You brush your teeth and floss to keep your teeth and gums healthy. You eat vegetables, avoid sweets and jog three miles to keep your heart healthy. And you avoid smoking for your lung health.
So how about your skin? Your dermatology professionals want you to know there are simple steps you can take to keep your skin healthy and vibrant your whole life.
- Live a Healthy Life
A healthy body has healthy organs, and skin is the largest organ you have. Keep it nourished by eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, avoiding tobacco, drinking plenty of water, wearing your seat belt, and finding outlets for stress. Just as there are good for your overall health, they will keep your skin supple and healthy for your entire life inside it.
- Avoid the Sun—and Don’t Talk Yourself into Vitamin D Hunting
The sun’s rays are poison on your skin, so avoid it when possible. As for needing sun exposure for Vitamin D production, your body barely needs 10 minutes of the sun’s rays to produce the vitamin that makes your bones strong. Even if you live nocturnally, you can get enough Vitamin D from food and supplements.
- Use Sunscreen All the Time
Dermatology professionals like Megan Gittings, a nurse practitioner at Associated Dermatology and Skin Care Clinic of Helena, can often tell whether patients are drivers or passengers in cars, based on which arm is sunburned. “Incidental sun exposure—just walking from your office to lunch, or from the parking lot to the mall entrance—can cause skin damage,” she says. And don’t think you’re immune in the winter, no matter how cold. The sun is still pumping out those harmful UV rays.
When your body is dehydrated, blood flow to your outer organs slows, robbing your skin of nutrients it needs to repair cuts and remain vibrant and supple. The best hydrator is water; the worst is sugary soft drinks.
- Work it Out
Speaking of blood flow, nothing makes the heart pump like exercise. Next time you’re engaged in the vigorous physical activity of your choice, just think of it as a gift to your skin.
- Avoid Inflammation-Causing Foods
Eating manufactured foods, particularly those with refined sugar, is like pumping molasses into your car’s gas tank. Foods with a high glycemic index have been found to cause inflammation and speed aging of the skin.
- Wash Off Your Make Up
Anything left on your face overnight will clog your pores, trap dirt and prevent your skin from rejuvenating overnight. Wash your face with a gentle cleanser every night before you go to bed.
- But Don’t Wash Too Often
Ironically, washing your face too often, particularly with soap, and even more especially with hot water, dehydrates it, prompting the body to produce more of the oils that can lead to acne. Wash your face once in the morning when you wash the rest of your body and once at night to clean away the day’s dirt and any makeup you have on it. If you must wash more often, skip the soap and just use warm water.
- Your Annual Dermatology Checkup
Just as you visit your dentist, eye doctor, OB/GYN and primary care doctor annually for a checkup, you need to do the same with your dermatologist. Skin checkups can detect problems early and keep your skin glowing year-round.
Keep your skin happy and healthy. Find out about Associated Dermatology and Skin Care of Helena online at AssociatedDermHelena.com and make an appointment by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call (406) 324-7447.
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