Typical Skin Disorders and Issues
Most people have been in the situation where they're talking to a person, but instead of paying attention to what's being said, the person's pimples, sores, spots, blemishes, veins, and discoloration become unfortunate points of focus. Or, the situation where a fun activity is deadened for a moment by the exclamation “geesh, I just broke my nail.” For sure, stronger nails and clearer skin make for a beautiful experience all the way around.
What do people do to try to get clearer skin and stronger nails? Often, people try to mask the problems with creams and makeup and various coverings. But such products can often make problems worse, and at best, they are only a temporary solution. Your skin — which includes your nails and hair — is the largest organ of your body. So what you really need is not just a temporary covering, but something that will repair your skin as a whole. The main issue regarding skin care is how to keep skin looking healthy and youthful at any age.
Skin and the Aging Process
There are many reasons why the skin ages; probably the number one outside factor is sun exposure. Physical stress, environmental issues such as pollution, and smoking can all cause skin to age. And, as you age there's a gravitational pull on your skin that, unfortunately, just cannot be helped.
For truly healthy skin you must minimize your exposure to UVA and UVB radiation, not only to prevent skin cancer, but also to reduce the appearance of aging skin. Always wear sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 and try to avoid being in the sun when UV is at its peak — between the hours of 10
While the skin is under attack from all of these external forces, it is also true that when it comes to healthy skin, what is going on inside is just as important as the outside. In other words, good skin care and protection from all of those ravages of the elements begins under the surface of the skin — inside your body. As people age the skin's ability to fix damage and renew itself lessens. And, there is a natural loss of the elements in the skin. As years go by, the skin becomes less elastic and supple; it becomes thinner and dryer. It can be injured easier and heals more slowly.
Skin is not only the body's largest organ; it is also a very important one, and not just to the way you look. Your skin is nature's precious gift that is there as a shield from dangerous pathogens that would and could enter the body, such as viruses and bacteria. Skin helps to keep you cool and regulates body temperature, and it has the purpose of protecting you from its worst enemy — the sun's rays.
Ever see a carrot with sunburn? No? Well, you probably never will. Nutrients in carrots give them a natural sunscreen, and if you have light skin, eating them provides the same to you, with a sunscreen protection equal to 2–4 SPF.
Skin care professionals agree that there really is not a Fountain of Youth, but you are never too old or too young to start on good skin care. There are many ways to keep your skin looking as beautiful as possible — at any age. We've all heard the expression “you are what you eat.” It certainly applies to having and keeping youthful and healthy skin. A skin healthy diet can do a lot to replace what normal aging and nature itself takes out.
The Basics of Skin
The skin is basically divided into three layers: the epidermis, the dermal layer, and the hypodermis. The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin. It is the actual barrier between the body and the outside world. The next layer down is the dermis. It is the layer of the skin where the smaller blood vessels that feed the epidermis are found. The dermis is where elastin and collagen are found, which gives the skin its firmness and structure. The deepest layer of the skin, the hypodermis, sometimes called the subcutaneous layer, is where the main sweat glands, hair follicles, and major blood vessels that feed your skin are found.
When the renewing process of the epidermis slows, there is not as good an exchange of nutrients and vital energies between the layers. Removal of waste, including free radicals, slows down. The lowered amounts of nutrients leads to less collagen being made, and an ongoing cycle of deterioration ensues.
As super-oxide radicals build up, these molecules eat away at healthy collagen like an acid. Collagen is the primary fiber that supports the skin. When there is a certain amount of collagen gone, the result is lines, wrinkles, and sagging. The breakdown and aging of skin is mostly caused by oxidation. And the easiest way to prevent or lessen oxidation in the body is to eat a diet rich in antioxidants.
The anthocyanins in pomegranates have been shown to strengthen vein walls. One of the many antiaging benefits of drinking pomegranate juice is the reduction of the appearance of spider veins.
In addition to a general loss of elasticity and those dreaded “lines and wrinkles,” two other major worries about skin are age spots and varicose veins. Age spots are those brownish patches that pop up on almost everyone's skin over time. They are caused by sun exposure. Actually, “age spots” is a misleading name, because they really have nothing to do with how old you are, but rather with how much or how long you are in the sun. As you get older, the time you have been in the sun has also been longer, so they tend to appear later in life. “Sun spots” would be a better name.
Varicose veins and spider veins, a smaller form of the same condition, are veins that have become twisted due to engorged blood, and swollen blood vessels. Usually appearing on the legs, varicose veins can be unattractive. There are also situations where they can be painful and debilitating. The appearance of both age spots and varicose veins can also be lessened with a skin healthy diet.
Acne and Psoriasis
Acne is a common skin condition due to the overproduction of oil by the oil glands of the skin that is normally used to lubricate the skin. Extra oil gets trapped and blocks up oil ducts and results in pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads on the surface of skin. It may be popular belief that acne affects only teens, but this is not the case — it can be a skin problem for anyone, at any age.
Concentrating on just one skin-friendly nutrient, such as vitamin A, is never a good idea. Proper skin care needs balance — a good mix of the nutrients known to contribute to overall skin health. Each nutrient provides distinct types of defenses for healthy skin. For example, tissue generation, mucous membrane strength, and collagen synthesis are helped by vitamins A and C. Free-radical damage is best dealt with by a good supply of vitamin E and plant flavonoids. For clearer and great skin, eat a variety of skin healthy foods.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that is very common. Psoriasis is seen as patches of raised red skin with thick, silvery scales, which can be itchy and sometimes painful.
The good news is that many of the dietary steps you can take to keep skin healthy, moist, and youthful can also help with these conditions. In fact, there are specific diets that can minimize the symptoms of both acne and psoriasis.