National Healthy Skin Month

Perhaps in preparation for the harsh winter months ahead, November is officially designated as National Healthy Skin Month in the US. All month long, people are encouraged to learn about the functions of skin and how to keep it healthy. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) first implemented November as healthy skin month in order to raise awareness about the importance of keeping skin fresh, hydrated and healthy all year round.

This month, we celebrate not only healthy skin, but also the skin conditions preventing you from achieving healthy skin. Whether you notice a mole that looks different than it did six months ago, suffer from cystic acne or experience rosacea or psoriasis, take the time this month to make an appointment and have a dermatologists review your skin with you. The winter season can especially tough for people who suffer from dry skin. Indoor heating and cold winter winds can cause dry, itchy and irritated skin.

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common form of skin cancer, appearing as a waxy bump the majority of the time. Squamous cell carcinoma appears as one of the following a red nodule or a flat lesion with a scaly crust, get checked when your skin does not look as it usually does. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, one in 58 men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma during their lifetime. (American Academy of Dermatology) Melanoma is responsible for the most deaths, one American dies from melanoma almost every hour. Some warning signs of melanoma are; having a large brownish spot with darker speckles located anywhere on your body, a change in color or size of a mole.

Take care of your skin by washing it and making sure to follow these tips. Use warm water when washing and cleansing your face. Do not take a shower or bath for longer than fifteen minutes, this washes the oils off of your face. Strong soaps also remove the oil from your skin, use mild soaps. Avoid using perfumes and dyes these could damage your skin by causing an allergic reaction. Remove eye makeup gently making sure not to damage your skin around the eyes.

Moisturizing your skin is very important to keep the skins natural moisture. They work by providing a seal, keep water from escaping, or by slowly releasing water into the skin. If your skin is feeling oily then on that day do not moisturize. Shaving is also a common way skin gets damaged. Shaving causes irritation, razor burn, and cuts. In order to reduce shaving difficulties to increase the health of your skin do the following. Press a warm wash cloth on your skin before shaving, do not shave dry skin, put lotion or shaving cream on skin, use a clean razor, and shave in the direction of the hair.

National Healthy Skin Month is not just about daily skincare tips, but it is also dedicated to keeping people well informed on serious skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and skin cancer. It’s a good idea to conduct monthly skin exams, checking skin for suspicious moles and other lesions that could become cancerous.

Celeste Botonakis

On the Nursing Assistant Guides blog, certified medical assistant Celeste Botonakis explores the daily life of a CMA. She'll keep you up-to-date with the latest on what’s happening in the field, and provides tips for those who are interested in becoming a medical or nursing assistant. Celeste has served in the medical field for over six years, and is passionate about helping people. She currently works at CSR Primary Care in Skokie, Illinois. Click here to learn more about Celeste Botonakis and