Clear Skin

Have you ever heard the popular phrase "You are what You eat"? Whether you like it or not your diet will reflect on your skin. Eat healthy food, and you will look healthy. Eat junk food, you won’t be looking good. That is why it is important to know the right foods to eat for clear skin. This article will help you get on the right track of skin care, because it is not all about using creams and products; the most basic skin care begins by eating right.

First you should know that a diet for the overall health of the body is the best place to start, and in most cases that is enough for your skin, unless you have a deficiency of some type. But there are certain foods you must eat in order to keep your skin looking healthy, young and radiant.

Start by cutting junk food. People who eat junk food gain weight, have a pasty complexion and even bad hair. I know it is hard at first, but you can start little by little, always walking towards your goal. And please, don’t get into yo-yo diets. By gaining and losing weight constantly, your skin will stretch, and then remain saggy.

Fluids are essential to our skin diet because they help moisturize the skin. Experts recommend that we should drink 6 to 8 glasses of water throughout the day, but don’t fall in the trap of drinking the 8 glasses in the morning, you should rationalize them and drink them in a natural way.

Don’t replace water for coffee or sodas. Caffeine is a diuretic (tends to increase the discharge of urine). Reduce your intake of coffee or tea to a maximum of 2 per day. Also don’t drinking too much water 2-3 hours before going to bed to avoid morning puffiness and skin stretch.

Alcohol is bad, avoid it at all costs if possible.

Essential Fatty Acids
Also called EFAs, they are obtained from food, because our bodies can’t produce them. There are two classes of EFAs: Omega 3 and Omega 6. For our skin Omega 3 is the one we need.

EFA’s should account for a 15% of our calorie intake, and can be found on:

* Sardines

* Tuna

* Salmon

* Nuts

* Seeds and their oils (ground flaxseeds)

* Prawns

* Soya beans

Reducing the intake of saturated and processed fats is very important if you want the EFAs to work. These fats cancel its effects.

Antioxidant nutrients protect us from infection and can prevent us from degenerative diseases such as cancer or heart disease. These nutrients are found in Vitamins A, C, E and some B complex vitamins; and minerals selenium, manganese and zinc.

Antioxidants play a key role destroying free radicals (electrochemically unbalanced molecules that are produced within our bodies by chemicals, too much sun exposure and stress). Free radicals damage collagen, and collagen is what keeps our skin elastic.

We can find antioxidants in:

* Berries

* Black grapes

* Brazil nuts

* Broccoli

* Carrots

* Cherries

* Chestnuts

* Hazelnuts

* Kale

* Raisins

* Papaya

* Peas

* Peppers

* Prunes

* Spinch

* Sweet potatoes

* Tomatoes

Iron is used for the formation of hemoglobin. A deficiency in iron brings anemia, and this shows up in our bodies by a pale complexion and dark circles under the eyes. Iron is best processed from animal food but can be found also in some vegetables. The best sources of iron are

* Red meat

* Seafood

* Liver

* Eggs

* Spinach

Vitamin A
Vitamin A helps in the formation of new cell, this keeps our skin supple and is vital for our eyes and hair. If you are lacking of Vitamin A, your skin will be dry and flaky. It is manufactured by our bodies from beta-carotene and can be found in:

* Whole milk

* Whole butter

* Liver

* Oily fish

* Eggs

* Dark orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash)

* Dark green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, kale)

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, essential for the production of collagen (the elastic tissue in our skin that declines with age). Every time you are smoking, under stress or under too much sun exposure, your are draining vitamin C from your body, so it is best to avoid these situations in excess. Vitamin is found in:

* Citrus fruits (orange, lemon, grapefruit, lime)

* Tomatoes

* Potatoes

* Papaya

* Broccoli

* Brussels sprouts

* Black currants

* Kiwi

* Strawberries

* Peas

* Cauliflower

Vitamin E
Another antioxidant, Vitamin E has a powerful action against the damage of free radicals. This vitamin helps our skin retain its moisture, and a lack of it brings premature wrinkles, pale skin, acne, easy bruising and slow wound healing. Vitamin E can be found in:

* Vegetable oils

* Nuts and seeds

* Peanut butter

* Wheat germ

* Whole grains

* Avocados

* Sweet potatoes

Vitamin B complex
Keep your skin moist and smooth with Vitamin B complex. It releases energy from food for skin metabolism. This can be found in:

* Milk

* Oily fish

* Poultry

* Red meat

* Offal

* Eggs

* Bananas

* Soya beans

* Whole grain

* Wheat germ

* Peanut butter

* Fortified breakfast cereals

Beta carotene is the plant form of the vitamin A, converted by our bodies. It protects us from the aging effect of the sun and can be found in:

* Dark green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, watercress)

* Orange fruit and vegetables

Perfect for protection against free radicals and to counter dry skin. Selenium along with vitamin E support the immune system. Found in:

* Cereals

* Meat

* Offal

* Seafood

* Eggs

* Cheese

* Brazil nuts

* Whole grains

* Mushrooms

* Beans

* Molasses

* Wheat germs

Zinc is another mineral vital to the immune system. It manufactures collagen and speeds up healing in our bodies, included skin. A deficiency produces stretch marks, a dull complexion, white spots on fingernails, dandruff and stubborn blemishes. Zinc can be found on:

* Seafood

* Red meat

* Cheese

* Brewer’s yeast

* Whole grains

* Mushrooms

* Offal

* Eggs

* Turkey and nuts

As you see there are many components in our diets that can help our skin. Instead of making yourself a diet just for skin care, make one that works for the health of your overall body, and then, if you find a deficiency you will know what foods you need to eat to keep your skin clear and good looking. It’s all about balancing your diet.
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The Healthy Skin Diet

We all want to have healthy skin. Whether you make an effort to go to the tanning salon on a regular basis to get a nice glow to your appearance or you are always making sure to moisturize daily to keep dry skin at bay, having a soft, smooth appearance just makes you look so much better.
The foods we choose to eat can also have a large effect on how our skin looks so it is important to become more aware of your diet if this is a goal for you. You've likely heard of the tale that chocolate causes pimples. The great news is this is completely false. In all reality, if a small piece of chocolate helps to reduce your stress levels that could actually prevent pimples since stress is a major factor in acne developing. I wouldn't recommend eating a full chocolate bar a day as that will add to your waistline but if you are a chocoholic and can control your portion size, go for it!
Here are a few dietary adjustments you should consider that do in fact influence how your skin looks.
Not only do you need to make sure you are well hydrated so that your brain can function optimally (as it's affected by even slight dehydration), but you also need more water to flush your body out and help prevent skin dryness. Water helps to deliver nutrients and oxygen to the cells and carry away the waste products.
When the body senses you are dehydrated, it will draw upon the water balance from the skin in order to meet its needs. That is what causes dry skin. Solve this problem by ensuring you are getting at least 8 glasses per day, more if you workout, and then there will be no need to rob your skin of moisture. Keep in mind too that by increasing your servings of fruits and vegetables in your diet you will also be increasing water intake.
Iron is a much talked about nutrient, particularly among women. One of the primary reasons many people will experience fatigue is due to low iron stores, otherwise known as anemia. Vegetarians and those who aren't eating any red meat are particularly susceptible to this condition if they are not making a conscious effort to get other iron-rich sources in their diets. Additionally, most of the vegetarian sources of iron are not absorbed quite as readily by the body as the meat sources are.
The purpose of iron in the body is to deliver oxygen to the cells. When this is not occurring the skin will take on a dull appearance and is a sure sign you are not getting enough. You want to aim to get at least 18 mg of iron a day, preferably from sources such as lean ground beef, chicken breast, fortified cereal, legumes and lima beans. Make note that taking Vitamin C in along with your iron rich foods will help to increase the absorption so eat an orange or some red peppers along with your food.
Magnesium Rich Foods
Lastly, try and include more foods that are rich in magnesium into your diet. Magnesium and vitamin D will work together to try and preserve the underlying bone structure of your face that serves to keep skin tight against the bone. When the skin starts to become loose you will notice a sagging appearance and wrinkles may begin forming.
To get more magnesium in your diet, try eating more foods such as nuts, whole grains, spinach, pumpkin, squash, halibut and black beans.
So if getting better skin is something that interests you, be sure to eat the foods mentioned above daily or as often as you can. It can take a little time to notice significant improvements in your skins appearance but rest assured that by using the suggestions provided you will help your skin retain a more youthful appearance in the future.

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Skin Care & Nutrition

Radiant skin is a reflection of a health. Unfortunately skin is attacked daily by billions of free radicals including air pollution, iron in tap water, UV rays, stress, cigarette smoke and poor diet. Free radicals cause skin cells to break down, accelerating premature aging. Nutrients found in a healthy diet can neutralize free radicals, bolstering your skin from the inside to keep it glowing on the outside.
Foods that contain antioxidants are key for healthy skin. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful because it helps both in the production and protection of collagen. For Vitamin C eat blueberries, oranges, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, green peppers and kiwi. Pomegranate juice is another powerful source of antioxidants. It contains anthocyanins, which help strengthen the walls of the tiny blood vessels that supply nutrients to the skin.

Beta-carotene is another antioxidant and a must for healthy skin. It can be found in deep yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables. Recent research published in the 2001 "International Journal For Vitamin and Nutrition Research", notes that antioxidants lycopene and lutein may protect the skin against harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Both are plentiful in the pigment of red fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, watermelon, guava and pink grapefruit.

B Vitamins
B vitamins are skin-friendly nutrients that may help prevent skin disorders such as dermatitis, cracked lips, dry, flaky skin and skin lesions. Vitamin B is found in fat free milk, cheese, yogurt, whole grain cereals, bananas, chick peas, oats, peanuts, chicken breast, black beans, lentils and asparagus.
Vitamin E
To protect cell membranes and guard against UV radiation damage, you need vitamin E. Research published in the July 2006 "Journal of General Internal Medicine", suggests that vitamin E may work in combination with vitamin C to provide an extra boost of anti-aging skin protection. Eat eggs, avocados, spinach, seeds and whole grains to get your daily requirement of vitamin E.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to healthy skin. They help maintain cell membranes which aids in moisture retention. Omega-3s also decrease ultraviolet inflammatory responses and offer protection against ultraviolet ray-induced skin lesions. The best source of omega-3 is cold water fish such as salmon and sardines. They're also found in walnuts, flax seeds, canola and olive oil.
Selenium improves the elasticity of skin, helps to battle skin infections and repairs sun damage. It's also necessary for the production of glutathione, which neutralizes free radicals, and new research shows it might also help reduce the risk of skin cancer. Find selenium in Brazil nuts, whole-wheat bread, muffins, and cereals, turkey and tuna.
Fiber keeps the digestive tract healthy and absorbing all the good nutrients your skin needs to stay radiant. Good sources of dietary fiber are whole grains, legumes, citrus fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
Green Tea
A study published in the 2001 "Archives of Dermatology" showed that green tea reduces sun damage and may help protect against the risk of skin cancer. The polyphenols in green tea also have anti-inflammatory properties to improve skin health .

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Healthy Skin

Healthy skin is signified by the absence of facial blemishes, by an even skin tone and by minimal wrinkling. Various factors contribute to skin health, such as hormones, sun exposure and stress. Nutrition is also significant in managing skin care. says that research does not specify the most beneficial aspects of food on skin health, however, foods high in antioxidant properties tend to protect the skin and keep it healthier looking. Omega-3
The University of Maryland Medical Center says that twice-weekly intake of omega-3 fatty acids may offer skin protection from the sun. Omega-3 is not intended to replace sunscreen, but it can boost the skin's protective properties in absorbing fewer ultraviolet rays. Omega-3 fatty acids are not naturally made in the body and must be obtained from external nutritional sources. A diet including seafood such as fish, tuna or salmon offers adequate omega-3. Omega-3 improves dry skin and also benefits the body in reducing the risk of developing heart disease.
Fruits and Vegetables
Antioxidants are substances that offer protection for the cells in the body from free radicals. The National Cancer Institute says that free radicals are linked to cancer, and the use of antioxidants can slow or prevent the development of certain cancers, including those of the skin. Fruits and vegetables are a significant source of attaining antioxidants. says that skin-friendly foods such as blueberries, yellow or orange fruits and green leafy vegetables are important in maintaining a healthy skin diet. Vitamin supplements such as vitamin C, E or A may also provide skin-protecting antioxidants.
According to drinking plenty of water daily is important for maintaining skin health. Water keeps the skin moist and hydrated, facilitating the natural process of flushing toxins out of the digestive system. Drinking eight to 10, 8 oz. glasses of water daily can offer skin-cleansing benefits and help prevent digestive problems such as constipation. Drinking beverages high in sugar, such as sodas, is not optimal for long-term skin health.
Fats and Grains
High fat content in foods is unhealthy for the body overall and affects skin health. Choose a diet low in fats, trading red meats for poultry or fish when available. Bake foods instead of frying them in fatty oil. Snack on nuts or seeds instead of high-sugar, high-fat foods, says Science Daily says that eating whole grains such as wheat bread and grain cereals is more beneficial to skin health than grain products that have been bleached white. The bleaching process tends to strip the food of natural vitamins and minerals important for skin and body health.

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Healthy Shiny Skin Tips

Eating a healthy well balanced diet helps to keep your skin glowing and blemish free. Eliminate fried greasy foods from your diet as well as carbonated drinks and sweets. Eating more vegetables and fruit along with drinking eight or more glasses of water a day will help to improve the feel and look of your skin. Getting the right amount of vitamins, proteins, and minerals also plays an important role in having healthy skin no matter what age you are. Vitamins Improve that Healthy Glow

Vitamins play an important part of our daily lives, not just with the inside of our bodies, but the outside as well. If your body is low on vitamin A, your face will begin to show white heads and blackheads. If you have a deficiency of vitamin B, iodine, or iron, this will make it a challenge for your skin to produce a healthy glow.

Vitamin B1 plays a very active role in producing blood circulation in your skin giving it a more even coloration. If you have a vitamin B2 deficiency your skin may have a brown pigmentation than normally wouldn’t be there if you weren’t deficient.

Water Makes or Breaks Your Skin

Water is something that every one needs whether they are trying to have healthy looking skin or not. Water plays a leading role in getting and keeping healthy skin whether you are drinking your eight or more glasses a day or using it to wash your skin.

Drinking water helps to hydrate your skin and not leave it dry and itchy. It works just like it does when you drink water to hydrate your inner body for everything to work the way it is supposed to. If you’re not drinking enough water, your skin will not work right either.

Drinking water isn’t the only way that it helps to improve your skin. When you wash your skin with soap or other cleansing products, always be sure to wash it all away. If there is any residue left over from washing your face, your glands may start working overtime and that in turn could cause your pores to get clogged. Blackheads start to form and then you will be back to square one when it comes to skin care.

Your Daily Activities Affect Skin

Everyday you may do the same thing or you may be a person who changes up their everyday lives by doing a variety of activities throughout the day. If you are more active and participate in sports or working out in a gym, then you should wash your skin at least twice a day and not just that once. Sweat clogs pores and should be washed away removing all the dirt and bacteria that may be attached to the sweat. Adding an extra shower or two to your daily routine would be helpful in keeping your glowing skin. You should use warm water and a mild soap or a special cleansing product that is designed for your skin type.

Top Four Foods For Healthy Skin

There are quite a few healthy foods to give your skin a great glow, but I’m going to list the top five. Green Tea is full of antioxidants when help in reducing inflammation and protect the cells of the membranes. Green tea also helps in getting rid of the cancer causing free radicals that lead to skin cancer as well as helping with sunburns and an over exposure to ultraviolet light. Too much exposure to those can lead to skin cancer.

Blueberries also have a very high amount of antioxidants to fight free radicals making your skin look much younger. Carrots have a high amount of vitamin A which is a major need for healthy skin. The vitamin A helps in developing skin cells and keeping them well maintained.
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Natural Fruit Facials For Healthy Glowing Skin

Most of us are aware about the health benefits of fresh fruits, and we also know that most of the nutrients and vitamins in fruits lie in their skin and pulp, and just as they are useful to the body, these nutrients can serve to be excellent scrubs or re-vitalisers for our skin too! Natural Fruit Facials have been preferred since centuries to get a healthy skin that glows. If you know the properties of each fruit, you can pamper yourself with an all-natural fruit mask, without spending too much time or money. And this is the best way to use old, over-ripened fruits that can no longer be eaten raw! Here are a few fruits that can help you get a smooth, healthy and toned skin.
This may seem like an off-topic post, but seriously, it has been wonderful to use some of my mushy fruits to pamper my face over the weekend! And as I'm sure every woman loves pampering, I thought I'd share with you these simple tips! Different people have different skin tyes, and each skin reacts differently to a fruit mask. So its advisable to know your skin type first before using any products on your face or skin, and even after that, always test a small area of your skin, preferably the elbow. And since I'm not a beautician, just a normal person like you all trying to achieve a naturally healthy skin, please use this post merely as a guideline! Here is a nice writeup on skin types, and also some more natural fruit facial recipes

Before & After a Fruit Facial
When using any fruit mask, wash your face and neck before applying the mixture. Apply the fruit mask gently with your fingertips, avoiding the delicate area around your eyes and lips. Leave the mask on for 15-20 mins, then wipe your face with a soft warm towel and rinse your skin thoroughly with luke-warm water. After this, splash some ice-cold water on your face to tighten your pores, then finish by applying a coating of light lotion (with SPF 15 or higher) over your face.

Listed below are some common fruits that can be used as face-masks due to their specific medicinal properties. Again, DO NOT use any of these without a proper patch-test on your skin to see how it reacts to these fruits.

The alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) in peaches makes this a great mask for general skin renewal. It helps reduce wrinkles, remove dead skin, and clean your pores. Combine it with some cooked oatmeal or yogurt and use the puree as a facial. The oatmeal helps to heal irritated skin and moisturizes, as does the yogurt.

Avocados offer your skin the antioxidant effects of Vitamin E. The proteins and fats in the fruit draws moisture into your skin and helps fill up the fine lines & wrinkles. Mash it with 1 egg yolk and apply to face for 20 mins, then wash it to soothe and smooth dry skin; this is especially good in summers.

Bananas contain vitamins A, B, C, and E as well as potassium. They smooth and nourish your skin while the antioxidants purify it. Mash half of a ripe banana with two tablespoons of honey and four tablespoons of sour cream( for oily skin, use two tablespoons of lemon or orange juice for the sour cream), apply on your face for 15 mins and wash off for instant glow.

A member of the rose family, strawberries contain salicyclic acid, which rids the skin of dead cells, allowing it to absorb moisture more efficiently. Strawberries also have a mild bleaching effect on the skin and help heal blemishes. Just puree 1/2 cup ripe strawberries with 1/4 cup cornstarch; apply for 30 mins, then rinse off with cool water.

The silica in cucumber is an essential component of healthy connective tissue,and helps improve the complexion and health of the skin. The high water content makes it a natural moisturiser, while the ascorbic acid and caffeic acid in cucumbers prevent water retention (puffy eyes and dark circles). You can rub it raw on your face, or use a cucumber facial recipe to instantly rejuvenate your skin.

Fruit facials work great when you choose a fruit that is right for your skin type. but thanks to the power of the web, finding that out is not at all difficult. I could make this a long post, but I just wanted to represent the top 5 fruits, and bring across the idea of using the natural goodness of fruits for your skin. Eating them daily is the best way to get a healthy skin, but when you need some instant glow for a party you have to attend in 12 hours, these fruit facials can come in real handy! Plus, it gives you a chance to relax for 30 mins as the invigorating smell fills the air while the fruit pulp works wonders on your skin! Personally, I love the cucumber and strawberry facials, but I'm going to be trying peaches soon. If you have some secret recipe that has worked for you, please share it with our readers through your comments!

Remember, there's nothing better than using fresh natural products for your skin; find a fruit facial recipe that works for you, and pamper your skin from time to time, because both you and your skin deserve to look healthy and beautiful!
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Skin Cancer Prevention Tips

Most skin cancer can be prevented by practicing sun protection, according to numerous research studies. Research also shows that not only does sun protection reduce one’s risk of developing skin cancer; sun protection also may decrease the likelihood of recurrence.

Even if you have spent a lot of time in the sun or developed skin cancer, it’s never too late to begin protecting your skin. The American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) recommends that everyone protect their skin by following these sun protection practices:

Sun Protection Practices
  1. Avoid deliberate tanning.  Lying in the sun may feel good, but the end result is premature aging (wrinkles, blotchiness, and sagging skin) as well as a 1 in 5 chance of developing skin cancer. Tanning beds and sunlamps are just as dangerous because they, too, emit enough UV radiation to cause premature aging and skin cancer. If you like the look of a tan, consider using a sunless self-tanning product. These products do not protect skin from the sun, so a sunscreen should be used.
  2. Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that includes vitamin supplements. Don’t seek the sun.
  3. Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin every day. The sunscreen should have a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 and be broad-spectrum (provides protection from ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays).
    Dermatologists worldwide agree that the Australians’ use of the word “slop!” accurately describes how sunscreen should be used. Most people do not apply enough sunscreen to help protect against harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. One ounce, enough to fill a shot glass, is considered by the Academy to be the amount needed to cover the exposed areas of the body properly. So when applying sunscreen, remember to “slop!” it on.
    Here are a few more tips:
    • Don’t forget your ears, nose, neck, hands, and toes. Many skin cancers develop in these areas. Protect your lips, another high-risk area, with lip balm that offers sun protection with an SPF of 30 or higher.
    • Sunscreen should not be used to prolong sun exposure. Some UV light gets through sunscreen.
    • Sunscreens should be applied to dry skin 15-30 minutes before going outdoors, and reapplied approximately every two hours.
    • Be sure to reapply sunscreen after being in water or sweating.
    • Sunscreen does not make sunbathing safe.
  4. Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, where possible. This is what Australians call the “slip!” and “slap!” of sun protection. When you will be out in the sun, be sure to slip on protective clothing, such as a shirt, and slap on a wide-brimmed hat. Here’s why:
  • Clothing protects your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. The tighter the weave, the more sun protection provided. In fact, clothing plays such an important role in sun protection that clothing designed specifically to protect against the sun as well as laundry additives created to boost clothing’s protective function are available. Your dermatologist may be able to provide you with more information about these products.
  • A wide-brimmed hat shades your face and neck from the sun’s rays. Wide-brimmed means the brim circles the entire hat and shades both the face and neck.
  1. Seek shade when appropriate. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  2. Use extra caution near water, snow, and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun. This can increase your risk chance of sunburn.
  3. Check your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything changing, growing, or bleeding on your skin, see a dermatologist. Skin cancer is very treatable when caught early.
More Good Reasons to Practice Sun Protection
Aside from skin cancer, the sun’s UV rays also cause:
  •  Premature aging: Signs of premature aging include wrinkles, mottled skin, and loss of skin’s firmness.
  •  Immunosuppression (weakening of the body’s ability to protect itself from cancer and other diseases)
  •  Cataracts and macular degeneration: Macular degeneration, for which there is no cure, is the leading cause of blindness in people aged 65 and older.
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How Can Skin Cancer Be Prevented?

The most important preventive measure is to avoid excessive exposure to the sun. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation in sunlight damages the genetic material DNA in skin cell genes. This increases the risk that a normal cell will start growing abnormally and become cancerous. UV rays also damage the structure of the skin in ways that cause premature skin aging and wrinkling.

Prevention must begin in childhood. That's because most people get about 50% of their lifetime sun exposure before age 18.

Need To Know:

Practical measures to prevent skin cancer include:

  • Staying out of the sun, especially between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., when the strongest UV rays reach Earth's surface.
  • Avoiding both direct sunlight, and sunlight reflected from water, sand and snow. It also can damage the skin.
  • Shielding the skin with tightly knit clothing. Long-sleeved garments made from light fabric can protect the skin in summer and yet be cool and comfortable. Hats with broad brims can shield the face.
  • Using sunscreen. Pick a sunscreen that provides "broad spectrum" protection against both kinds of UV radiation in sunlight, UVA and UVB.

People with close relatives who developed malignant a cancerous growth that may destroy nearby normal tissue and spread to other parts of the body.melanoma cancer that occurs in melanocytes and is the most serious kind of skin cancer. may have inherited a damaged gene that increases their risk. For them, preventive measures and regular skin exams can be especially important.

How-To Information:

How to do a skin self-exam

Your chances of finding skin cancer can be improved by performing a regular simple skin test.

  • A good time for doing this self-exam would be right after a bath or shower.
  • The room should be well lighted, with a full length mirror and a hand held mirror.
  • Learn where your birthmarks, blemishes and moles are and what they look like.
  • Be aware of anything new, such as a change in size, color, texture or a sore that does not heal.
  • If you see any unusual changes, contact your dermatologist a medical doctor who specializes in treatment of skin cancer and other skin diseases.. These changes don't necessarily mean skin cancer, but get them checked out just to ease your mind.

Check your entire body, not just the readily visible areas. This check should include the back, the scalp, between the buttocks, and the genital area. This should take no more than 15 minutes.

  1. Look at the front and back of your body in the mirror, then raise your arms and look at the left and right sides.
  2. Bend your elbows and look carefully at your palms; forearms, including the undersides; and the upper arms.
  3. Examine the back and front of your legs. Also look between your buttocks and around your genital area.
  4. Sit and closely examine your feet, including the soles and the spaces between the toes.
  5. Look at your face, neck and scalp. You may want to use a comb or a blow dryer to move hair so that you can see better.

By checking your skin regularly, you will become familiar with what is normal. If you find anything unusual, see your doctor right away. Remember, the earlier skin cancer is found, the better the chance for cure.

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The Stage Of Skin Cancer

Cancers go through distinct periods, phases, or stages in their growth. The process of determining the stage of cancer is called "staging." A doctor must know the stage of a cancer in order to pick the most effective treatment. Advanced cancer that has spread needs treatment quite different than localized cancer growing only in the original tumor site.

Skin cancer is "staged" by information obtained from various tests. Doctors usually divide skin cancer into two stages, localized and metastatic.

  • Localized skin cancer has not moved beyond the visible tumor. Most skin cancers are diagnosed in this stage. The biopsy  removal and examination of cells or tissue under a microscope to check for cancer. is the only test needed to determine the stage.
  • Metastatic cancer has spread beyond the original site. The doctor may suspect that spread has occurred when a skin cancer is unusually large or has been growing for a long time or there are symptoms of internal problems, such as a cough or headache. In such cases, the doctor will examine lymph nodes clusters of tissue found in the underarms, groin, neck, and other parts of the body that help fight disease.  When cancer spreads, they often trap cancer cells. in the area for signs of spread. In addition, the doctor may order other tests, such as chest x-rays, MRI, or CT scan, to see if cancer has spread elsewhere in the body.

At first, cancer is restricted, or localized, to one place in the body. Skin cancer diagnosed early usually is growing only in the area of the visible tumor. Later in its life, if untreated, some skin cancers may reach a more advanced stage, spreading to nearby lymph nodes. In the most advanced stage, cancer has spread to other organs in the body.

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The Symptoms Of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer first appears as a growth, or abnormal accumulation of cells. It sometimes takes the form of a sore or pimple that does not heal. The sore may bleed or ooze fluid, crust or scab over, and then ooze or bleed again. Cancer can occur on almost area of the skin, but is most common on areas often exposed to the sun. Skin cancer usually is painless.

Symptoms Of Skin Cancer

The most common symptoms are:

1. A new growth on the skin.

2. A change in an existing skin growth.

3. A sore that does not heal.

Not all changes in the skin are symptoms of skin cancer. Most moles and other growths are harmless and do not need to be removed. Moles that are unattractive, or in areas where they are constantly irritated by clothing, can be removed by a doctor.

The average person has dozens of moles and other skin growths that are benign non-cancerous, a growth that does not spread to other parts of the body or damage normal tissue. or noncancerous. They include:

  • Birthmarks, or "congenital nevi," are moles that are present at birth.
  • Acquired moles begin to develop early in adolescence, growing and darkening throughout the teenage years. Many adults have 40-60 acquired moles.
  • Liver spots, or "solar lentigines," are flat tan-to-brown spots that occur mainly on the face, neck, hands, and forearms. They have nothing to do with the liver. Rather, they develop as a result of aging and sun exposure.
  • Seborrheic keratoses are raised, wart-like, tan-to-brown growths that occur as people age.
  • Acquired cherry angiomas are smooth, dome-shaped red spots that usually develop on the chest and back. Most are bright red, and appear as people age.
  • Skin tags are small, soft flaps of skin that grow on the neck, in the armpits, and groin area are caused by repeated friction.
  • Actinic keratoses are slightly scaly, reddish patches that form on people with sun-damaged skin. They are precancerous a growth that may eventually turn malignant and become cancerous.growths that may changes into a squamous cell carcinoma cancer that occurs in squamous cells, which are specialized cells near the skin surface that produce protective keratin.. That's why doctors recommend removal of actinic keratoses.

How Can You Tell If A Mole Is Cancerous?

Although most skin growths are not cancer, it's important to check with the doctor about new growths or changes in old growths. When growths become cancerous, they may change in size or color, or become sores that do not heal.

Doing a regular skin self-examination is a good way to monitor the skin for early symptoms of skin cancer. Skin self examination is especially important for people who have had skin cancer. It can detect new cancers, and recurrences of past cancer, at an early and most curable stage.

How-To Information:

When doing a skin self-examination, take special care in looking for growths that may be melanoma cancer that occurs in melanocytes and is the most serious kind of skin cancer.. Check with the doctor immediately if any moles show the danger signs. They can be remembered by thinking of the ABCDs of malignant a cancerous growth that may destroy nearby normal tissue and spread to other parts of the body. melanoma.

For further information about melanoma, go to Melanoma.

  1. Asymmetry - when one half of the growth has a different shape than the other.
  2. Border irregular - when the growth has scalloped or uneven edges
  3. Color varied - with the growth is more than one color. Melanomas may be black, shades of brown and tan, and even have specks of red, white, and blue.
  4. Diameter - a size, measured edge to edge, bigger than the diameter of a pencil eraser.

Where Does Skin Cancer Usually Develop?

Basal cell carcinomas usually occur on parts of the body that are often exposed to the sun. These are the face, neck, V-shaped area of the chest, and upper back. They occur less often on the top sides of the arms and hands.

  • These tumors sometimes look like a sore or pimple that does not heal.
  • They may ooze yellowish fluid, crust over with a scab, and then break down and ooze again.
  • When the surrounding skin is stretched, a basal cell carcinoma the most common form of skin cancer that involves cells in the lower part, or base, of the epidermis, the outer layer of skin. has a pearly gray look, with tiny blood vessels often visible inside the tumor any abnormal growth of tissue that can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).  .

Squamous cell carcinomas also appear most often on the face and neck, V-shaped are of the chest, and upper back. They are more likely than basal cells carcinomas to form on the top of the arms and hands.

  • Squamous cell carcinomas look like an inflamed (pinkish or reddish), scaly growth that feels sore or tender.
  • Some may repeatedly break open, bleed, and crust - never fully healing.

Malignant melanomas usually form on the trunk (the area of the body between the neck and the hips) or legs. These areas don't get constant sun exposure. Rather, they are areas that get periodic intense exposure and sun burn.

  • Melanomas may form from an existing mole a small usually dark skin growth that develops from pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. or freckle, or begin to grow from a normal-appearing area of the skin.
  • Moles and freckles are usually light to dark brown and have a clear-cut edge or border.
  • Melanomas usually are multi-colored. The may combine different shades of brown and black, sometimes with areas of red, white or blue.
  • They often have an irregular or uneven border.
  • They may sometimes bleed.

Nice To Know:

Q. How can I tell if a skin growth is dangerous? Is there any special appearance that I should watch for?

A. Only a doctor can tell between a benign growth and cancer. Sometimes, it takes a biopsy  removal and examination of cells or tissue under a microscope to check for cancer. for the doctor to be sure. In general, however, be alert for growths that enlarge and ooze fluid or blood, crust or clot over, and then ooze or bleed again. A sore that doesn't heal after a week or two may be cancerous. Be on the lookout for moles or skin spots that are:

  • Bigger from edge to edge than a pencil eraser
  • Have uneven or ragged edges
  • Show combinations of more than one color
  • Have a different appearance on one half than on the other

Those are warning signs of possible skin cancer. Check with the doctor if they occur.

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Causes Skin Cancer

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. Energy from the sun actually is a form of radiation. It consists of visible light and other rays that people can't see. Invisible infrared radiation, for instance, makes sunlight feel hot. UV also is invisible, and causes sunburn and sun tan.

UV rays damage DNA, the genetic material that makes up genes. Genes control the growth and overall health of skin cells. If the genetic damage is severe, a normal skin cell may begin to grow in the uncontrolled, disorderly way of cancer cells. UV also can cause sunburn, and other damage that makes the skin look prematurely old and wrinkled.

Two kinds of rays exist in ultraviolet radiation invisible rays in sunlight that cause suntan, sunburn, premature skin aging, and most cases of skin cancer. :

  • Ultraviolet A (UVA)
  • Ultraviolet B (UVB)

Scientists once thought that excessive exposure to UVB rays was the main cause of skin cancer. Now they think that UVA also is involved. That's why it is important to use a sunscreen product that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

Some cases of skin cancer, however, may be hereditary and run in families. In those cases, skin cancer is caused by abnormal genes that children inherit from their parents. Genes make parents and children look somewhat alike. They also make them likely to get some of the same diseases.

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Types Of Skin Cancer

There are a number of different types of skin cancers depending on the type of skin cell from which they arise. Each kind of skin cancer has its own distinctive appearance. Certain skin cancers also tend to develop in specific areas of the body.

Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are called nonmelanoma to set them apart from the more serious melanoma skin cancers.

  • Basal cell carcinoma is the most common kind of skin cancer. More than 90 per cent of all skin cancers in the United States are basal cell carcinomas. Fortunately, basal cell carcinoma also is the least serious kind of skin cancer. That's because it grows slowly and rarely spreads. It spreads in less than 1 out of every 1,000 patients.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma is more serious because it does spread to vital organs inside the body. Spread occurs in a few cases in every 100. It does so slowly. At first cancer cells tend to spread only as far as the nearest lymph nodes clusters of tissue found in the underarms, groin, neck, and other parts of the body that help fight disease.  When cancer spreads, they often trap cancer cells. structures, which filter out and trap the cancer cells. If spread has occurred, the affected lymph nodes can be removed before cancer spreads to vital organs.
  • Malignant melanoma is the most serious kind of skin cancer because it may spread quickly from the skin through the lymph nodes or blood, to internal organs.

For further information about melanoma, go to Melanoma.

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What Is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is a disease in which skin cells lose the ability to divide and grow normally. Healthy skin cells normally divide in an orderly way to replace dead cells and grow new skin. Abnormal cells can grow out of control and form a mass or 'tumor'. When abnormal cells originate in the skin, the mass is called a skin tumor.

A skin tumor is considered benign if it is limited to a few cell layers and does not invade surrounding tissues or organs. But if the tumor spreads to surrounding tissues it is considered malignant or cancerous.

Cancer cells crowd out and destroy nearby healthy cells forming growths called malignant tumors.

Most skin growths, however, are non-malignant, benign (not harmful) tumors.

  • Some forms of skin cancer also metastasize the spread of cancer cells from the original tumor to distant parts of the body.. That is, they spread to other parts of the body and start new tumors.
  • Skin cancer that spreads to vital organs like the brain or liver can be life threatening.

The skin, which is the human body's largest organ, has several functions. It prevents the body from losing water and other fluid, stores fat, cools the body when sweat evaporates, and makes vitamin D. The skin also protects the body from infection, light, and injury.

There are three layers of skin:

  1. Epidermis the outermost layer of skin, which is in contact with the environment, located above the dermis. - the outer layer of skin
  2. Dermis the layer of skin, located under the epidermis. - the middle layer of the skin; contains nerves, blood vessels, sweat glands, hair follicles, and oil-producing cells that keep the skin from drying out
  3. Fatty layer - the deep layer of skin

Skin cancer begins in the epidermis, the outer layer of skin. The epidermis has three kinds of cells.

  • Squamous cells are cells that progressively flatten and fill with protective keratin (a tough, insoluble protein that makes skin almost completely waterproof) to form the outmost surface of the skin.
  • Basal cells are small cells located at the base of the epidermis that serve as a reservoir for squamous cells shed from the skin.
  • Melanocytes skin cells that produce a pigment called melanin and can change into malignant melanoma. are cells that produce a dark material, or pigment, that gives the skin its color.

Each of these cells can suddenly start to divide abnormally and become cancerous. The main types of skin cancer are named after these cells.

Understanding Cancer

The body is made up of different types of cells that normally divide and multiply in an orderly way. These new cells replace older cells. This process of cell birth and renewal occurs constantly in the body.

'Cancer' is the name for a group of diseases in which certain cells in the body have changed in appearance and function. Instead of dividing and growing in a controlled and orderly way, these abnormal cells can grow out of control.

A tumor is considered benign (not cancerous) if it is limited to a few cell layers and does not invade surrounding tissues or organs. But if the tumor spreads - or has the potential to spread - to surrounding tissues or organs, it is considered malignant, or cancerous.

Cancer (malignant growths) occur when:

  • Some cells in the body begin to multiply in an uncontrolled manner.
  • The bodyĆ¢€™s natural defenses, such as certain parts of the immune system, cannot stop uncontrolled cell division.
  • These abnormal cells become greater and greater in number.

Facts about skin cancer

  • About 1.3 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year.
  • There are three kinds of skin cancer. The rarest, melanoma cancer that occurs in melanocytes and is the most serious kind of skin cancer., is the most serious.
  • Almost half of all Americans will have some type of skin cancer at least once by the time they reach age 65.
  • Most cases of skin cancer occur in people age 50 and over.
  • Childhood sun exposure may decide an individual's risk of skin cancer.
  • People with certain skin types have the highest risk of skin cancer.
  • Some individuals may inherit a defective gene that increases the risk of malignant melanoma.
  • The risk of skin cancer may be rising because of damage to Earth's protective ozone layer.
  • A routine skin self-examination is important in early detection of skin cancer.
  • The cure rate for skin cancer would be almost 100 percent if all were detected early and treated.
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Healthy Skin Tips for Guys

To keep your skin fresh, young-looking and clear, consider these seven simple skin tips.

  1. Drink plenty of water: Drinking water not only hydrates you, but it improves the appearance of your skin. If the recommended eight glasses are hard to get each day, try keeping a reusable jug at your desk that is proportioned with the daily recommended 64 ounces. This way you'll know how much you have left to consume before the end of the day.
  2. Eat healthy foods: A healthy skin diet is just as important as the products you put on your face. Healthy skin starts with healthy eating. Get enough vitamin A from sources such as low-fat dairy products. Eat whole-wheat breads for selenium, and get enough fatty acids from foods, like salmon and flax seed. Eating right will leave your skin glowing.
  3. Get a skin care routine: You should have a personalized skin care routine that you take part in each day. Choose products that are designed for your specific skin type.
  4. Have a cup of green tea a day: Some studies have indicated that a daily cup of green tea stops inflammation of the skin and slows damage to DNA.
  5. Re-evaluate your products each season: New seasons bring different weather. Re-evaluate the types of products you use each time the weather changes. For example, if your skin becomes dry during the winter, you may want to use a thicker face moisturizer, and you may need a higher SPF on your face in the summer.
  6. See a dermatologist: To keep your skin healthy, one of the most important things you can do is see a dermatologist each year. A dermatologist can give you healthy skin tips, check for skin cancer and treat skin conditions.
  7. Wear sunscreen: You should be wearing sunscreen with at least a SPF 15 each day. If you haven't been, it's not too late to start. Wearing a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays will help guard against sun cancer and the signs of aging.

The results of all your hard work should be healthier looking skin and a more self-confident you.

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