Glowing skin is a sign of good health. In this article, we will discuss the meaning of healthy skin, together with the skin types, and some of the most common skin conditions.
The skin is the largest external organ of the body. It performs a lot of important functions that keep us healthy and protected.
What Are the Different Layers of Skin
The skin is comprised of different layers, namely:
Epidermis. This layer is the outer, hairy part of the skin that we see. The epidermis is very thin; however, its thickness depends on the location on your body. For example, it may be around the thickness of one sheet of paper in most parts of your body, but is thicker in your palms and soles.
Dermis. Beneath the epidermis is the thicker inner layer, the dermis. This layer is elastic and strong. It also houses hair follicles as well as oil and sweat glands. Moreover, it is also supplied with many blood vessels and nerve endings.
Hypodermis. The third and innermost layer, the hypodermis or subcutaneous tissue, connects the skin to the underlying fibrous tissue of the bones and muscles.
What Are the Functions of Skin?
Before we dive into the discussion about the meaning of healthy skin, let’s first appreciate the important roles of our skin when it comes to our health:
- The skin serves as our first line of defense against pathogens like bacteria and viruses.
- It also protects us from physical trauma as it absorbs shock.
- Our skin regulates our body temperature. For instance, sweating is our way to cool down when the environment is too hot.
- It protects us from harmful UV rays.
- The skin helps us to sense temperature, texture, pain, etc.
- It produces vitamin D, which is important for healthy bones.
The Meaning of Healthy Skin
The discussion about the meaning of healthy skin considers a lot of aspects, such as nutrition, skincare, hydration, and of course, existing medical conditions. Generally, you have healthy skin when your skin:
- Is smooth
- Does not have breakouts in the surface
- Is not dry or flaky
- Is elastic. When it is stretched or pinched, it quickly returns to its normal state
- Its color is uniform and well-distributed
- Is warm (not hot)
Of course, there are still many aspects to consider when it comes to the meaning of healthy skin. These include the type of skin that you have and if you have a particular skin condition.
To understand the meaning of healthy skin, you have to know the five different skin types.
When you say oily skin, it means that the oil glands are more active than necessary. Throughout the day, you notice a thin layer of oil on the surface of your skin. People with oily skin also tend to have larger pores. Finally, they also have breakouts like pimples and blackheads from time to time.
Dry skin is characterized by a dull complexion. This is because the skin is covered with dead skin cells. Also, people with dry skin have very little to almost-invisible pores. Finally, dry skin feels tight and is prone to irritation
Most dermatologists define this as when some parts of your face are oily, while some parts are dry. For instance, you have an oily forehead and nose, but dry cheeks.
Your skin can also be of the combination type when you are oily during summer and then dry during the rainy days.
If you have sensitive skin, it means that you are prone to inflammation. People with sensitive skin need to use gentle products as they may quickly develop redness and irritation.
Some dermatologists argue that there is really no medical definition for normal skin. If your skin is oily, then that is normal for you. Same thing if you have dry, combination, or sensitive skin. In other words, normal skin could vary from person to person. Normal skin also means that your skin can tolerate most things without overreacting.
In general, normal skin is skin that is healthy and well-hydrated. It also has a balanced oil production.
Common Skin Conditions
The skin reacts to internal and external changes, which can lead to several skin conditions.
Acne is common among teenagers, but it can affect people of all ages. This common skin condition happens when the hair follicles get clogged or blocked with oil or dead skin cells. When you have acne, you may develop:
- Small, red tender bumps called papules
- Large, solid lumps that are often painful. These are called nodules.
The severity of acne ranges from mild to severe. Consult a doctor for appropriate treatment.
Psoriasis is a common skin condition characterized by the following:
- Red, flaky patches
- The patches are covered with silver scale
- The patches are mostly on the lower back, elbows, and knees
People with psoriasis can go through periods of mild to severe symptoms. Sometimes, there are no symptoms at all. There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are available treatments to soothe the symptoms.
Eczema and Dermatitis
The most common type of eczema is called atopic eczema. Itis also referred to as “atopic dermatitis.” It is characterized by a skin that is:
Eczema affects different parts of the body, including elbows, knees, hands, neck, cheeks, and scalp. While this is often a long-term condition, the symptoms can improve with treatment. Thankfully, children often outgrow it.
Fungal, Bacterial, and Viral Infections
It is important to discuss the meaning of healthy skin because various reasons make our skin unhealthy. For instance, infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi affect the skin. Some conditions in this category include:
Cold sores. Cold sores look like blisters or “fluid-filled sores” on the lips. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus. People who have cold sores often feel a burning, tingling, or itching sensation around their mouths. The good news is you can treat it within 7 to 10 days using antiviral creams.
Ringworm. Ringworm is more commonly known to us, Filipinos, as “buni.” Ringworm is not caused by a worm nor does it look like one. It is caused by a fungal infection. It looks like a round red patch. Sometimes, it also appears like a round rash with a silvery scale. It commonly appears on your arms and legs, but can occur anywhere on the body. It can be treated with antifungal creams.
Cellulitis. Cellulitis is a common bacterial infection that affects the skin. Usually, it affects the hands, feet, or lower legs. The skin looks swollen and red; it’s also painful and warm to touch. This condition is commonly treated with antibiotics.
Warts are very common; they look like small lumps on the skin. You can find them anywhere but they are more common on the hands and feet. Fortunately, most warts are harmless and will go away on their own even without treatment. However, if it becomes painful or it brings you discomfort, you may choose to have it treated.
Finally, there is aging skin. As we age, the skin may develop:
- Age spots
As we mature, our skin changes. To “slow down” the aging process of the skin, you can adopt simple skincare to keep it healthy.
Pregnancy also affects skin health. When a woman is pregnant, there is a surge of hormones in her body, which may cause her skin to change.
Taking Care of Your Skin
Some of the best ways to take care of the skin are to:
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Avoid smoking
- Protect the skin from the sun
- Use mild skincare products
- Drink plenty of water
Our skin is important to ensure our overall health. The meaning of healthy skin is multi-faceted. It involves knowing your type of skin, proper skin care practices, and understanding the underlying condition you may have.
Finally, do not forget that it is also essential for you to visit a dermatologist at least once a year.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.