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Your skin is the largest organ in your body. It is responsible for protecting your organs, regulating your temperature, and is an effective barrier against bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. One of the best ways to help protect your health is to support and maintain the protective role your skin plays.
Your skin can reveal the story of your overall health. From the glow you may experience during pregnancy, sunspots of aging and acne breakouts during your teen years, for many health is reflected on your face and your hands. Regulating body temperature, maintaining fluid balance, and controlling moisture loss is the responsibility of your skin, which you likely wash multiple times as you walk from patient room to patient room. This barrier and shock absorber can be affected through your environment, genetics, hormones and health conditions, such as diabetes. External factors can also affect your skin, such as using hand sanitizers and frequently washing, an unhealthy diet, stress, and lack of sleep.
It’s important to remember that skin breakdown does not start after you’ve washed your hands three times, but rather began the day before when you didn’t stay hydrated. While moisturizers can only go skin deep, a healthy diet will help protect your skin from the inside out. Seek to incorporate foods rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Olive oil is associated with lowering your risk of photo-aging, including wrinkles, dark spots, and discoloration. Compounds found in green tea can help plump drying skin cells, and kale is a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, both known to protect against UV rays.
It’s important to wash your hands between patients to reduce the risk of infections, including to yourself. But it’s also necessary to keep moisture in your skin to prevent cracks that allow infection into your own body. Use warm water and soap when washing instead of hot water as this dries your skin less. Stay away from using abrasive brushes or bath sponges and pat your skin dry between hand washing instead of rubbing it hard. When you’re between patients and at the nurse’s station, use a moisturizer. Over your lunch or dinner hour, use coconut oil to help protect your skin and return moisture.
Quit smoking and don’t start as it contributes to reducing the strength and elasticity of your skin. This increases the risk of skin breaks, especially at work where you may contract a bacteria and infection. Protect your skin from long periods in the sun and avoid deep sunburns as these increase your risk for skin cancer. Getting from 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night will help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer and improve your skin function. Those who have been categorized as poor sleepers show early signs of premature skin aging which reduces the skin’s ability to repair itself from environmental stress, such as chronic handwashing at work.
You may be considering changing jobs or stepping back into the workplace. Whatever your situation, at Capital Healthcare Solutions, it’s our job to help you find a position that matches your skills and succeed. Contact our recruiter today so we can get started together to help you grow your career.