The Anatomy of Skin
Basic Skin Composition & Care
Maintaining Healthy Skin And A Beautiful Complexion
Healthy skin is a sure sign of a well-cared-for body. As the largest organ of the body, your skin performs several vital functions, securing your internal organs and regulating your body’s systems. Acting as a protective barrier against the elements in the environment, healthy skin also retains moisture, regulates your body temperature and provides us with a sense of touch. If properly treated and maintained, your skin will remain in relatively good condition throughout your life.
Skin is basically composed of three layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subdermis. The epidermis is the outermost layer and is mainly composed of nerve cells, connective tissue and nerve blood vessels. This is the “skin” we actually see with the naked eye. We can ensure the health of the epidermis by regulating the sloughing of dead cells through proper cleansing and moisturizing methods.
The dermis is the middle layer of skin. Fibers, which determine the elasticity, firmness and strength of our skin, lie here as well as living cells and blood vessels.
The subdermis acts as a cushion for the top layers of skin. It is composed of fat cells and sweat glands, which aid in the regulation of body temperature.
Taking Care Of Your Body
The health of your skin depends on many factors. These include genetics, environmental hazards, diet and personal habits. By taking a few simple steps, you can dramatically reduce the stress placed on your skin and improve its appearance and overall physical condition.
A few important tips to remember:
- Clean Your Skin: It is important to keep the skin healthy with gentle cleansing. This process removes dirt, oil, dead skin cells and other unwanted particles. Do not over wash the skin, as this may lead to dryness and irritation.
- Moisturize: Moisturizing helps the skin retain water, making dryness less likely. The most effective time to moisturize is directly after a bath or shower.
- Limit your sun exposure: The sun can cause severe damage to the skin, so it is important to keep yourself covered whenever possible. When outside, apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to exposed parts of the body. The face, neck and hands should be protected daily. Do not sunbathe or use artificial tanning devices (tanning beds).
- Don’t smoke: The dangers of cigarettes are well-known, however smoking also causes damage to the fibers within the skin which in turn reduces elasticity and firmness causing wrinkles. They literally make you look older than you are.
- Eat Right: Enough can’t be said about good nutrition. Eating the right food and drinking plenty of water hydrates your skin and makes you look and feel healthy.
West Dermatology is available to answer any questions you may have about your skin and how to best replenish and maintain the beautiful complexion of your youth.
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