How To Keep From CRACKING UP This Winter – ProHealth

2021-12-29 10:46:01 By : Mr. Roy Ren

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It is easy to forget that our SKIN is our BIGGEST ORGAN as it just sits there day after day, and during the winter months it is often covered up, so we don’t even see it!

Just as all organs in the human body have many important functions, our skin is no different.

Seeing many of the important functions of our skin listed here, it only makes sense that we should want to keep our skin healthy and strong, just like we would our heart or kidneys. 

Our skin is much like the tread on the tires of our car or truck…as long as the tires are well inflated (hydrated) and don’t have holes or cracks in them, they help our car move along smoothly.  However, if we have punctures or excessive cracks, we begin to have trouble moving the vehicle along and may even experience a blowout.  The same is so true for our skin.  This is our protective layer, our first line of defense against injury or pathogens (viruses or bacteria which make us sick).  If we have holes, cracks or irritated areas on our skin, this leaves us vulnerable to pathogens.  These open areas provide the perfect environment for viruses and bacteria to imbed themselves and grow, causing illness and disease within our body.

Taking good care of our skin during the winter months is even more important AND more challenging.  Although our skin seems to be exposed less in the colder months, it takes quite a beating!  Nowadays, most of our clothing is washed in perfumed detergent and dried in dryers with yet more chemicals in dryer sheets.  Although many of us enjoy the “clean or fresh” smell on our clean clothes, the smells are created by chemicals.  These chemicals leave a residue which is very drying and irritating to our skin.  As we are bundled up in layers to stay warm, we are exposed more and more to this residue.

Another culprit responsible for drying out skin in the winter months is our heating systems.  Although they keep us warm and cozy, they are constantly blowing out warm, dry air which not only stresses the outer layer of our skin, but it also wreaks havoc on our mucous membranes. These mucous membranes are found in our nose, eyes, mouth, throat, esophagus, lungs and in our digestive tract!  The main role of these mucous membranes is protection.  They trap foreign objects/pathogens and help us to remove them via their mucous production (gross…I know!).  This is an amazing and important system in our body and is like the gatekeeper of our immune system. 

Over the years in my practice as a nurse and health and wellness coach, I have repeatedly  heard people reference “the change in weather” or “the cold” being responsible for the spread of illness. In reality, neither the weather nor the cold has anything to do with the spread of illness.  Any illness is spread by direct OR indirect contact with an infected person.  Indirect contact includes surfaces such as door handles, counter tops, phones, shopping carts, writing and eating utensils, etc.  What allows the spread of illness more easily during the winter months is the fact that we are indoors and in close quarters more often.  The chances of direct contact with an infected person as well as contact with a contaminated surface are literally quadrupled as a result of this.  This reality coupled with heating systems that run non-stop drying out our skin and mucous membranes are, in fact, the real culprits responsible for the spread of illness this time of year!

Once we have dry, cracked skin and dried out, irritated mucous membranes revealing these open areas all over our body, we are sitting ducks for all kinds of pathogens to enter and grow.  Throw in being sleep deprived, chronic stress and poor hydration to the equation and we are an even easier target for bacteria and viruses to take over our system. THIS is why illness spreads so easily in the winter months!

Awareness is key. Armed with a little knowledge, we can begin to flatten the curve and actually prevent the spread of illness! 

Here are 8 Simple Daily Practices to keep your skin and mucous membranes in tiptop shape throughout the winter months.

Your skin is YOUR BIGGEST ORGAN.  Remember this in your daily routine and the important role it plays in your immune system function.  With these 8 simple daily practices during the winter months, your skin will thank you and serve you well as a soft, supple coat of armor and a major defense against the spread of illness.

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Empower yourself with the latest news, research & health tips to help you live better, longer.

Empower yourself with the latest news, research & health tips to help you live better, longer.

Empower yourself with the latest news, research & health tips to help you live better, longer.

Empower yourself with the latest news, research & health tips to help you live better, longer.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-d/art-20363792

https://www.newhealthadvisor.org/Functions-of-the-Skin.html

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