Skin – The Body’s First Line of Defense Against Disease

by Michael Tibus on December 9, 2011

It is a challenge living day to day; wondering when we will get sick again.  At times we may wish we had a bubble around us because we don’t want to be sick at that inopportune time.  Come to think of it, we do have a bubble around us.  Well not a literal bubble but certainly a protective barrier nonetheless.  And it is an essential part of our immune system which we have a tendency to forget about.  What is it?  It is our skin.

The Largest Organ

It is our largest organ covering 17-20 square feet of our body depending on whether you are male or female.  It has sensors to let us know when something is painful, whether we have been touched by somebody, and when something is hot or cold.  In ancient Rome the soldiers would carry a shield for protection to deflect any arrows away from them.  The skin is very similar in that it is the body’s first line of defense against chemical, pollution, toxins and infection.  It also keeps fluids from entering the body and it keep all of our fluids inside our body.  A truly amazing organ!

Skin – A Tremendous Support to the Immune System

The skin, if it stays intact, can provide endless support for the immune system in resisting infection.  It is true that you can gain an illness via the nose or mouth; once you cut yourself or your skin becomes damaged, perhaps by popping a pimple or even getting mildly sunburned, your immune system can become compromised.  What are some helpful steps that we can take that will be helpful in protecting and maintaining our skin?

  1.  Wash your body with a mild soap and warm water to remove dirt, oil, germs, and dead cells; rinse thoroughly to ensure the aforementioned contaminants are removed.  Take quick baths or showers.  Interestingly, your skin will dry out if you continue to take long ones.
  2. Use the right skin moisturizer or lotion for your skin type.  Perhaps consulting a dermatologist may be helpful in choosing the right one.
  3. Use sunscreen when you are exposed to the sun; at least SPF 15 for your body and at least SPF 30 for your face.
  4. Examine your body from head to toe, two or three times a year.  Take pictures of any moles or growths and if you notice any changes in the size please contact your doctor.  This could be early signs of skin cancer.
  5. Don’t share any foods or drinks with anyone.  There is a great potential for getting a cold sore which is a virus or a bacteria that can cause acne or other skin conditions.
  6. Drink 60-80 ounces of water a day.  Staying hydrated is an essential way to keeping your skin moist.

Our skin is an essential part of our well-being.  If we continue to take care of it, it will never allow any infection, virus, or bacteria to enter our bodies.  So, by following these six steps, it will be helpful in maintaining our first line of defense against disease and promote a strong immune system.

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