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National Healthy Skin Month (November)

In order to keep your skin healthy and looking young there are some tips. Be proactive. The most crucial advice is to be protected from the sun. The sun damages skin with UV rays, causing many different skin problems such as wrinkles, dry, rough skin, liver spots, and cancers. There are three methods to avoid most exposure to the sun, wear protective clothing such as a long sleeve shirt, hat and pants. Wear sunscreen no matter what use an SPF higher than 15; apply 20 minutes before going outside and then reapply every two Hours. (Mayo Clinic)

Smoking also increases aging of the skin, smoking decreases blood flow depleting the skin of oxygen and nutrients. With decreased blood flow this damages the elastic fibers and collagen in the skin. Repeated pursing of lips and squinting to keep smoke out can also cause wrinkles. Being exposed to extreme heat on your face for a long period of time could also cause damage to the skin. (Mayo Clinic)

Take care of your skin by washing it and making sure to follow these tips. Use warm water when washing and cleansing your face. Do not take a shower or bath for longer than fifteen minutes, this washes the oils off of your face. Strong soaps also remove the oil from your skin, use mild soaps. Avoid using perfumes and dyes these could damage your skin by causing an allergic reaction. Remove eye makeup gently making sure not to damage your skin around the eyes. (Mayo Clinic)

Moisturizing your skin is very important to keep the skins natural moisture. They work by providing a seal, keep water from escaping, or by slowly releasing water into the skin. If your skin is feeling oily then on that day do not moisturize. Shaving is also a common way skin gets damaged. Shaving causes irritation, razor burn, and cuts. In order to reduce shaving difficulties to increase the health of your skin do the following. Press a warm wash cloth on your skin before shaving, do not shave dry skin, put lotion or shaving cream on skin, use a clean razor, and shave in the direction of the hair. (Mayo Clinic)

Cancer also damages the skin. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. (American Academy of Dermatology) There are three different types of skin cancer. Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, most can be prevented by limiting exposure to the sun. Go to your dermatologist to get checked out to make sure everything is okay with your skin. Skin cancer can develop on anyone, regardless of skin tone, anywhere on the body. (Mayo Clinic)

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, appearing as a waxy bump the majority of the time. Squamous cell carcinoma appears as one of the following a red nodule or a flat lesion with a scaly crust, get checked when your skin does not look as it usually does. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, one in 58 men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime. (American Academy of Dermatology) Melanoma is responsible for the most deaths, one American dies from melanoma almost every hour. (American Academy of Dermatology) Some warning signs of melanoma are; having a large brownish spot with darker speckles located anywhere on your body, a change in color or size of a mole.

Information provided by Brittany Burke Intern working with Dana Breeding RN Health Educator from Community Wellness, at Augusta Health. To contact Dana H. Breeding RN related to the above information, please call (540) 332-4988) or (540) 932-4988.