Our skin is our body’s largest organ, and it’s easy to forget just how important it is to our overall health. Everyone is aware of the need to take care of our heart, lungs, and other major organs, but even the most health-conscious individual may overlook the importance of healthy skin.
What crucial functions does our skin serve, you may be wondering? Here’s a sample of it’s vital jobs:
- Regulates Body Temperature. The skin helps protect the internal organs from temperature extremes. In cold weather it provides warmth, and in intense heat the skin produces sweat which evaporates away to cool the body down.
- Protects Against Germs. The outside layer of skin provides a protective covering over the rest of the body to keep germs and other unsavory critters from getting inside and forming infections or illness.
- Manufacturers Vitamin D. When ultraviolet sunlight hits the skin, the skin creates Vitamin D. Vitamin D not only aids in the production of healthy skin, but also helps the body to absorb and utilize calcium to build strong bones. Your skin also helps protect your inner organs from this same UV light, preventing internal sun damage.
- Alerts You to Potential Danger. The sense of touch in the skin provides a warning system for things such as hot, cold, and pain. Being made aware of these sensations by the skin can notify you to get away from the source of the pain before damage to other body parts has time to take place.
- Provides Cushion from Injuries. The skin, particularly the fatty subcutaneous layer, offers some protection for the internal body against bumps and bangs, helping to keep vital organs safe from damage.
As you can see, the skin provides a great many services when it comes to keep us healthy. Likewise, we can provide a great many services to the skin to keep it healthy as well. Some things that affect the health of our skin include:
- What We Eat and Drink. Our skin needs certain vitamins to be at its peak of health, including Vitamin A, the B Vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin D. The best way to supply our skin with these vitamins is to get them from the nutrients in the food we eat. And because our bodies are made up mostly of water, drinking enough to keep them well hydrated and our skin soft is very important.
- Stress is bad for basically every part of your body, and your skin is no exception. Not only because it can cause or exacerbate skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis, but also because nervous habits that can be stress reactions may also cause damage. For example, biting your lips or picking at your skin can leave small wounds and otherwise injure the area.
- Exposure to Sunlight. It should come as no surprise that un-protected sun exposure is harmful to your skin. It can not only dry it out and leave it looking unhealthy, but also lead to sun spots, and more dangerously, skin cancer. Protecting the skin from the sun all the time, every day, is one of the most important things you can do for your health in general.
- Hygiene and Basic Skin Care. Taking care to keep your skin cleaned and moisturized will ensure it stays healthy enough to do its job of keeping you healthy.
We often get wrapped up in keeping our skin beautiful, and see it largely as a fashion accessory. While healthy skin is gorgeous and goes great with every outfit, our skin serves a multitude of other purposes and we must remember to keep it in tip top condition with proper nutrition, lots of water, reduced stress, sun protection and good hygiene and basic skin care.