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Can you guess what the largest organ in the body is? It’s the skin! The skin, as an organ, includes our hair and nails. Here’s my question of the day: Are we taking care of the outside of our bodies as well as we take care of the inside?  Maybe an even better question is, are we taking care of our bodies as well as we take care of our trucks? Hmm…something to ponder.

Our skin serves several functions but three of the most important are: protection, temperature regulation, and sensation. Our skin protects our bones, muscles, tissues, and organs from the outside environment including germs, viruses, and bacteria. When our body becomes overheated through exercise, fever, etc., we sweat to cool our bodies off. We also recognize sensations through our skin to detect pain.

What people tend to forget is that whatever can be leaked from the body such as sweat, can also be absorbed by the body. What are some of your current body products? Shampoo, lotion, sunscreen, insect repellent, nail polish, makeup? Have you thought to consider what you put on your body is absorbed into the bloodstream and circulated throughout the body? For example, many people use a medicated patch for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). It’s absorbed by the body.  Now, think about that shampoo or lotion that you used recently. What’s in it that you can’t pronounce? Or, that makeup you put on earlier? Does it have things in it that can be toxic to the body?

We have officially entered the summer season and the temperatures are rising. It’s getting hot out there! We hear the experts telling us that we should wear sunscreen to avoid burning our skin and possibly causing skin cancer. Sunscreen is important and we should protect our skin. This is the time when it’s important to read those labels. See what’s in your sunscreen. If it’s a long list of things you can’t pronounce, you may want to look at getting a different sunscreen. There is a mineral that provides great protection from the sun’s rays. Have you ever heard of zinc oxide? Yep, I thought you recognize that mineral.  It’s in many sunscreens and can be found most anywhere you buy sunscreen.

I can hear what you’re thinking as you read this: I’m in a truck all day, I don’t need sunscreen. What about that arm that hangs out the window at times? The front windshield usually protects from most UV rays, but the side windows do not. Research has shown that people who drive for extended periods of time have more skin cancers on the left side of the body. Conversely, in countries where people drive on the right side of the road, skin cancers are more common on the right side of the body.

What’s the takeaway from this? Read the ingredients on labels. If you don’t know what something is on a label, look it up. You may be surprised at what you find out. Look for sunscreens that contain zinc oxide. Take care of your skin and your body.

Best in health,