How Do You Keep Your Skin Healthy?

At Omniya Clinic in London

The skin is the human’s body largest organ. But it does more than keeping us looking good. Effectively, the skin protects us. As well as keeping our internal organs in place and supporting the skeleton, its three layers also protect our internal organs from excessive temperatures, damaging sunlight and harmful chemicals.

Your skin is also a huge sensory organ to, packed with nerves. Effectively, the skin is a tool that the brain uses to stay in touch with the environment around it. For example, in an environment that is too hot, your skin will send a message to your brain that you need to move away to somewhere cooler, just as you will want to find warmth if you are too cold.

Many skin experts also believe that the skin is an outward sign of how well or healthy you are at a given time. With the right balance of nutrients, hydration, exercise and sleep, your skin will look and feel plump and healthy.

But you will notice when you have been unwell, your skin displays all the tell-tale signs of imbalance, just like your hair and nails can. Your skin may be dry, rough to the touch and also itchy in places. Getting it back to a plump softness takes time, as well as changing your diet and rehydrating.

The skin, just like other organs, can suffer from blemishes and other ailments, some of which need medical attention. And that’s where a dermatologist and the science of dermatology comes in.

dermatology treatments in London

The Biology Of The Skin

Your skin is a truly wonderful and complex organ, the mechanics of which we are still discovering. What we do know is that the skin is made up of three layers, all of which combine to play an important role in protecting the body.

The Epidermis

The outermost layer is the epidermis. This is mainly composed of cells called keratinocytes. They are made from a tough protein called keratin which is also found in hair and nails.

Keratinocytes form several layers and are constantly growing outwards. The exterior cells eventually die and flake off. It takes around five weeks for the newly created cells in the deeper layers to find their way to the surface. This is why when your skin is in poor condition, it takes time to see the results of dietary changes and, in many cases, treatments and skin therapies too.

The thickness of the layer of dead cells on the outer skin varies. This stratum corneum, also known as the horny layer is thicker on some parts of the body – on the soles of the feet, for example, this horny layer is ten times thicker than the skin around your eyes. This layer plays an important role in that it harbours defensive cells which alert your immune system if there are viruses or other infectious agents on the skin.

The Dermis

The middle layer sandwiched between the outer and deep inner layer of skin is called the dermis. This layer adds strength and elasticity to the skin, largely thanks to fibres known as collagen and elastin.

Blood vessels are also prominent in this layer, helping to regulate body temperature. If you are too hot, it will increase blood flow to the skin so that heat can be released – this is the reason why when you exercise, your skin may redden. When you are too cold, it will restrict blood flow to prevent heat loss, the reason why your skin can look pale, white or takes on a blue tinge when you are cold.

There are also a plethora of nerves in this layer too, all of which transfer messages to the brain about touch, temperature and pain.

The dermis is also jam-packed with hair follicles and glands. Sweat glands, for example, help regulate your internal temperature. Apocrine glands develop during puberty and produce the scented sweat that is linked to sexual attraction. The sebaceous glands secrete sebum, the oil-like substance that lubricates hair and skin.

The Subcutis

The third layer of skin is deeper still and is often described as a seam of fat laid down as a fuel reserve in times of food shortage. It also works as an insulating layer, as well as a malleable cushion that absorbs knocks and falls.

The complexity of the skin as an organ means we are yet to fully understand why some people’s skin reacts differently to agents and chemicals. This is why it makes sense to consult with a dermatologist. They have an in-depth specialist knowledge of the skin and can relate these to you and how your skin has a tendency to react to different agents and environments.

Why You Might Need More Than One Dermatology Treatment

As we’ve said, the skin is a complex organ, one that varies in its reactions from one person to another. In other words, your skin is very much unique to you.

No one knows why one person has acne-prone skin whilst another person is prone to blemishes or pigmentation, for example.

Skin treatments are effective but they need to be tailored to you and, more importantly, you may find that you need a course of treatment to improve and manage your skin condition.

As well as treatment with our dermatologist, you may find that making some lifestyle changes may also help. Finding food triggers, for example, is a course of action many dermatologists take when deciding on the best course of treatment.

Who Would Not Be Suitable For Dermatology Treatments?

Not all skin treatments are suitable for everybody. For example, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, there are some treatments which are best left until after pregnancy. If you are taking certain types of medication or have underlying health issues, such as diabetes, there may be some skin treatments which are not suitable.

Our dermatologist will discuss all your treatment options, using the consultation as an opportunity to assess your skin health and the options open for helping to alleviate, manage or effectively deal with the problem.

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