Skin is the body's largest organ--the average person has about 19 million
skin cells. So it's no surprise that taking good care of your skin
is a job you need to do well, not just for appearance's sake but also
to bolster your overall health. Because November is National Healthy Skin
Month, there's no better time to go skin deep with this quiz:
1. True or false: Pumice stones are safe for removing corns or calluses on the feet.
2. If you have a boil--a pus-filled lump on your skin--you should:
a. Pop it by gently squeezing the boil.
b. Treat it with an acne cream to shrink it.
c. Use a warm compress.
3. To minimize the appearance of a scar after a cut or scrape, you should:
a. Keep the cut clean and moisturized with petroleum jelly or other ointment.
b. Cover the cut with a bandage, and put a fresh one on every day.
c. Put sunscreen on the skin after the cut or scrape heals.
d. All of the above
4. From the list below, which ISN'T an effect of UVB rays on skin?
a. Freckling and brown age spots.
b. Growth of skin cancers, including melanoma.
c. Wrinkles and loss of skin elasticity.
5. True or false: Men and women have an equal risk of developing stretch marks.
6. True or false: To help cure dry skin, take a long soaking bath.
7. You have a circle of scaly skin surrounded by a red border. What skin
disease do you likely have?
8. What causes the dry, scaly, itchy skin associated with psoriasis?
a. The body's immune system attacks skin cells, causing them to produce
b. An extreme allergic reaction to food.
c. A virus that is transmitted from person to person via direct contact.
9. What is the most common type of skin cancer?
b. Basal cell carcinoma.
c. Squamous cell carcinoma.
10. When examining your skin for potentially cancerous moles, experts recommend
the ABCDE rule. What does the B stand for?
a. Black spot.
If you have any questions about your skin, St. Joseph Health dermatologists
are available to discuss your concerns.To find a physician
Healing Psoriasis with Precision Drugs
1. Answer: True. Soak the area in warm water for a few minutes to soften it, then gently
rub the pumice stone over it in a circular motion. Be careful not to take
too much skin off--it may cause bleeding--and afterward apply a cream
with salicylic acid or urea for moisturizing.
2. Answer: c. Boils are usually caused by infected hair follicles, so put warm water
on a washcloth and apply it to the boil for up to 15 minutes a few times
a day. The pus will eventually drain from the boil--when that happens,
protect the area with a bandage while it heals.
3. Answer: d. All of the above. Keeping the skin in the area of a wound clean and supple will guard against
scabs, which can prolong the healing process. Sunscreen can prevent discoloration
and help the scar fade.
4. Answer: c. UVB rays don't penetrate the skin as deeply as UVA rays--the latter
can interfere with collagen and elastin production, resulting in wrinkly,
less-firm skin. That's why it's important to use broad-spectrum
sunscreen, which blocks UVA and UVB rays.
5. Answer: False. Women are more predisposed to getting those discolored streaks on their
skin. There's also a greater chance of getting stretch marks with
pregnancy, weight fluctuations or being overweight/obese, or some types
of genetic problems such as Cushing's syndrome.
6. Answer: False. You may think immersing your skin in water would help with moisture,
but it has the opposite effect--it causes your skin to lose its oils that
keep it smooth. Showers or baths should be quick, with gentle soap and
warm water--never hot water, which is drying--followed by a post-shower
application of a body moisturizer.
7. Answer: b. This fungal infection can take root on the scalp, the groin area or between
folds of skin at other places on the body.
8. Answer: a. Psoriasis is a chronic skin disease that is not contagious and can affect
any part of the body, especially knees and elbows. Treatment options can
include medication, light therapy and topical creams.
9. Answer: b. Easily treatable if found early enough, basal cell carcinomas can look
like a bump, sore, or patch of red, irritated skin. Most commonly caused
by sun exposure, the best way to prevent basal cell carcinomas is to practice
healthy sun-protection habits: seek shade when outdoors during the day,
wear broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 30 SPF every day and cover up
with a hat, sunglasses and light, long-sleeved clothing when possible.
10. Answer: b. If the mole's borders are misshapen, that can be a warning sign.
(The other letters stand for asymmetry, color, diameter and elevation.)
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