CONDITIONS A-Z

Your Guide to Healthy Skin

Our skin performs many important functions that we take for granted most of the time, despite the fact that it’s the body’s largest organ.

For most adults, their skin will cover almost two kilometres in area and can make up to about a sixth of their body weight.

The skin replaces itself regularly – new cells replace old ones every four weeks or so. Your skins thickness varies on different parts of your body – for example, the soles of your feet, which have tougher time, have thicker skin.

Your skin is made up of a high percentage of water, similar to most other parts of your body – in fact skin has up to 20% of your body’s total water content. To stay healthy, your skin needs to maintain a high percentage of water and you need to make sure you keep your skin hydrated – especially after excess exposure to sun or wind which will dry out your skin. Drinking water and using moisturisers are two easy ways to maintain your skins water content.

Your skin is made up of three layers, the outer layer i called the epidermis and this has four layers of it’s own. This where the old, dead skin cells are shed and replaced by new cells from the skins deeper layers which are known as the dermis and subcutaneous layers.

So what does our skin do?

One of the main functions of the skin is to keep the body’s temperature at safe levels at all times, so regulating it when we are too hot or too cold. Our body’s temperature should stay around 37 degrees Celsius and our skin helps us to do this, when we are hot, sweat will evaporate to help us keep cool, and when we’re cold, hairs stand up on end, trapping air which helps us to stay warm.

Many outside factors influence the health of our skin and limiting their effects is one of the ways we can all help to maintain healthy skin. Your skin plays an important role in protecting you from ultraviolet rays, bacteria and dehydration.

Skin complaints

Skin complaints range from more common dry skin to eczema, psoriasis and veruccas and can affect anyone. If you are concerned about your skin or would like further information about how to treat and existing conditions you can ask your pharmacist for advice and guidance on the best treatments.

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