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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Skin Protection


These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Skin Functions [posted 8/7/98]
Question: What are the five functions of the skin?

Answer: Protects from infection, temperature control, emotional signaling - especially to opposite sex, vitamin production(D), providing a laminar flow for air/water, and protection from chemical reactions.

Skin Care [posted 7/17/98]
Question: I heard that plain yogurt and a little fresh lemon juice used as an evening moisturizer can improve the texture and smooth your skin. Is that true? Is it ok to put yogurt and lemon on the face? I try use as many natural products as possible on my skin. I use an egg yolk mask once a week. Every two weeks I exfoliate my skin with a baking soda and water paste. I tone my skin with witch hazel. Does the skin care system seem ok for the skin? I do not want to cause damage or harm to my facial skin.

Answer: None should cause a particular problem. Whether they help is judged by only you.

Skin and food
Question: How greatly does food intake (nutrients, fats, etc.) affect skin condition? Can certain foods be better for skin than others?

Answer: Overall general health is certainly reflected in the skin. The skin is really the only organ system that we can visualize and it reflects a lot of our total health. Since you are what you eat this is especially true of diet. There is debate over exactly what balance/foods in the diet will give the best tone/sheen. But, there is no debate that diet will be reflected in the appearance of the skin.

Skin protections
Question: It seems all of my leisure activity is in the great outdoors. I downhill ski in the winter, run in most every season, and windsurf in the summer. I live in Newfoundland, Canada (very northern). My question is one of prevention, in regards to windsurfing. I use #45 sunblock, and because we are so northern I have to wear both wet and dry suits. However, my face still gets burned from the wind, sun, and reflection off of the water. Any suggestions?

Answer: Are you using water proof skin block? Also, even water proof block will need to be replaced every couple of hours. Additionally, wind burn is usually not protected against by sun block. So wind exposure will chap the skin, but it does not seem to have the long term damage effect of the sun.


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