Did you know…
- your skin is the largest organ of your body
- your skin is your primary defense against infection
- millions of bacteria live on your skin – and it’s a good thing
- your skin sheds 50,000 cells every minute
- you get a new layer of skin about every 28 days
- your skin weighs about 9 pounds (for the average adult)
- your skin covers about 21 square feet (for the average adult)
- your skin plays a big role in regulating your body temperature
- the melanin in your skin is responsible for its color
As our chief protector, our skin deserves some respect, care, and attention.
In this season of celebration, there is often a lot of cooking. For me anyway, that means an increased likelihood I’ll burn myself. If the same is true for you, here are some facts about treating your burns.
- First, if a burn is larger than 2 inches, on a very tender area, or caused by a fire, electricity, or chemicals, go get it checked out by your doctor or the emergency room.
- Cool the burn with cool (not cold) water.
- For a minor burn, wash it with mild soap and water then cover with aloe vera or petroleum jelly (not butter, egg, cortisone, lotion, or oil).
- Do NOT break blisters.
- You can cover with nonstick gauze to help protect the burn.
- If your doctor has approved you taking over-the-counter pain medicine like acetaminophen (brand Tylenol), ibuprofen (brand Motrin), or naproxen (brand Aleve), this can help control the pain. NOTE, avoid aspirin in children under 2 or people recovering from chickenpox or flu.
- Do not scratch the burn as it heals (it will be itchy).
- Consider a tetanus shot if you have not had a booster within the last 10 years.
This is also the season where we often spend more time indoors with the heat on (if you’re in a more northern climate). This plus the blustery, drier air outside, can make your skin more dry. When your skin gets too dry, it can crack and lose its ability to protect you. Here are some tips to help you keep your skin moist:
- Limit your bath/shower to 10 minutes and avoid very hot water.
- Blot your skin dry gently after cleansing.
- Apply an ointment or cream after cleaning. Note, these will moisturize better than a lotion, and you don’t have to buy the expensive products. I recommend the generic or store brand that’s on sale.
- Choose ointments and creams without fragrance. Fragrances and other additives can further irritate skin.
- Wear lip balm.
- Protect your skin when outside with gloves, scarves, and hats.
- As good as it feels, sitting in front of the fire or heater can further dry your skin.
1:5 Americans will have skin cancer in their lifetime. Be sure to show any changes in moles, spots, or other skin markings to your doctor. Use of sunscreen, even on cloudy days, helps protect your skin from harmful UV rays. The earlier a skin cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat, typically.
So, enjoy the beauty and festivity of this holiday season, and keep your chief protector, your skin, moist and healthy.
For more information about skin protection, contact us at www.medsmash.com.
For further application, check out my personal blog.
Image source: MedlinePlus; National Library of Medicine; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services