Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Healthy sun-kissed glow. Or is it?

No doubt the warmth of the sun does feel good to us. The glow it provides to the skin does look healthy in the short term. With that said, significance of short term doesn't matter. It is the long term that has the most significant  effect on your skin.  When the short term, aesthetic effect of the healthy glow is gone, will you see the damaged skin left behind. Exposure to sun causes dryness, wrinkles and age spots on our faces. Using the appropriate sun block protection and limiting sun-exposure on a daily basis is key to maintaining a youthful, true healthy glow to the face. Dryness, freckles and wrinkles pave the way to looking older than what you are.

We falsely associate a sun kissed glowing complexion with good health. But in reality, the tan that your seeing is skin damage. The sun's UV rays penetrate the skin damaging not only the top layer of skin but the deep fibers in the skin called elastin and collagen. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, cause lines, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching. This damage is irreversible. The skin bruises more easily taking longer to heal. Sun damage also causes
the dilation of small blood vessels under the skin.

Recently the FDA elevated tanning booths: I prefer to call them tanning coffins, from a low to moderate risk of causing skin cancer to moderate to high risk of causing skin cancer. Going to the tanning salon to get a base tan isn't any safer than going outside for a natural tan. You are just unwisely overdosing on UV rays. As you age, the sun damaged skin will definitely show later in life. What you do today determines your health later in life.

Walking to the car and driving in the car exposes your skin to enough UV rays to cause damage. Applying sun block year round will limit the amount of UV rays penetrating the skin.
If you spend a great deal of time outside during peak hours, you are at risk of the suns damaging effects. It is wise to use sun block, wear long sleeve shirts and a hat. Re-apply sun block as needed.

Taking time to care for your skin is part of living a healthy lifestyle.

Good health,

Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN

Hyperhidorsis. What is it?

If you experience excessive sweating this is called  hyperhidrosis.  In individuals with hyperhidrosis, the autonomic stimulation of sweat glands are hyperactive. Perspiration is controlled by the autonomic nervous system and it is a normal bodily function. The autonomic nervous system is located in the brain that controls the involuntary movement of the body. Movements we have no conscious control over.

We have sweat glands widely dispersed throughout the body. But a great deal more under the breasts, hands, groin, armpits, genital area and feet. Which explains why we sweat more in those areas. Facial blushing is also a symptom of hyperhidrosis. Perspiring is a normal physiologic response of the body when the core body temperature rises. Perspiring is the body's way of cooling down it's core temperature. Stressful situations will stimulate the autonomic nervous system which increases sweat production by the glands in highly concentrated areas, such as in the hands.

For most people, perspiring is not a problem. However, in individuals with hyperhidrosis the autonomic nervous system in response to stress is hyperactive. For these individuals, shaking someone's hand can be embarrassing. The physiologic response of the autonomic nervous system to exercise or high temperature is normal. It is estimated 1% of adults suffer from hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating begins in childhood and increases in severity into adulthood. Both men and women are affected equally.

Usually symptoms are mild and not disabling. Sweaty palms is the most common manifestation and the most socially disturbing. This can psychologically impact the person's ability to interact effectively in social situations. Hyperhidrosis can also have embarrassing effects with your partner in intimate situations.

If are experiencing excessive sweating even under normal circumstances, you can seed help from a Dermatologist. There are creams, antiperspirants, etc to help treat the symptoms.

Good health,

Trisha M. Pacenti RN,BSN