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Tag: Skin

Exercise for Healthy Skin

It’s hardly news that exercise is great for your heart, lungs, and mental outlook. Here’s another reason to get moving: Regular exercise is one of the keys to healthy skin.

“We tend to focus on the cardiovascular benefits of physical activity, and those are important. But anything that promotes healthy circulation also helps keep your skinhealthy and vibrant,” says dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD, author of Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman’s Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin and associate professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

If you have dermatological conditions such as acne, rosacea, or psoriasis, you may need to take special care to keep your skin protected while exercising. But don’t let skin problems prevent you from being active. Here’s why.

By increasing blood flow, exercise helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital. “Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including the skin,” says Marmur. In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow also helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from working cells. Contrary to some claims, exercise doesn’t detoxify the skin. The job of neutralizing toxins belongs mostly to the liver. “But by increasing blood flow, a bout of exercise helps flush cellular debris out of the system,” Marmur tells WebMD. “You can think of it as cleansing your skin from the inside.”

Exercise has also been shown to ease stress. “And by decreasing stress, some conditions that can be exacerbated by stress can show some improvement,” says Brian B. Adams, MD, associate professor and director of the Sports Dermatology Clinic at the University of Cincinnati. Conditions that can improve when stress is reduced include acne and eczema. Although researchers are still investigating the link between stress and skin, studies show that the sebaceous glands, which produce oil in the skin, are influenced by stress hormones.

Regular exercise helps tone muscles, of course. That doesn’t have a direct affect on skin, dermatologists say. But firmer muscles definitely help you look better overall.

The Healthy Skin Workout

For all its many benefits, however, exercise can pose risks to your skin. Fortunately, protecting your skin is easy.

“The main danger if you exercise outdoors is sun exposure,” says April Armstrong, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of California, Davis. Sunburns increase skin cancer risk and rapidly age the skin, erasing any benefits your skin might get from exercise. The best advice is to avoid exercising outside during peak sun time, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

If you have to work out during peak sun time, however, wear sunscreen. “A lot of athletes are reluctant to put on sunscreen because it gets into their eyes when they sweat and stings,” says Marmur. “But new Ph-balanced sunscreens are now available that don’t sting.” If you have naturally oily skin or problems with acne, choose a gel or oil-free product or the latest innovation, powder laced with SPF protection.

Don’t count of sunscreen alone to protect you, however. “Sweating can remove the sunscreen that athletes put on and there is evidence that sweating actually increases the chance of burning,” Adams tells WebMD. “After athletes sweat, it takes 40% less ultraviolet rays to burn than when they are not sweating.” For added protection, wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible and a hat to shade your face, if possible.

Another skin problem that can arise during activity is chafing, which can cause rashes. For people prone to acne, the irritation and increased perspiration caused by tight-fitting workout clothes may lead to a form of acne aptly called acne mechanica. “The two keys to prevention are to wear moisture-wicking clothing, such as bras and hats, to keep skin drier and cooler and to shower immediately after exercising,” says Adams. Wearing loose-fitting workout clothes can also help. Make sure your skin is clean before you work out to prevent clogged pores that lead to acne. Avoid wearing makeup when you exercise. After showering, apply a soothing skin moisturizer or powder to help prevent skin irritation.

Rx for Exercise-Related Skin Problems

Several other skin conditions can be exacerbated by physical activity, including rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. That’s no reason not to exercise, dermatologists say. The benefits of exercise outweigh any temporary problems it can cause. And there are simple strategies to prevent flare-ups when you work out.

For rosacea sufferers, increased body temperature and the skin flushing that accompany exercise can cause flare-ups. The best strategy, dermatologists say, is to exercise in a cool environment. “One of the best choices is swimming, since the water keeps skin cool even when you build up body temperature,” Marmur told WebMD. (Be sure to moisturize your skin afterward, however, since chlorine has a drying effect.) Brisk walking in an air-conditioned mall or waiting until the cool of the evening to jog outside are other good options. “If you do get flushed and overheated while exercising, apply cool compresses to problem areas of the skin immediately after your workout,” says Andrea Cambio, MD, a private practice dermatologist in Cape Coral, Fla.

Eczema or psoriasis sufferers can also experience flare-ups after strenuous activity, usually caused by salt from perspiration. Marmur recommends spreading on a moisturizer before a workout to provide protection from sweat. Be especially careful to moisturize your arms and legs and areas with skin creases, such as underarms and groin. If possible, exercise in a cool environment to reduce perspiration and the need for showering after exercise. Washing too often can cause dryness and exacerbate eczema and psoriasis.

“Physical activity can definitely pose a challenge, but we encourage all our patients with psoriasis and eczema to exercise to improve their overall health,” says Armstrong. Despite the occasionally temporary flare-ups, she adds, many patients see their conditions improve in the long term.

 

Originally published on WebMD

Dangers of Psoriasis Are More Than Skin Deep

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania indicates that for the 2-4% of the general population affected by psoriasis, an inflammatory skin disease, the health concerns from the condition could be much more than skin deep.

In the report published in JAMA Dermatology, scientists found a link between the severity of psoriasis and the risk for uncontrollable high blood pressure, which they defined as registering above 90/140 mmHg. Among the patients studied, those with more severe cases of this skin disorder were at a higher risk for uncontrollable high blood pressure. In other words, the severity of the skin condition was equally proportional to the risk of high blood pressure.

Severe psoriasis is also suspected of being associated with an increased risk of heart attack, heart disease, obesity and stroke.

The results from the study point to a need for patients with psoriasis to closely monitor their blood pressure, especially if the skin disease affects more than 3% of the body surface. It also raises the question of whether improved blood pressure regulation could alleviate the symptoms of this condition, a topic that researchers plan on investigating in the near future.

Read more about the report here.

How to Get Your Skin Ready for Fall

Everyone’s favorite season is finally here: fall! With fall comes football, back to school, and of course dry and itchy skin from the cooler weather. When the temperature and humidity drops, your skin will naturally become more dry than when you were soaking up the sun in the summer. Here are some ways to protect your skin from the dry weather, as well as prevent dry skin from happening in the first place!

Exfoliate: Get rid of those dead skin cells as soon as they appear by using an exfoliator once a week. Using a scrub for your body will remove the dry skin, as well as give you a silky smooth finish. A great scrub to try out would be a sugar scrub, they are all natural and don’t have any harsh chemicals that will end up drying your skin out.

Drybrush: Going along the lines of exfoliating, “drybrushing” is an effective way to get in there and really scrub out all those dry skin cells. All you do is get a natural bristle brush and work a scrub into your skin and brush away all the gross dead skin. Not only does it dust away the layer of dry skin sitting on your arms, it also buffs away cellulite and stimulates blood flow within your body. Who would’ve known taking care of your skin externally can also helps your body internally?

Get enough rest: We cannot stress enough how important getting enough sleep is! Your body can’t properly function without rest, so how is your skin expected to be flawless? Your skin tells the world you haven’t been getting your 8 hours, so relax with some lavender oils when you go to bed to get your most restful sleep yet.

Moisturize: There’s no such thing as using too much lotion, especially in the fall. Lotion is made up of fats and oils that keep your skin looking fresh and brand new. Moisturizer works in two ways: it traps the moisture that is already in your skin from escaping, and it also adds moisture back into your skin that may no longer be there. Make sure to always keep a bottle in your purse or car, that way you’ll never forget to put it on.

Best Oils For Skin Nourishment

Taking care of your skin, hair, and nails is all part of health. Natural oils are safe, healthy, and easily accessible. Many of the creams and lotions we use daily contain these powerful natural oils, so Health Fitness Revolution is bringing you a list of the most potent natural oils that you can incorporate into your daily beauty routine:

  • Coconut Oil: Contains nature’s richest source of medium-chained fatty acids (MCFAs) which is why it is referred to the healthiest oil on earth. The proteins capric and lauric acids contain fight aging skin and wrinkles.
  • Argan Oil: Often referred to as “liquid gold”, this potent oil is known for its anti-aging and detoxifying properties. It is packed with Vitamins A and E, and Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids, which all help revitalize the skin, nails and hair cuticle.
  • Macadamia Nut Oil: This oil has the ability to mimic the skin’s natural oil so it is very easily absorbed into the skin, hair, and scalp. It contains Omega-7 fatty acids, Vitamins A and E, which all lead to its powerful UV and chemical damage protective properties.
  • Sweet Almond Oil: The anti-aging properties of this oil plump, moisturize and fill skin. It contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and E. The B6 is known to promote hair growth, and this multi-purpose oil can be used on skin, scalp, and hair.
  • Emu Oil: The sapogens in this oil are great for softening and deeply penetrating very tough skin and calluses (like on the feet and elbows). This oil also contains Vitamins A and E which repair the skin and act an antioxidant, respectively.
  • Jojoba Oil: Resembles the skin’s natural sebum and is easily absorbed into the skin without feeling greasy. This oil contains the potent micro-elements of zinc, copper, iodine, chromium, silicon, and vitamins B and E. It is known to minimize fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Vitamin E Oil: is a natural anti-oxidant and moisturizer that promotes intense healing. It not only heals by eliminating free radicals, but it also promotes the natural production of collagen in the skin, which keeps the skin elastic.