National Healthy Skin Month

In honor of National Healthy Skin Month, we’re devoting November to raising awareness about the skin, your body’s largest organ, and how to keep it vibrant and healthy. This week, we will review some general facts about the skin.

About National Healthy Skin Month

As we approach the holiday season, your skin begins to feel the dehydrating effects of the cool, dry, winter air. This is a great time to start thinking about the health of your skin and how you can help protect and maintain it. As such, November has been designated as National Healthy Skin Month by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), a time when everyone is encouraged to learn about the functions of the skin and how to keep it working and looking its best. The goal is to raise awareness about the importance of keeping your skin fresh and hydrated, not only during the winter, but all year round.

According to Christian Millett, a board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia: “Educating yourself about the skin is important for a number of reasons. Changes in the skin may be a sign that there is a problem with your overall health. Itching or a rash could indicate a number of conditions, such as an allergic reaction, an infection, or an autoimmune disease. A new growth or changing mole could turn out to be a type of skin cancer. Paying careful attention to your skin can provide important clues to the health and wellness of your body as a whole.”

Skin Facts

  • The average adult has approximately 16 – 22 square feet of skin, which weighs around 9 – 11 lbs.
    • Skin accounts for ~15% of your body weight.
  • The skin has three layers: epidermis, dermis, and subcutis.
  • The thickness of the skin varies between different parts of the body
    • Skin is thickest on the palms and soles and thinnest on the eyelids.
  • The skin completely renews itself every 28 days by constantly shedding dead cells.
    • Skin sheds around 30,000 cells per minute.
    • A large part of the dust in your home is actually made up of dead skin cells.
  • Your skin is home to millions of bacteria, from over 1,000 different species.
  • Skin that is damaged can heal itself by forming a scar.
    • Unlike normal skin, scar tissue lacks hair and sweat glands.
  • Skin that is exposed to repeated friction or pressure can become thicker, forming a callus.
  • There are different types of receptors and nerve endings in the skin that respond to pressure, pain, and temperature.
  • The skin serves as a protective barrier that helps to keep water in the body and harmful chemicals and pathogens out.

These are just a few of the many fun and educational facts about your skin. National Healthy Skin Month is a great time to learn about normal skin, but it is also a time to keep educated on a variety of skin problems, such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and skin cancer.

Establishing a relationship with a board-certified dermatologist is an important step you should take to keep your skin healthy, especially if you suffer from an itchy, painful, or irritating skin condition.