Sun exposure, diet affect skin health

Rosarah Holling, a sophomore studying child development, receives a facial from a professional esthetician. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation’s website, about 90 percent of nonmelanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. JANELLE ETZEL | Scroll Photography

The skin is the largest organ of the body, and both good and bad health habits affect the skin.

“Eating a healthy diet, minimizing your stress, exercising and sun exposure in moderation are all things that will give you healthy skin,” said Brett Bagley, a certified physician’s assistant at Fall Creek Dermatology. “Excessive sun is not good for you, but no sun is not good for you either. All the things that would make you physical healthy on the inside, will affect you on the outside.”

Bagley also said to be aware of skin type, especially when it comes to sun exposure. People with a darker skin tone can be out in the sun longer without as much damage, but fair skinned people need to be much more careful.

Acne is a problem that most people struggle with from their adolescent years to their college years.

“The underlying cause of acne is hormonal changes, and there isn’t much you can do about that. However, acne is aggravated by stress, so learn to control that. It is also aggravated by hygiene. So if you’re good at cleansing your face, that is going to help,” Bagley said.
Bagley discussed acne medications that are on the market and how effective they are.

He said that the best way to decide which medication is best for severity of acne and skin type is to meet with a dermatologist.
This also applies to treating acne scarring.

Bagley said to treat the acne first, then address the scarring.

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit medical care, research and education organization; www.mayoclinic.org is their online health website. The writers are certified doctors and physicians who offer medical advice.

Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D., the dermatology expert for the site, offers five tips for healthy skin:
1. Protect yourself from the sun. This is one of the most important ways to protect your skin from damage such as dark spots, skin cancer and wrinkles. Skin damage comes from the sun 90 percent of the time
“Wear sunscreen, at least 15 SPF or higher, seek shade and wear protective clothing,” Gibson said.
2. Don’t smoke and stay away from other unhealthy addictions.
3. Treat your skin gently. Use warm water instead of hot water, as hot water can strip your skin of oils that keep it healthy.
Shave carefully. Pat your skin dry to maintain its moisture, and moisturize dry skin.
“Lather up with shave gel or soap first. Always use a sharp blade and shave in the direction of hair growth, not against it,” Gibson said.
4. Eat a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.
5. Manage stress. Gibson said that uncontrolled stress can make skin sensitive and trigger acne.

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