is too dry. Drink enough water to keep hydrated and choose a healthy diet of vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Control stress levels and get sufficient sleep each night. If skin is damaged from a cut or scratch, clean the wound and cover it to avoid infection.
Skin care during a time of recovery
After surgery or other medical event requiring a hospital stay, properly caring for your skin can be challenging since your everyday routine is disrupted by spending more time resting in bed, being unable to shower and losing your appetite. If there is a surgical site, extra care such as changing dressings and applying antibiotics is often needed. Adding in other challenges like pain management and physical therapy can further affect recovery. For many, the best path to a successful recovery is to choose to stay in a short-term care facility.
When it comes to choosing an environment that enhances recovery, Whitehall of Deerfield is the area’s premier choice for post-hospital recovery. With excellent outcomes and a resort-like setting, Whitehall of Deerfield has consistently received the highest rating in Medicare’s five-star rating system of nursing and post-hospital rehabilitation centers. Whitehall of Deerfield is also ranked among the top 1% of all post-hospital rehabilitation and nursing care centers in Illinois by Newsweek — and has received U.S. News & World Report’s “Top Performing” rating.
Learn more about the individualized, one-on-one therapy programs, world-class amenities and COVID-19 safety measures by visiting WhiteHallofDeerfield.com or calling 847-945-4600.