"Our skin is our largest organ and protects us from harmful bacteria, pollution, and toxins in the environment," explained Dr. Jean L. Bolognia, professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. "As we age, those defenses weaken, making us more susceptible to infection, pain, and hospitalization. The need to establish skin healthy behaviors and protect our skin throughout our lives is more critical today than ever before."
The Seven Principles for a Lifetime of Healthy Skin are part of a growing worldwide understanding of the importance of skin, beginning with the inclusion of skin health in the World Health Organization's groundbreaking new Health and Aging Strategy. Skin diseases — including skin cancers —not only have a significant effect on quality of life, they can lead to additional health issues in both children and adults.
"A child born today will live to be 100 years old," said Dr. David A. Norris, chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the newly elected president of the ASA. "Our expected 21st century longevity creates a whole new set of imperatives for how we treat our skin to ensure that it lasts for 100 years or more."
In 2016, ASA partnered with Derm101, a leading and comprehensive digital resource for healthcare professionals, to create a survey asking dermatologists, family practitioners and pediatricians what they believe are the most important tips for a lifetime of healthy skin. The Seven Principles for a Lifetime of Healthy Skin were developed from the input of over 800 physicians who completed the survey and through a consensus of expert members of the ASA Education Council.
"The Seven Principles provide guidance for today's young as well as address the more acute needs of today's old," said Dr. Jeannette Jakus of SUNY Downstate Medical Center. "Nearly half of all primary care visits are due to skin disorders, and this burden grows significantly as we age. The Seven Principles are tools that everyone can use, at every stage of life, that will improve our quality of life today and as we age, and reduce healthcare costs for years to come."
ABOUT THE AMERICAN SKIN ASSOCIATION
A unique collaboration of patients, families, advocates, physicians and scientists, American Skin Association has evolved over the past three decades as a leading force promoting skin health and a leader in funding research to defeat melanoma, skin cancer and disease. Established to serve the now more than 100 million Americans — one third of the U.S. population — afflicted with skin disorders, the organization's mission remains to:
- Advance research
- Champion skin health — particularly among children
- Drive public awareness about skin disease
For more information, visit www.americanskin.org.
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SOURCE American Skin Association