The skin is the biggest organ in the body and is an ever-changing organ that contains many specialized cells and structures. The skin is about 70% water, 25% protein and 2% lipids. The skin functions as:
- A protective barrier.
- Maintaining the proper temperature for the body to function.
- It gathers sensory information from the environment
- Plays an active role in the immune system protecting us from disease.
Most people will develop some kind of skin condition at some time in their life. It is important that you keep your skin healthy by moisturising your skin (at least three times per day if you suffer from dry skin), drinking lots of water to keep the skin hydrated, stop smoking and protecting the skin from sun damage.
There are 6 different skin types: Find out what Skin Type you are.
The sun can damage your skin in many ways including:
- Simple Aging
- Skin Wrinkling
- Skin Discoloration
- Telangiectasias – Rosacea (the dilation of small blood vessels under the skin)
- Solar Keratosis
- Skin Cancer
Therefore, you should protect your skin from sun damage by staying out of the sun at times of high heat and using high factor sun protection.
For more information on sun health see these websites:
- NHS Choices – Sun safety
- Cancer Research UK – Sun safety
- NHS Choices – Protect your skin
- UV Radiation FAQs
- Heat and Sun
- Be sun aware
Eczema is a form of chronic skin inflammation characterised by dry rash which can sometimes be itchy, flaky, red and oozing (if infected). The cause of eczema is unknown but is presumed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There are lots of different types of eczema and treatment is moisturising, steroid cream, antihistamine for itchiness and sometimes antibiotics if it gets infected.
If you have mild eczema keep moisturising and see the top tips below or consult with your local pharmacist. If you have moderate – severe eczema, consult with the minor illness nurse or a doctor.
For more information on eczema see these websites:
Acne affects mostly skin with the densest population of sebaceous follicles; these areas include the face, the upper part of the chest, and the back. Acne develops as a result of blockages in the follicles. Hormonal activity, such as menstrual cycles and puberty, may contribute to the formation of acne as well as stress, smoking and certain lifestyles.
If you have very few minor spots, see the websites below for more advice and treatment or see your local pharmacist. If your acne is moderate or– severe consult with your doctor.
For more information and advice on Acne see these websites:
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition of the skin where your own immune system mistakes your normal skin for pathogen and sends out faulty signals that cause overproduction of new skin cells. It is not contagious.
There is no cure but various treatments can help control it. Please consult with your doctor if you think you may have psoriasis or if your psoriasis is getting worse.
For more information visit NHS Choices.