National Healthy Skin Month is a public health and awareness campaign that aims to raise awareness on the importance of having healthy skin. It is also for educating the public about the common skin problems that affect people and how they can be prevented. It also informs the public about how skin cancer can be prevented through simple tips like the proper use of sunscreen.
Common Skin Problems
Here are the most common skin problems in the United States:
This is a skin disorder that causes pimples due to the clogging of the passageway connecting the oil glands and the pores of the skin. It usually appears on the face, neck, back, shoulders and chest. Acne can come in many forms including blackheads and whiteheads which are the most common. The most severe types of acne are nodular and cystic acne which form deep in the skin thus causing scars. Studies indicate that approximately eight out of ten Americans will have acne at some time in their lives.
Eczema causes certain symptoms including itchy, dry and red skin which are due to inflammation. It is commonly a problem in children but adults can also get eczema. It is more commonly known as atopic dermatitis and there are several types of the skin disorder. The treatment includes oral medications, light therapy and the use of steroid creams.
This is a type of skin disorder which causes oily, waxy patches that develop in the scalp. It is distinct from the other types of dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis affects approximately 5% of Americans according to U.S. News and World Report. The condition can occur in babies typically in their first six months. The symptoms usually clear up without problems but it can reappear during puberty.
This is the most common type of cancer in Americans which is one of the major reasons for creating National Healthy Skin Month. Every year, about 1 million people are diagnosed with skin cancer and about 20% of Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. The most common types of skin cancer are squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. However, an estimated 75% of skin cancer related deaths are caused by melanoma which is the third most common form. One of the advocacies of National Healthy Skin Month is the proper use of right sunscreen which can reduce risk of skin cancer.
Purpose of National Healthy Skin Month
The main goal of the public health and awareness campaign is to increase awareness of the different ways to improve skin beauty or keep skin healthy. Here are the top tips for keeping skin healthy:
- Use sunscreen correctly – sunscreen is the best way to protect the skin if sun exposure cannot be avoided. Wear sunscreen with an SPF higher than 15 and apply it 20 minutes before sun exposure. Re-apply every one to two hours depending on activity.
- Stop smoking – smoking has been found to considerably increase skin aging. It reduces blood flow which depletes the skin of oxygen and vital nutrients. It damages the elastic fibers and collagen in the skin which can cause premature aging of skin.
- Moisturize – keeping the skin hydrated is important especially during extreme weather. This is also a good way to keep the skin healthy and youthful. It helps prevent skin damage from the elements which is an effective way to prevent premature aging.
- Be careful with skin care products – you should check with your skin care professional before using skin care products especially if you have sensitive skin. There are many products that contain additives which can damage the skin, increase skin cancer risk or increase skin aging.
What You Can Do on National Healthy Skin Month?
- Use social media to inform others about the public health and awareness campaign
- Create an event in your community (one example is fundraising for skin cancer research)
- Distribute National Healthy Skin Month posters and other educational materials for keeping skin healthy
- Tell your family and friends about the importance of using sunscreen correctly to reduce skin cancer risk
- Urge your local newspaper, television station and radio station to make a public service announcement about National Healthy Skin Month
Message on National Healthy Skin Month
November is the perfect time to be reminded of the importance of keeping your skin healthy. There are many skin disorders including minor and severe disorders that can affect anyone. The good news is that most of these (including skin cancer) can be prevented through proper skin care.
An estimated 3.5 million Americans are reported to have skin cancer every year. One of the main goals of National Healthy Skin Month is to inform the public how they can reduce their skin cancer risk by protecting their skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. The public health and awareness campaign also works to increase the public’s knowledge on other essential skin care tips.