The General Health Of Your Skin, Hair & Nails
We are reliant upon our skin for our overall general health. It is the bodies main line of defence to the outer physical world that we live in. It protects our tissues, muscles, bones, network of nerves and nerve endings, blood vessels and everything else inside our bodies.
Our hair and nails have their own protective attributes but what many do not know, is that both are actually modified types of skin.
Lets look a little deeper…
The Bodies Skin
Our skin is the bodies largest organ and weighs approximately 9lbs (4Kgs) for a typical 150-pound (68-kilogram) adult male.
It acts as a protection barrier for the bodies muscles, bones, nerves, blood vessels, and everything else contained within our bodies.
Our eyelids have the thinnest skin whilst the soles of our feet have the thickest.
Why Skin Is Essential To Our General Health
Skin is essential in many ways but primarily it’s the bodies first line of defence in preventing harmful substances and microorganisms entering the body.
It also protects the bodies tissues against injury from bumps & scrapes and more severe potentially traumatic injury.
Our skin also protects us from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays.
It regulates the bodies temperature by allowing the body to breathe through the skin and to cool through perspiration (sweating).
It also helps to retain the bodies fluids such as water and blood.
Nerve cell endings within the skin allow us to feel warmth, cold and other sensations.
Goosebumps, for example, form when the muscles (erector pili) contract to make hairs on our skin stand up straight, whenever we feel the cold, become excited or sometimes frightened.
The Role Of Blood Vessels Under The Surface Of The Skin
Blood vessels keep the body from losing heat by narrowing as much as possible and by keeping warm blood away from the skin’s surface. They offer insulation and protection.
A lot happens within the layers of our skin. Thousands of blood vessels, sweat glands, oil glands and nerve endings cover every square inch of our bodies skin.
Layers Of The Skin
The skin on our bodies are made up of three layers:
- Subcutaneous tissue
The tough, protective outer layer of our skin is the epidermis. It’s the bodies first line of defence and protection against the outside world.
As a rule of thumb, the skins thickness and coverage across the entire body, is about as thick as a sheet of paper, with a few areas of exception.
The epidermis itself, has four layers of cells. They are constantly flaking off and being uniformly renewed.
Within the four layers of the Epidermis there are 3 very special types of cells:
- Melanocytes – These produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. The more melanin that is produced, the darker the skin becomes. Melanin production is increased with exposure to direct sunlight which gives people a suntan, freckles or darkens an already dark skin type.
- Keratinocytes – These cells produce the a special type of protein called keratin. It’s a basic component of the skin, hair and nails that helps create an ‘intact barrier’ of protection.
- Langerhans – These types of cells help protect the body against infection.
Every 28 days, the cells in the epidermis are completely replaced. This is the main reason why cuts and scrapes heal quickly.
The layer of skin below the epidermis, is the dermis. The dermis is made up of blood vessels, nerves and nerve endings, and connective tissue. It keeps the epidermis nourished and in good general health.
Two important types of fibres run through the dermis, collagen & elastin. These two fibres help the skin stretch when we bend (Elastin), and to recoil when we straighten up (Collagen).
- Collagen – Collagen is a strong fibre that is quite hard to stretch.
- Elastin – Elastin, as the name suggests, is elastic and does stretch.
It is not uncommon for elastin fibres, in older people, to degenerate. This is why older people tend to wrinkle a lot. The degeneration of their elastin fibres does not allow the skin to recoil and tighten back into place.
Anti-aging solutions that help to combat the loss of elastin and help tighten the skin, have now become very common. Read all about anti-aging skincare.
Sebaceous Glands – It is in the skin layer of the dermis that we find the sebaceous glands, often referred to as oil glands.
These glands surround the hair follicles and pores of the skin. They produce the oil sebum that lubricates the skin and hair.
Sebaceous glands generally make the right amount of sebum. However, when going through puberty, raging hormones can stimulate and cause the sebaceous glands to overproduce. This causes the pores to clog.
When the pores become clogged with dirt and dead skin cells, bacteria begins to flourish. Clogged pores is one of the main causes of acne.
It will come as no surprise that sebaceous glands are found on the face, upper back, shoulders, and chest. These being the areas that are most prone to acne outbreaks.
Later in life, these glands produce less sebum. On the one hand, there is no acne. On the other, less production can contribute to dry skin..
The third layer of our skin is subcutaneous tissue. It is made up of connective tissues, cells that store fat, blood vessels and sweat glands.
The subcutaneous layer helps to protect the body from blows and everyday type injuries. It also helps, as an insulator, to hold in the bodies heat.
There are two types of sweat glands:
- Eccrine Glands – These can be found all over the body but predominantly in the forehead, palms, and soles of the feet. Sweating helps to regulate body temperature and allows waste products to be excreted through the skin.
- Apocrine Glands – These develop at puberty, concentrated around the armpits and pubic region. Apocrine gland sweat is thicker than that produced by the eccrine glands.
Sweat does not actually smell, it’s odorless. Only when it comes into contact with bacteria on the skin’s surface, does it cause body odor.
A normal healthy adult secretes, by way of sweat, approximately 1 pint of sweat daily. This is increased when physical activity is undertaken or when exposed to a hot environment.
The condition of excessive sweating is called Hyperhidrosis. As you can imagine, it is a particularly difficult condition to live with and is very detrimental to a sufferers overall general health.
Our Bodies Hair
Little do people know, but hair is actually a modified type of skin.
You will find hair on every part of the human body, except for the palms of the your hands, soles of your feet, and your lips.
Hair is really quite interesting. It grows quicker in the summer than it does in the winter, and slower at night than it does during the day.
Hair also offers certain protections:
- The hairs on our head keep us warm by preserving heat.
- The hair in the nose, ears, and around the eyes protects us from dust and other small particles.
- Our eyebrows and eyelashes protect our eyes from excessive bright light and dust particles.
- We receive warmth from the fine hair that covers our bodies.
- Hair also cushions the body against brush injury and relatively light blows
How Hair Grows
Hair grows from the root ends of a hair bulb that is embed beneath the skin. It sits in a sack-like pit called a follicle.
At the bottom of the hair follicle is the papilla. This is where hair growth actually takes place. The papilla contains an artery that nourishes the root of the hair.
Cells multiply to produce keratin. Keratin hardens the structure of the hair into a hair shaft, which is pushed up the follicle and through to the surface of the skin..
Each hair has three layers:
- The medulla at the center, which is soft
- The cortex, which surrounds the medulla and is the main part of the hair
- The cuticle, the hard outer layer that protects the shaft.
Hair Growth – Hair grows by approximately ¼ inch every month. It keeps growing for up to 6yrs. The hair then falls out and another grows in its place.
Thick Or Thin – Thick hair grows from large follicles. Thin hair from narrow ones.
Balding – A person will become bald when the scalp follicles become inactive. At this point, no new hair will be produced.
Hair Color – Hair color is determined by the amount and distribution of melanin in the cortex of each hair. This is the same melanin found in the skins epidermis layer.
Our Bodies Finger & Toenails
Nails, finger or toe, like hair, are a type of modified skin. Nails protect the sensitive tip areas of our fingers and toes.
Finger and toenails are not a biological necessity. We could do without them. They provide support and rigidity for the tips of the fingers and toes but serve no biological purpose.
They protect the fingers and toes from injury, and can aid in picking up objects. They also offer a practical purpose for; itching and scratching etc.
However, one aspect of nails that is little known, is that they can be an indicator, to the learned eye, of a persons overall general health. Illness often affects the growth of nails and can be a fore-teller of developing internal disease.
How Nails Grow
Nails originate from deep folds in the skin. As epidermal cells below the nail root move up to the surface of the skin, their number increases.
Those closest to the root of the nail become flattened and pressed tightly together. Each cell transitions into a thin plate. These plates become layered and a nail is formed.
As with hair, keratin plays a major role in the formation and growth of a nail. As the nail cells accumulate and form, the nail is pushed forward as it nail grows.
The skin below the nail is called the matrix. The nail plate, which is the larger part of the nail, is pink like in color due to the network of tiny blood vessels running through the underlying dermis.
The whitish crescent-shaped area at the base of the nail is called the lunula.
Fingernails grow about three or four times more quickly than toenails, and like hair, they grow quicker in summer than in winter.
Health Conditions That Affect Our Skin, Hair and Nails
- Bacterial Infections
- Fungal Infections
- Other Skin Problems
The term dermatitis refers to any inflammation of the skin, including, but not limited to; swelling, itching, and redness.
There are many types of dermatitis, including:
- Atopic dermatitis (Eczema) – It’s a very common, hereditary type dermatitis that causes an itchy rash. It primarily manifests on the face, trunk, arms, and legs. It can be brought on by allergic diseases such as asthma, changes in season, environmental issues, and food allergies.
- Contact dermatitis – This occurs when the skin comes into contact with an irritating substance that the person is allergic or sensitive to. Poison ivy is a prime example of contact dermatitis. However, it could easily include; chemicals found in laundry detergent, cosmetics, perfumes, and metals such as nickel plating on jewelry.
- Seborrheic dermatitis. This type of rash appears on the scalp, face, chest and back. It’s related to an overproduction of sebum from the sebaceous glands.
If you suffer from Eczema (Atopic dermatitis) then you will be interested to read our articles on Eczema, including Eczema and the sugar connection, the relationship between smoking and Eczema, and the most powerful eczema cream to rid yourself of the condition, Revitol Eczema Cream
Psoriasis is a very common skin condition. It speeds up the life cycle of skin cells causing them to quickly accumulate on the surface of the skin.
This fast paced build up of skin cells on the surface of the skin begin to form scales and patches of redness that can become extremely itchy and sometimes quite painful. Visually, psoriasis looks like an extreme case of dermatitis.
Psoriasis is not a curable disease, however, the symptoms can be effectively managed with the right treatment. If you have psoriasis you might be interested to read about the condition and Revitols all natural and powerful psoriasis cream.
Bacterial Skin Infections
- Impetigo – Impetigo is a bacterial infection. It is not a common infection but it results in a honey-colored, crusty type rash forming on the face, close to the mouth and nose.
- Cellulitis – Cellulitis (not to be confused with cellulite) is an infection of the skin at the subcutaneous tissue level. It typically occurs when bacteria is introduced to the body through a puncture, bite, or other break in the skin.
- Streptococcal and staphylococcal infections – These are two specific types of bacteria and are the main causes of cellulitis and impetigo.
Fungal Infections Of The Skin & Nails
Fungal infections can have a very serious impact on your overall general health. It can also be a major indicator to more serious issues concerning your internal health. If you have any fungal infections, you must deal with them immediately.
- Candidal dermatitis – The perfect growth conditions for yeast candida is a warm, moist environment. This is commonly found in the folds of the skin of diaper wearing infants. Yeast infections of the skin in older children, teens and adults is much less common.
- Ringworm – Ringworm is not actually a worm at all. It’s a fungus infection. It can effect the skin, nails and scalp. The Fungus is called dermatophytes.
– The medical name for ringworm of the scalp is tinea capitis
– Ringworm of the body is called tinea corporis
– Ringworm of the nails is called tinea unguium.
- Athlete’s foot – Athletes foot, also referred to as tinea pedi, and ringworm of the foot, is a transmittable fungal contagion that impacts the skin of the feet. It can easily also spread from one foot to another and also to the toenails, causing fingernail and toenail fungus.
- Nail Fungus – Toenail fungus generally develops as a result of lengthy exposure to warm, moist or damp conditions. The fungus has an opportunity to cultivate beneath the toenail, especially when the toenail and the feet are sitting in a moist environment, which would typically include sweaty socks or running shoes.
Contagion of toenail fungus from athletes foot is another easy source of infection toenail infection. It is not a condition easily rid of but there is a very good over the counter nail fungus remedy you will want to read about called Zetaclear. It is probably the most powerful, all natural, safe remedy for toenail and fingernail fungus you can buy.
Other Skin Problems
- Skin cancer – Skin cancer, melanoma, is rare but not uncommon. Good sun protection habits can help prevent skin cancers. A serious form of skin cancer can spread to other parts of the body and should be dealt with as soon as possible.
- Parasitic infestations – Parasites can feed on or burrow into the skin. This often results in an itchy rash. Scabies and lice are common examples of parasitic infestations. They are both contagious and easily caught.
- Viral infections – Many viruses cause characteristic skin rashes including:
– The varicella virus, which causes chickenpox and shingles
– Herpes simplex, which causes cold sores
– Human papillomavirus, the virus that is the common cause of warts.
- Acne Vulgaris (meaning common acne) – Acne is not just a dilemma for youngsters. It is something that can stay with you through the whole of your life. People will try all sorts of remedies and solutions to rid themselves of it. Acnezine from Revitol is all you will need.
Common General Health Conditions
Cellulite is very common in women once past the age of puberty and generally congregates, primarily around the tops of the thigh, abdomen and arm regions. Although it can occur in men, it is very rare for it to do so.
Cellulite is a condition caused by herniated fat cells within the connective tissues of the body. It usually manifests itself as ‘dimpled’ cottage cheese, orange peel like appearance. Read all about and getting rid of cellulite.
Stretch marks arise when your body grows rapidly for a variety of reasons. Your skin, unfortunately, cannot stretch sufficiently to keep pace. The long, thin, rippled marks that are the characteristics of a stretch mark are also referred to as stria.
Collagen is a protein that helps make your skin more elastic which is why it forms the basis of most stretch mark removal cream products. If your skin doesn’t have sufficient collagen, stretch marks will appear. Get rid of your stretch marks with Revitol Stretch Mark Cream
Scars & Scar Removal
Scars are a natural component of the body’s healing process. Nonetheless, they can be quite unattractive and often embarrassing for many.
This is why scar removal cream products have become incredibly popular with the general public at large, especially for removing acne scars.
Skin tags are made up of a core of fibres and ducts, nerve cells, fat cells, and an epidermis covering. Fortunately, skin tags are benign and non-cancerous.
They are tumors on the skin and totally harmless. However, they are a little unattractive, so they are often removed for cosmetic reasons by using a 100% all natural OTC skin tag remover product.
Varicose & Spider Veins
Blood is kept flowing through your veins by ‘one-way valves’. When these valves become weak, varicose veins are a common outcome. They appear mostly on the legs and around the ankles.
When blood is able to seep back through the valve of a vein, the blood starts to collect. Pressure, as a result, builds within the vein. Veins can then become twisted, enlarged and weak.
Spider veins typically appear around the face. Facial veins are much finer and therefore any weakening of them only appear as small spindly and ‘spider like’, hence their name.
Neither varicose nor spider veins are typically a serious health issue. However, they can signal more serious conditions such as deep vein thrombosis
You can safely use Venorex Cream at home to rid yourself of all your varicose or spider veins.
General Health In Closing…
If you have fully read this article, you will understand that your overall general health is extremely important. If your general health fails then you’re more likely to fall foul of more serious diseases. Keep on top of your general health and you cannot go far wrong.