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The skin plays an important role in interpersonal communication

Skin is the largest organ in the body. The skin plays an important role in interpersonal communication by conveying beauty to others, attracting attention, and contributing to the development and expression of self-identity. As the body ages, the appearance and characteristics of the skin alter. So, It is your prime duty to keep your skin beautiful and healthy.

Your skin does many things without your knowledge. It protects you from the environment, helps to control your body temperature and fluid and electrolyte balance, and contains nerve receptors that allow you to feel sensations such as touch, pain, and pressure. Skin changes are related to genetic, environmental, nutritional, and other factors. The greatest single factor, though, is sun exposure. This can be seen by comparing areas of your body that have regular sun exposure with areas that are protected from sunlight. Natural pigments seem to provide some protection against sun-induced skin damage. Fair-skinned people show more aging skin changes than people with darker, more heavily pigmented skin.

With aging, the outer skin layer (epidermis) thins, even though the number of cell layers remains unchanged. Photo ageing is due to damage caused by short wavelength ultraviolet radiation (UVB) injury to the outside layers of the skin (epidermis), longer wavelength ultraviolet radiation (UVA) to the middle layers (dermis) and infra-red radiation to the deeper dermis and subcutaneous tissue.

Sun protection is always important. Avoid outdoor activities during the middle of the day. Use broad spectrum sunscreens which protect against UVA and also UVB. Use physical sunscreens containing Titanium dioxide and Zinc oxide rather than chemical sunscreens. Physical sunscreens are more effective and usually do not cause allergy or irritation. Do not smoke. Smoking increases facial lines and wrinkles, delays skin healing and is bad for skin also body.

As winter weather approaches, air gets colder and dryer. It’s more difficult for water to be suspended in cold air causing our skin to lose moisture more quickly. Dry skin is less prepared to withstand free radical damage from the sun and environment. So Moisturizers can be used to smooth the skin if it is dry and flaky. Always better to apply moisturizing creams soon after taking bath on wet skin. Always avoid using unnecessary cosmetics. Some of the cosmetic may cause allergy, irritation and skin damage. In sensitive skin it is advisable to use powder cosmetics and use cosmetics which are easily removable by water. Patch test is advisable before using any cosmetics to find out any sources of allergic contact dermatitis. Use cold/lukewarm water to rinse the skin with gentle cleanser. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the skin.

Take plenty of exercise. Exercise increases circulation and the flow of nutrients to the skin. Regular sleep optimizes the natural secretion of human growth hormone, which promotes cell turnover and collagen production. Activities like yoga and meditation help keep stress in check, which in turn reduces the release of stress hormones that worsen conditions like acne, eczema, and rosacea. Meditating regularly may even make treatment more effective.

Antioxidizing foods like fresh fruits and vegetables are believed to play a role in the prevention skin damage. The proposed mechanism by which antioxidants protect cells from oxidative stress is by scavenging free radicals and halting lipid peroxidation chain reactions, which can cause DNA damage. So, eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables to provide natural antioxidants.

Consider treatments that rejuvenate aged skin. Consult a dermatologist for expert advice.

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Jane and I wanted to thank you so much for the care you and your colleagues took of Jane whist in Mauritius. Everything went well and Prakash did a great job of getting us to your clinic and back over the 6 dialysis days. We had a wonderful holiday and our children and grandchildren plus the other family all enjoyed it enormously. Best wishes to you all

Andrew and Jane Stewart