Barometers Of Your Health: What Your Skin Can Tell You

By Brenda Mango, RN Supervisor

How can your skin tell you about your health? Skin, hair, and nails are all made up of a delicate protein called keratin, which is affected by stress, nutrition, and sleep deprivation. Irregularities in these factors are often reflected in the condition and appearance of your skin.

The skin is the largest organ of the body and protects the body from injury, infection, dehydration and harmful ultra-violet rays. When the body is not well, this influences the appearance of the skin. Skin can appear washed out and pale if you have been under physical or emotional stress.

Skin consists of two layers in constant action where new cells are being created and old cells are shedding. The more nutrients the new cells receive, the more robust and healthy they appear. For this reason, a healthy lifestyle is essential to maintain healthy skin.

A healthy lifestyle includes minimizing exposure to sun and environmental pollutants, eating a healthy diet, and drinking enough water. Limiting alcohol consumption, abstaining from smoking, avoiding junk foods, and getting adequate sleep will also promote better skin health.

While your skin may point to the presence of a particular health problem, it is not always a positive indicator of possible issues. Schedule an appointment with your physician if you have concerns regarding any aspect of your health.