Skin and hair are exceptional organs that protect and support your body to maintain good overall health. Skin protects the internal organs from injury, bacteria and viruses. Skin and hair both help to control core body temperature. The way your hair and skin look and feel are directly related to healthy (or unhealthy) behaviors.
You can keep your skin and hair looking and feeling healthy by:
- Eating fresh foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
- Staying active
- Managing stress at work and home
- Being smart about sun exposure
- Limiting the consumption of alcohol
- Quitting smoking (or never starting to begin with!)
- Drinking enough water every day
- Getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night
Some changes in skin and hair can indicate a health issue. For example, a rash across the bridge of the nose and high cheek area can be a symptom of lupus. Allergic reactions can trigger hives, rashes and itching. Thyroid disease, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and diabetes can all cause hair loss.
Acne is a sensitive issue, especially for teens. Pimples form due to clogged follicles and an increase in oil gland secretion. To keep acne at bay, wash using mild soap or just plain water, avoid touching your skin, especially the face and chin, and wear oil-free makeup. Due to hormone changes many women experience acne during pregnancy and menopause.
Dry skin can have several causes such as dry air, soaps, antiperspirants, low water consumption, stress, smoking, or sun exposure. Mild moisturizers and creams can help along with drinking plenty of water, limiting sun exposure and kicking your smoking habit.
How much water should you be drinking each day? According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking enough so you seldom feel thirsty and producing approximately six cups of light yellow to clear urine a day is usually a sign that your water intake is sufficient. Understanding the importance of water and how dehydration effects the body is important. You can learn more about water and your health here.
The American Skin Association has a great list of tips about skin, hair and nail health. Visit their website to learn more about how body piercing, hair products, tattoos and perspiration can affect your health.