Extrinsic, external, factors can harm our skin. These can be in our environment or habits we have. This includes; the sun, smoking, drugs and alcohol, nutrition, chemicals and chronic stress. These can all affect our skin in a negative way.
The sun helps produce vitamin D in our bodies and it makes us happy. On the other hand, over-exposure can really damage our skin.
When I was younger (ok really, younger) it was the thing to sunbath. Many hours were spent outside soaking up the sun for that golden tan (that I never got and actually it is not healthy). We didn’t know about the danger then or the damage to the skin later in life. (Now I am paying for it).
I never blistered; this can lead to infection, but had some very red skin more than once. Getting a sun burn so bad that you are in constant pain just moving is not worth it.
I had sleepless nights and avoided activities because of the pain. And then you have chills. Bundling up in a blanket in the summer. This is followed by the period were the skin sheds and it is noticeable. The skin just peels in areas that were exposed.
And having a sun burn your skin is so sensitive to touch. Just brushing the area against anything caused a sensation of spiraling pain outward. It is not funny.
Getting sun burn means you have to live like this for weeks. Not to mention, you may get a headache, nausea, vomiting and dehydration.
Love the skin you have, trust me. Skip the sun and be smart. You won’t pay for it now and later.
Tanning booths are not any better, you are still exposed. They are band in some states.
Any signs of sun burn or tanning are actually a warning from your skin that it is injured.
Checking Your Spots regularly is a must. We all have had some exposure at some time in our life. Especially if you work outside or are involved in activities that have you outdoors. Be careful in the sun.
- Avoid sun between 10AM – 4PM
- Wear sunscreen or seek shade
- Wear a hat
- Check your spots
- Have a skin cancer screening annually
Smoking can be a self-destructive act. We have all these ads now where smoking is portrayed as a bully. The nicotine is very addicting. It is tough to quit this habit, from what I’ve been told.
Smoking can cause COPD, emphysema, lung cancer and is a risk for heart attacks. It also causes damage to the skin.
Have you ever noticed a smoker’s skin? The skin color can be yellow and from drawing the cigarette they form “pucker” lines around the mouth.
This is caused by the nicotine in the tobacco. The nicotine contracts our small blood vessels and capillaries. The result, blood circulation decreases and now the skin is not receiving oxygen and nutrients. This results in dry skin that is prone to wrinkles and premature aging.
The debris from the smoke can collect in the air with dust and dirt now settling on your skin to clog the pores. And the nicotine can discolor the skin giving it that yellow tone.
Have you ever noticed smoker’s squinting? This is the reaction to the irritation from the smoke. This long-term reaction also contributes to those crow’s feet.
Guys, who are smokers, why not vow to quit during Men’s Health Awareness Month? For the health of your skin and body!
- Just quit
- Avoid smokers and smoking areas
Drugs and Alcohol
Narcotics and other illicit drugs can rob the skin of oxygen and needed nutrients. Drugs can leave the skin dry or with break outs like acne.
Medication, both over-the-counter and prescribed can sometimes cause side effects. The skin can produce hives, rashes and pigment changes. Don’t stop taking your prescription. Just be aware of any problems and consult your doctor.
- Do your research on the med
- Keep a journal of reactions
Over use of alcohol can deprive the skin of moisture. The skin becomes dull and dry. Red blotches can appear under the skin due to broken capillaries.
- Know your limit
- Use in moderation
- Seek help if abusing
Severe vitamin deficiencies can affect our skin, hair and nails in many ways. Poor nutrition will not hydrate and benefit the skin. Instead the skin will look dull and lifeless. Hair will lose its luster, feel dry and look damaged. Nails may be disfigured, grow weak and be discolored.
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Supplements may be used
- Stay hydrated
Both synthetic and natural cleaners can cause dryness, redness, blistering and burning.
Laundry detergents, bleaches and drain cleaners can cause contact dermatitis (skin may break out in a rash). Alcohol products can be drying on the skin and are a rosacea trigger. If your skin is stinging or burning don’t use the product.
People who are sensitive to some substances in cosmetics, nail polish, hair dyes and even some skin care products may have an allergic reaction.
- Be aware of irritants to avoid
- Keep a journal of reactions
- Use products with no fragrance or dyes
If you live in a large city you are more exposed to pollution. The smog, dirt particles in the air, exhaust fumes, industrial waste are all damaging to our skin. You may have more break outs. Impurities can collect in our pores and provide a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
- Clean face more often
- Carry disposable refresh wipes
Stress tells the body to make more cortisol which tells glands to produce more oil. This is why you may break out during periods of stress.
Don’t neglect your skin at this time. It can only make matters worse. And you’d feel better following a skin care routine, because your skin will feel and look better.
Disclaimer: No endorsements for pay or otherwise are included in this blog.
This website is for informational purposes and not for diagnosis.
If you have a health condition or concern, please consult your doctor.