Welcome to the Skin & Cancer Foundation Inc’s Guide to Healthy Skin, an introduction to improving and maintaining the health of your skin.
This online reference will help you gain a greater understanding of your skin, common skin conditions and how to protect the health of your skin.
You will discover what healthy skin is, including the common conditions that can affect your skin, at any point in your life.
We examine the causes and symptoms of these conditions to demystify them, to help you talk about them and to seek treatment if needed.
How to Use the Healthy Skin Guide
The Healthy Skin Guide has been designed as an online reference to build a better understanding of healthy skin.
We will guide you through the various stages of life and explore the skin conditions common to people at those points. You will also be able to navigate your way directly to the skin health information most relevant to you.
You can return to the Healthy Skin Guide again and again for information, tips and to find details for medical professionals and dermatologists in your area.
What is healthy skin?
Our skin is our largest organ and provides a barrier to the outside world.
It keeps water and other bodily fluids in and protects us from bacteria, dirt, ultraviolet light and other potentially harmful substances.
It also helps us regulate our temperature, recognize pain and use sunlight to produce vitamin D which is important for strong bones, muscles and general health.
Healthy skin is often, but not always, a reflection of a healthy body and a healthy lifestyle.
Healthy skin is:
• warm (not hot or cold)
• smooth and intact (no breaks in the surface)
• not dry and flaky
For many of us healthy skin is an achievable goal. Preventative measures can be taken to avoid, or reduce, the damaging effects of the sun and other environmental factors. We can also reduce our chances of burns, cuts and rashes.
However, some of us will, at some stage, suffer a skin condition that affects the health of our skin. These disorders not only affect our skin but can also affect our general health, self esteem and quality of life. They can range from mildly irritating to fatal.
Many skin conditions are visible to others and some are embarrassing, meaning we avoid seeking medical advice or treatment.
Skin through the ages
Click on the person below (or use choose from menu on left) to quickly navigate to the most common skin conditions found during each life stage.