Our skin is our largest organ and provides a barrier to the outside world.
It keeps water and other bodily fluids in and protects us from bacteria, dirt, ultraviolet light and other potentially harmful substances.
It also helps us regulate our temperature, recognize pain, and use sunlight to produce vitamin D, which is important for strong bones, muscles and general health.
Healthy skin is often, but not always, a reflection of a healthy body and a healthy lifestyle.
Healthy skin is:
- warm (not hot or cold)
- smooth and intact (no breaks in the surface)
- not dry and flaky.
For many of us healthy skin is an achievable goal. Preventative measures can be taken to avoid, or reduce, the damaging effects of the sun and other environmental factors. We can also reduce our chances of burns, cuts and rashes.
However, some of us will, at some stage, suffer a skin condition that affects the health of our skin. These disorders not only affect our skin but can also affect our general health, self esteem and quality of life. They can range from mildly irritating to fatal.
Many skin conditions are visible to others and some are embarrassing, meaning we avoid seeking medical advice or treatment.