The importance of maintaining healthy and beautiful skin

Anatomical knowledge of the skin and its main functions is essential for maintaining healthy and beautiful skin. Although it may seem curious, the skin is the largest organ of the human body. It is the integument that covers us and separates us, and therefore protects us, from the environment. The characteristics of the skin are somewhat different depending on the area of the body, but this organ maintains a general structure in three layers: epidermis, dermis and hypodermis

what do we need to know to maintain healthy skin?

epidermis: outermost layer of the skin. It is a poly-stratified and avascular epithelium (it has no vessels) which is divided into the following layers: basal or germinative, spinous, granular, lucid (only present on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet) and horny (formed by dead cells, without nucleus). The epidermis contains the cells responsible for producing keratin. In addition, the epidermis contains three types of cells: melanocytes, Langerhans cells (the skin’s first line of defence) and Merkel cells (thought to be tactile receptors)

dermis: is located beneath the epidermis and is divided into the papillary or superficial dermis and the reticular or deep dermis. The main component of this layer is collagen (mainly type I). In addition, there are also elastic fibres, vessels and nerve endings and the skin appendages (hair follicles, apocrine sweat glands, eccrine sweat glands and sebaceous glands). Over time, the cells of the dermis lose their strength and flexibility, resulting in skin ageing

📌 Hypodermis: this is the deepest layer and contains mainly fat cells (adipose tissue) that allow us to maintain our body temperature.

Functions and characteristics of the skin

1️⃣ Insulation and protection of the body against external aggressions (sun, cold, infections, etc.). This is its main function. The barrier that protects us from the outside. It is therefore crucial that we maintain healthy, well-cared-for skin so that it can protect us. For this function of the skin, it is necessary to maintain an adequate pH level, which in almost all skin is around 5.5. As we will see, there are many factors that can affect the pH of the skin.

2️⃣ It regulates body temperature. The skin allows us to adapt to changes in environmental temperature.

3️⃣ It is part of the nervous system. The skin gathers sensory information from the environment and carries it to higher levels of the nervous system so that we can integrate it.

4️⃣ Metabolic function: the dermis synthesises vitamin D, which is essential for calcium metabolism.

5️⃣ Psychological and aesthetic function. The skin is our calling card. It is the first thing people see about us. The increasing use of cosmetic agents and the development of new techniques in aesthetic medicine reflect the important role the skin plays in society

6️⃣ Immune function. Primarily through Langerhans cells whose function is to detect foreign substances in order to show them to T-lymphocytes and initiate a defensive response

Basic tips for healthy skin

🌞 Protect yourself from the sun. ALWAYS. Use sunscreen in summer and winter. The sun is directly related to the appearance of tumours such as melanoma and is also one of the main causes of skin ageing. If you want to keep your skin healthy and young, protect yourself

💧Maintainadequate hydration. Drink water throughout the day

🏃♀️ E xercise regularly.

🍊 Maintain a healthy diet: increase consumption of products such as fruit and vegetables and decrease consumption of processed foods. Enrich your diet with foods rich in essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6). A healthy and balanced diet is essential to maintain healthy and beautiful skin

Avoid alcohol and smoking.

🧘♂️ Avoid stress. Sleep. It is essential to get a few hours of rest every day

🧴 Maintain proper hygiene. By simply using a neutral cleanser every morning and evening before going to bed and exfoliating from time to time, you can keep your skin clean and beautiful

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