We’d like to provide you with reliable information about skin disease and the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders. We also want to provide you with important information about the care of normal, healthy skin. We’ll tell you about the best skin care products for problem skin and for normal skin, as well as simple things you can do to keep your skin healthy and attractive-looking. Your skin is an important organ and it deserves the best care.
Skin is the body’s largest organ. New skin cells are constantly growing and old, dead skin cells are constantly being shed. Most people shed about nine pounds of dead skin cells every year! Your skin provides a waterproof barrier that keeps out harmful organisms, preventing illness and infection. It contains numerous blood vessels, nerve endings, oil glands and sweat glands. Your skin helps you excrete toxins and regulate your body temperature.
Of course, healthy skin gives you a youthful, attractive appearance, but more importantly, it helps keep you healthy. A skin disease like eczema or psoriasis can cause severe itching, irritation or even pain and can put you at risk for serious infection. Conditions like scabies and ringworm can also cause severe discomfort, and perhaps even more concerning, are contagious.
A skin disorder like acne can make you extremely self-conscious about your appearance and may even cause you to withdraw from social situations if the condition is severe enough. If untreated, acne can leave permanent scars. Skin problems can, in some instances, lead to both physical and psychological health problems.
To keep your skin healthy, eat a healthful, varied diet consisting of lean protein, good fats, complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day. Get regular exercise. Use sunscreen regularly and don’t smoke. Maintaining good health in general goes a long way toward keeping your skin healthy.
If you have healthy, normal skin (meaning it’s not too dry and not too oily), care for your skin by washing it daily with a mild soap or cleanser and warm water. Avoid harsh soaps and astringents that may dry out your skin or strip away healthy oils. Don’t wash your face more often than necessary for the same reasons. Rinse your skin well.
If your skin is dry or oily, use products designed for your skin type. If you have combination skin, meaning it’s dry in some areas and oily in others, use products designed for dry skin on the dry areas and products designed for oily skin on the oily areas. Resist the urge to use harsh soaps or strong astringents even on very oily skin, because while those products may initially seem to make skin less oily, they can strip away too many natural oils, over-drying skin or stimulating the skin to produce even more oil, making matters worse. The best skin care products are those that care for your skin as gently as possible, contain natural ingredients when available, and have been tested thoroughly to make sure they don’t have any potentially harmful effects.
It can be difficult to determine the cause of many skin problems. We’ll provide detailed descriptions, and pictures when possible, but if you’re not sure what type of skin disorder or disease you’re dealing with, we recommend seeing a physician to get an accurate diagnosis. The treatment for one skin disease may be very different from the treatment for another. The wrong treatment is unlikely to help and might even make your condition worse.
Some skin conditions can be treated with natural products, home remedies or over-the-counter products, while others may require prescription medication or other medical treatment. We’ll tell you about the most common treatments for common skin problems, but you should see a doctor if you need medical advice.