The skin seems to go unnoticed, even though it is the body’s largest organ. We see it all over, and yet most of us know only a little about the job – or jobs – it is doing. Overlooked, the skin works without thanks, and often without the care that could help keep it healthy.

Thanksgiving and National Healthy Skin Month both take place in November, which is a good reminder of all we have to be thankful for from our skin. In addition to defending us from germs and contaminants, protecting and supporting our internal organs, and helping to regulate body temperature, the skin plays a surprising role in nutrition by storing energy and metabolizing it when it is needed. The skin consists of layers and even layers within layers. Our skin is by no means as simple as it looks on the surface.

Priority One is the Sun

Those of us blessed with coastal living have a special challenge because we live even more of our lives outdoors. One in five of us will develop skin cancer, and early detection is vital. Limiting exposure to the sun with hats and clothing, and wearing sunscreen year-round, are ideas that thankfully are catching on.

Let’s add to that an annual skin cancer screening. November is a good time for this because skin color usually has paled somewhat since the summer, revealing any irregularities more easily. Thanksgiving can be a fine reminder to get a once-over with the trained eye of our family physician.

What’s Good for You is Good for Your Skin

Managing stress and getting enough sleep are good for everything from your skin to your outlook. Yes, stress even shows up in skin texture, color and lines. Sleep refreshes you outside as well as inside, and regular exercise is yet another example of how better self-care is better skin care too.

If you need one more reason to stop smoking, think about your skin. Smoking decreases blood flow and cuts off oxygen and nutrients, aging skin prematurely. Puffing and squinting make lines around the mouth and eyes, too.

So your overall health counts a lot with your skin, which shouldn’t be surprising since it covers us over all. We’d be glad to help you start taking better care in that overall way. Just call us at 843-815-6468.