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11.5: Keeping Skin Healthy

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Why shower every day?

Of course, showering every day keeps you feeling and smelling fresh. But keeping clean is also good for your health! For example, a shower or bath washes away bacteria and viruses that could harm you.

Keeping Skin Healthy

Your skin is your largest organ and constantly protects you from infections, so keeping your skin healthy is a good idea.

Avoiding Sunburn

Some sunlight is good for your health. Vitamin D is made in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. But getting too much sun can be unhealthy. A sunburn is a burn to the skin that is caused by overexposure to UV radiation from the sun's rays or tanning beds.

Light-skinned people, like the man pictured below ( Figure below ), get sunburned more quickly than people with darker skin. This is because pigments in the skin act as a natural sunblock that help to protect the body from UV radiation.

Children and teens who have been sunburned are at a greater risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Long-term exposure to UV radiation is the leading cause of skin cancer. About 90 percent of skin cancers are linked to sun exposure. UV radiation damages the genetic material of skin cells. This damage can cause the skin cells to grow out of control and form a tumor. Some of these tumors are very difficult to cure. For this reason you should always wear sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF), a hat, and clothing when out in the sun.

Sunburn is caused by overexposure to UV rays. Getting sunburned as a child or a teen, especially sunburn that causes blistering, increases the risk of developing skin cancer later in life.

Keeping Clean

Keeping your skin clean is important because dirty skin is more prone to infection. Bathing every day helps to keep your skin clean and healthy. Also, you know that taking a bath or shower helps prevent body odor. But where does body odor come from? During the day, sweat, oil, dirt, dust, and dead skin cells can build up on the skin surface. If not washed away, the mix of these materials can encourage the excess growth of bacteria. These bacteria feed on these substances and cause a smell that is commonly called body odor.

Vocabulary

  • sunburn : Burn to the skin that is caused by overexposure to UV radiation from the sun's rays or tanning beds.
  • vitamin D : Any of a group of sterols necessary for normal bone growth; found in milk, fish, and eggs and can be produced in the skin on exposure to sunlight.

Summary

  • Bathing every day helps to keep your skin clean and healthy.
  • Excessive exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds is the leading cause of skin cancer.

Practice

Use the resource below to answer the questions that follow.

  1. What nutrients are important for healthy skin?
  2. What are good sources for these nutrients?
  3. What is one of the roles that zinc plays in healthy skin?

Review

  1. Why is keeping your skin clean important?
  2. Why is it important to avoid too much sun exposure?

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Description

Difficulty Level:

At Grade

Grades:

7 , 8

Date Created:

Nov 29, 2012

Last Modified:

Nov 04, 2014
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