During the early years of our life, our skin is the softest and healthiest. However, this changes, as we get older. Later in life oil producing glands, grow less active, and skin dries out causing wrinkles. The skin regulates the body temperature by releasing fluids, when we sweat to cool and keeping heat in when it’s cold. The skin stores water, fat and vitamin ‘D.’ Skin has two main layers: Outer epidermis and inner dermis. The epidermis consists of various cells, and deepest part is the melanocytes, which produces melanin. Melanin gives the skin its color. Under the epidermis is the dermis, which contains vessels for blood and lymph. Also, within this area a gland, which produce sweat and sedum (Oil that keeps the skin from drying out). The pores allow oil and sweat to secrete to the surface of the skin.
The youthful look we have when we were younger changes, because of the number of blood vessels in the skin decreases because of age, and further loose color and glow. The changes in the skin can certainly happen early in life, by using harmful products, bad diet or exposing the skin to harmful elements. Applying frequently drying agents or certain soaps, and exposing skin to dry air or harsh wind, causes natural oil to be removed from skin, thus appearance of cracking and flaking. When this happens, skin becomes more susceptible to inflammation and itching. Also, attributed to taking long hot baths or frequently taking showers. When skin is exposed to water, for a long duration of time, afterwards appears shriveled like raisins. The natural oil in the skin (Sebum) has temporarily been washed away, which keeps the skin soft. Certainly, taking precautionary measures, by protecting the skin from harmful elements, will help prevent skin infections, skin cancer, and contribute to rejuvenate the skin to look and feel healthy.
Washing hands, applying moisturizer lotion or cream and face masks, various methods for having healthy skin. Hands can spread germs to other parts of your skin, including the face, whenever dirty or kept unclean. Always, wash your hands first, with a mild soap. Many dermatologist recommend ‘Ivory Soap.’ When washing your hands, lather and rub the palms, wrists, and between the fingers, and under the nails. After thoroughly cleaning your hands, you apply the same type of mild soap onto your face, by cleaning and washing thoroughly with warm water. Especially, paying to attention to cleaning under your arms and behind the ears, as most people were taught growing-up. Entering puberty, the skin on the face gets oily and requires ideally washing once or twice a daily, and possible using a mild cleanser. Having dry, flaky or itchy skin recommend using a moisturizer lotion or cream. Preferable the product should not have a lot of colors or perfume. Also, the product should be label as non-comedogenic (won’t cause pimples). Water cleansing products, such as creams, milks, lotions, gels and liquids, help clean the skin, and differently types available, suits various skin types. Simple effective method cleaning skin by dipping a cotton – pad into fresh milk, and using the pad to clean the skin or face. Cleansers or creams should be applied on the face in an upward and downward movement, and never stretched, dragged or pulled. Preferably, cleanser or cream should remain on the skin for a minute or two, which loosen the dirt or make-up. Then using a clean cotton wool or tissue paper, removes the application, and using the same motion previously described. Various facemasks are available for various skin types, which cleanses the skin by removing dirt, sebum (skin’s natural oil), dead skin, and thus providing a soft and youthful appearance. Excessive oily skin type, preferable use Fuller earth type of clay or Kaolin, which is finer clay in face packs, contains aluminum silicate, which absorbs dead skin cells, and oil from skin. Oatmeal and bran are commonly used in facemasks by removing the top layer of dead cells from the skin, and rejuvenating the skin to a youthful appearance. Apply a mask at most once a week. If you are prone getting cold sores, avoid masks containing acids. This may trigger cold sore outbreak.
A moisturizer is applied to skin, which replaces water lost from the skin. The effects of sun, cold, heat or other environment conditions dries the skin. There are two types of skin moisturizers. A moisturizer containing a little oil is suitable for normal skin type. Moisturizers containing high oil content suitable for sensitive and dry skins. A moisturizer can be especially helpful, after the skin is exposed to the ultraviolet radiation of the sunlight or applying to severe sunburn. Certainly, using a sunscreen in a lotion or cream, prevents getting sunburn or helps treat dry skin, from sunlight exposure. A sunscreen protection factor (SPF) of number ten, can block the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, before it can cause damage to the skin. Preferable using a higher SPF will provide greater protection, and longer duration in the sunlight can be tolerated. Advisable applying sunscreen at least ten minutes, before your skin is exposed to the sun.
Microdermabrasion (The Micro Peel) uses a precision hand piece, directing a stream of very fine aluminum oxide crystals, and simultaneously applying a mild suction, across the skin.
The process removes dead outer layers of the skin, and providing a smoother and soft skin appearance. Also, stimulating the production of new cells at the basal level. Thus improving skin elasticity and texture. The procedure takes 20 – 30 minutes or up to two hours treating stretch marks. Micro Peel is suitable for all skin types and color. Results are visible after first treatment, but to achieve maximum results require 2 – 12 treatments. The procedure is sometimes enhanced, by using Alpha-Lipoic Acids (non-irritating), which increases cell energy and better repair themselves. Especially, effectively treating lines & wrinkles, sun-damaged skin (age spots), superficial pigmentation, enlarged or oily pores, blackheads and whiteheads (acne), stretch marks, chicken pox scars, and scratch marks. Afterwards, less damage to the skin will be noticeable, but will appear to have bad sunburn, which will fade, within a few days. Following one or two days after treatment, protective ointment such as Aquafore or Vaseline, maybe applied to the skin, and used as a barrier to keep the air away from the skin, allowing baby skin cells to grow.
Laser Resurfacing (Lasabrasion, laser peel or laser vaporization) works by a precise and intense pulsating beam of light, which guided over a surface of damaged skin (facial wrinkles, skin irregularities such as blemishes or acne scars), back and forth. This treatment causes the area of skin to contract, by tightening the collagen and elastic fibers of the dermis. This produces a new skin layer that is tighter, firmer and more youthful looking. This procedure is not applicable for those that have active acne or dark skin and not recommended for treating stretch marks. Two types of laser treatment commonly used for resurfacing are carbon dioxide and erbium (rare earth metal). Each laser vaporizes the damaged cells, and limits the amount of heat absorbed by the skin.
People with diabetes are more likely to have dry skin. Symptoms of diabetes are excessive urination, and thirst is poorly controlled. Treatment for dry and itchy skin, by adding to bath water a capful of Alpha Keri bath oil, lubricates the skin. Also, applying to the skin a base cream containing lanolin, which is available as moisturizer in Keri-Lotion, Nivea Cream and Eucerine cream. Diabetics are more prone to skin infections, because elevated blood sugar reduces the effectiveness of bacteria fighting cells. Good skin hygiene, will improve the body’s ability to resist infections, and sometimes taking antibiotics will be necessary.
In the United States, about 17 million people have acne and most prominent eight out of ten preteens, and teens. Acne appears on the skin, as different types of bumps, including whiteheads, blackheads, and red bumps (pimples). These are filled with puss (cysts). Covering the skin are tiny holes called hair follicles or pores. Pores contain sebaceous glands that produce sebum: Oil that moistens your hair, and skin. Most of the time, the glands function normally by producing correct amount of sebum and the pores are fine. Sometimes pores get clogged up with much sebum, dead skin cells and germs called bacteria. This can cause acne, which can be treated and most of the time prevented. Consulting a drug store pharmacist or a dermatologist will provide the best advise for treatment. When pores get clogged up, and close, then bulges out from the skin are whitehead. If the pores clogs up but stays open, the top surface appears dark and called blackhead. Appearing on the skin a red infection, called a pimple, caused when walls of the pores are broken, allowing selbum bacteria and dead skin cells to get under the skin. When clogged-pores open up deep in the skin, could lead to larger infection known as a cysts.
Teenagers are more likely to get acne (vulgaris), during hormonal changes with puberty. This commonly appears on the face, neck, shoulders, upper back and chest. During this time, hormones stimulate the sebaceous glands to make more sebum or become overactive. When there is much sebum, the oil clogs the pores, and leads to acne. Also, some girls may get acne a few days before their periods, called premenstrual acne. Washing the hands and face, and keeping the skin clean, becomes more imperative, for treatment. Adults that had acne during their teen – age years, are more likely to develop acne later in life, when exposed to stress, which causes pores to make more sebum. Helpful preventive measure includes: Avoid using makeup, apply moisturizer or sunscreen that are labeled non-comedogenic or nonacnegenic: “oil free” and wash your face after exercising or any other actives, causes more sweating. Keep away hair sprays and gels, from the surface of the skin, preventing pores from clogging. Wash your hair regular, preventing oil hair from accumulating. Sometimes avoid wearing baseball caps or other types of hats can cause pimples, along the hairline, were sweating often occurs, and worsens acne. Lotions oreams sold in drugstores or pharmacies containing benzoyl peroxide or saliclic acid, helpful treating acne. Prevent poking, touching, squeezing or opening the pimples of acne, which can increase inflammation, and possible lead to causing a scar on the face. Recommend (personally) over the counter acne treatment cream ‘Clearasil,’ contains ten percent benzoyl peroxide. Always read the label instructions for any cream or lotion purchased. Never apply more than instructed, because the skin becomes very red and dry.
Self Examination for observing suspicious changes on the skin, for growths or color changes should be brought to the attention of a dermatologist, for further examination. Preferable yearly checkup by a dermatologist, will help spot any serious skin problem and early diagnosis, can begin treatment early, and less invasive procedures will be not be necessary. A dermatologist will examine for symptoms of non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancer, by observing changes in the skin pattern of moles, blemishes, and freckles. The ‘ABCDE’ features, recognizes melanoma by the Asymmetrical (shape), Borders (ragged or otherwise irregular), Color, Diameter, and Elevation may become raised or grow in height. In the United States, each year more than one million skin cancers (melanoma and non – melanoma) are diagnosed. About ten percent of all patients with melanoma, have family members diagnosed previously with melanoma or genetically traceable. Also, those having light-colored skin that freckles easily, become more perceptible for skin cancer. The area of the body most likely to develop skin cancer, exposed to sunlight, includes face, ears, neck, lips or back of the hands. Melanoma the most serious type of skin cancer, when identified in men, appears mostly on the chest, or back. In women, case studies find melanoma mostly on the back, thighs, and calves. Early diagnosis of skin problems prevents death in many cases.