Protect your body’s largest organ – skin
June 6, 2012
This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.
Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of the body? Skin covers the entire surface of the human body and protects your insides from the harsh environment of the world outside.
Skin serves many purposes: It forms a protective barrier against trauma, shields your delicate tissues against ultraviolet radiation, regulates against temperature extremes, and keeps out toxins and bacteria.
Skin also helps with sensory perception, allowing us to feel and sense textures and temperature. Skin is an essential component of a healthy body.
Your skin does a lot for you, but what are you doing for your skin? Because the skin is constantly bombarded with ultra violet radiation from the sun and toxins from the environment, it can suffer from problems like wrinkles, aging and skin cancer. You can take steps year-round to help protect this vital organ and ensure that it keeps doing its job to protect your body.
• Stay in the shade, especially during mid-day hours when the sun’s rays are strongest.
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• Cover up your skin by wearing clothing that covers your body and a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears and neck.
• Use sunscreen with sun protective factor 15 or higher that provides protection from both UVA and UVB radiation. Remember to cover all exposed skin, and don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours.
• Use sunscreen even on cloudy days. The sun’s rays can penetrate the clouds and you still can get burnt.
• Avoid indoor tanning, since tanning booths expose skin to dangerous levels of both types of damaging UVA and UVB radiation.
Here in Nevada, we are lucky enough to have many days of beautiful, sunny weather. However, hundreds of Nevadans are diagnosed with dangerous and deadly forms of skin cancer each year. Keep yourself safe in the sun. Don’t forget to take steps to protect your skin daily.
Carson City Health and Human Services
900 E. Long St., Carson City
Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Friday; call for appointment.
Well-child visits: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays.
Men’s clinic: 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays.
Immunization Day: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.; 1 to 4:30 p.m. Thursdays.
Douglas County Community Health
1538 Highway 395 North
(Corner of Spruce Street and Cemetery Lane).
Call 775-782-9038 for more information.
Clinic hours: Monday 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Monday afternoon is Immunization Day: No appointment needed, 1 to 4:30 p.m.