November is National Health Skin month, a campaign which aims to raise awareness in looking after our body’s largest organ, the skin. It is important that we examine our skin often to locate any abnormalities. Regularly checking your skin can help to identify early signs of skin cancer, at the stage when it is most treatable. Below are some factors that can cause complications to the skin:
The food we consume can have an impact on our skin, certain foods such as dairy, nuts, citrus fruits, spices, and foods that contain nickel can cause flare-ups to certain individuals or trigger allergies that leaves the skin itchy which can develop into dermatitis symptoms. Foods that are high in fat, contain large quantities of sugar and dairy products can raise the risk of acne.
Exposure to the sun
Wearing Sunscreen that contains a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or above is crucial in protecting your skin from the sun. Ensuring your sunscreen is waterproof is also something to look out for, even if you are not swimming this still helps to combat sweat when you are exposed to hot temperatures so that it does not come off easily as your day progresses. Seeking cover from the sun can give your skin a break from the heat, it only takes between 10 – 20 minutes for your skin to start burning. When shade is available to you it is always wise to take cover in it, especially between the peak radiation times of 9am – 3pm.
Different materials can create irritation on the skin, and some people may even be allergic to certain types like denim or lycra. Nickel can not only be found in food but it is also used in clothing accessories like zips, studs, buttons, and buckles. This again will be a problem for those who suffer with allergies to nickel as it will aggravate the skin. New clothes can cause irritation as they will contain a chemical called formaldehyde to keep the clothes looking fresh when displayed in stores, this can lead to skin irritation so simply washing the item can aid in removing this from the fabrics. When it does come to washing your clothes, it is worth noting that the washing detergent you use will contain harsh toxins like fragrances and dyes. There are washing powders on the market specifically designed for sensitive skin that are fragrance free to consider using instead.
Emollients are moisturising treatments that soothe and hydrate the skin to lock in moisture such as products like soaps, creams and lotions. However, if you experience a burning or stinging sensation then immediately wash the product off your skin with cold water. The reaction will be due to one of the ingredients in the product not agreeing with your skin. Talking to your GP can help identify these ingredients so you can find a more suitable product that suits you.
More information on National Healthy Skin Month: https://www.aad.org/public/public-health/awareness-campaigns/national-healthy-skin-month https://nationaltoday.com/national-healthy-skin-month/ Information on our Dermatology Services: https://www.healthharmonie.com/dermatology