Skin can be confusing sometimes. Some of the weird things your skin does are actually totally normal and help to maintain temperature, rejuvenate the skin's surface, and encourage cellular turnover. While that may seem like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to you now, the chances that you've experienced every one of these weird skin happenings is high. It happens to the best of us!
Everyone's skin is different, but no matter what skin type you have, chances are things seem a little off from time to time. You might find yourself asking "Why do we sweat when we are physically active?" "Why is there a missing patch of hair where I scraped my knee so many years ago?" "Why do I still get acne when puberty was so long ago?" These strange (and sometimes relatively gross) happenings are actually quite normal, and if you read on, I'll tell you exactly why!
From getting randomly oily to growing super sensitive in certain areas. You skin may seem like it's conspiring against you, but you can trust it. Chances are that those seemingly odd behaviors are actually just protecting you and keeping your body safe — random blemishes and all!
1. Your Blood Vessels Will Widen & Contract
It may be quite alarming to find that your blood vessels are noticeably larger and closer to the surface of your skin after physical activity, but it's not anything to worry about. In fact, it happens so that your body can release heat through the skin more easily according to Livestrong.com.
2. Your Hair Won't Grow Back On Scars
Ever notice how that scab on your knee from that middle school adventure never grew any hair, despite the rest of your leg hair coming in normally? That's because the tissue that grows in place of burns, scrapes, and damaged skin is a different collagen, and therefore affects the second layer of skin, the dermis. The skin that grows back over certain injuries does not develop hair follicles, according to Moment of Science. Weird, but definitely normal!
3. You Might Get Acne
Yes, you read that correctly. Acne is totally and completely normal skin behavior. In fact, it affects 40 to 50 million Americans according to the American Academy of Dermatology, making acne the most common skin condition in the United States. While there's no denying those pesky little white heads that crop up around your chin are frustrating, it's probably just your skin trying to tell you something. Treat your breakouts accordingly.
4. You'll Shed Your Skin...
Just like a snake, humans shed their skin. According to BBC, human skin makes up about 16 percent of body weight, which means one can have up to a trillion skin cells. What does that mean when our body rejuvenates skin naturally? Over a 24-hour period a human can lose almost a million skin cells, according to the Boston Globe. Yucky, for sure. Weird, no doubt. But normal? Oh yeah. So normal, that your dead skin cells are probably everywhere!
5. But Tattoos Will Persist
With that said, you may be wondering: but how does my tattoo last a lifetime if my skin sheds every year? According to the Scientific American, tattoos are somewhat like scars mentioned, in that the ink is lined into the dermis of the skin, where cellular turnover does not happen. While the epidermis is constantly renewing itself, the dermis is not.
6. You Will Sweat
While I think most of us could do without it, sweating is completely natural. According to KidsHealth.org, sweating helps maintain body temperature by removing water from our bodies to help us cool off while the moisture evaporates. It's most common to sweat in places like the armpits, the groin, in the palms of hands and soles of feet. There are deodorants and antiperspirants that help control sweat, but remember it's a normal process your body goes through to help maintain it's temperature.
7. You Might Smell Different Sometimes
[Yes, if your skin smells that's also totally normal. We typically smell when we sweat, so when the fluid comes in contact with the bacteria on the skin it can often make an odor said the Mayo Clinic. Although everyone smells differently, as our noses process smells differently according to Discovery News, it's definitely normal to give off a smell when you're active.
8. You Might Be More Sensitive In Certain Areas
Your skin may look pretty uniform, but according to the National Cancer Institute, it certainly isn't. In fact, your skin's sensitivity can vary a lot depending on location. You may be able to sustain a pinch on the bottom of your foot, but that's because the skin there is the thickest, at 1.5 mm. That same pinch would feel a lot more painful under your eyes, since, at 0.05 mm, that skin is thinnest.
9. You Will Develop Oil
Most people don't like looking greasy by the end of the day (trust me, I have oily skin and I know the feeling), but the oil our body produces is only there to benefit us. The National Cancer Institute explains that oil glands help keep the skin "soft and supple," and "protects against an overgrowth of bacteria and fungi on the skin." I don't know about you, but I'd take oily skin over bacteria and fungi any day.
So while you may be alarmed and weirded out by the fact that your body sweats, gets oily, and smells, these are all things that are normal. Just remember that despite all the weirdness, your skin is most likely trying to protect you. Here's to our weird but cool armor!
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