When it comes to taking care of your health, you probably think of your heart, lungs, and guts first. Your weight may even come to mind since fitness is associated with good health. Meanwhile, the parts of your body you can actually see, such as your skin, nails, etc., don’t seem to receive as much attention.
Ironically, many people ignore their external organs when they address their health. While it’s crucial to focus on your internal organs’ health, it’s not a reason to neglect what’s on the outside. After all, many issues inside our bodies can reflect on the outside.
That said, here are the parts of your body you probably should take more care of:
1. Your Teeth
As of 2019, 64.9% of adults aged 18 and over visited the dentist. Among children two to 17 years old, 85.9% visited the dentist. These are impressive figures, as it shows that Americans are conscious about their oral health. But in some states, the numbers are much lower. In Mississippi, for example, only 5.1% saw their dentist.
People avoid the dentist for different reasons, with the common one being fear. If you have had a painful experience with the dentist at least once, you’d be terrified to make another appointment. High costs also cause fear, especially among the uninsured.
But delaying dental visits will only result in worse oral problems, which would be more expensive to treat. Besides, you don’t need a problem visiting the dentist. A regular dental checkup can spot potential signs of issues early on, allowing you to treat it without or without a procedure.
Mouth cancers, bite problems, alignment issues, and tooth decay are some problems dental checkups can detect early. To maximize the benefits of your appointments, go to an orthodontist. They can correct misaligned teeth and perform cosmetic improvements. For example, if you need to get braces but don’t want the traditional metal ones, an orthodontist can give you high-quality Invisalign. They’re removable transparent braces that can give you a perfect smile in no time.
2. Your Skin
Despite the popularity of skincare videos on social media, not enough people — especially men — take care of their skins as they should. Tiege Hanley, the company behind Uncomplicated Skin Care for Men®, revealed that one-third of men aged 18 and above don’t wash their faces daily. Worse, 63% of men do not regularly use a facial cleanser, and 11% haven’t even tried it.
Skipping face washes can result in a buildup of bacteria in your face. Your pores will clog, making acne more likely to develop. Using the wrong kind of facial cleanser, on the other hand, can trigger allergic reactions and not wash away all the grime from your face.
Tiege Hanley also found that 80% of men have no idea that using skincare products formulated for their gender will give them better results. While women’s products may work on men, women’s and men’s skins have physiological differences. Men produce more collagen and sebum than women, so they require products that can balance out those components.
3. Your Nails
Many people abuse their nails by biting them, applying too much nail polish, or growing them out too long. Nail-biting may soothe stress and anxiety, but it increases risk of infection. Plus, the continuous stress your jaw experiences while biting your nails can result in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
Nail polish, though not unhealthy in itself, usually comes with manicure procedures that involve removing the cuticles and hangnails. If you want cleaner-looking nails, use a nail oil or hand cream instead of having your cuticles and hangnails removed. Those parts of your nails protect you from infection, so they shouldn’t be taken off.
Lastly, avoid growing your nails too long, because it becomes brittle and exposed to bacteria. Good nail hygiene recommends that you keep your nails trimmed, cleaned, and moisturized all the time.
4. Your Reproductive Organs
Even though protection is widely available, many people still practice unsafe intercourse. In the U.S., 65.5% of adults practice it, while it’s 55.1% around Europe. Unsafe or unprotected intercourse increases your risk for sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and AIDS.
But even so, not all kinds of protection can prevent STIs. IUD, for example, only reduce chances of pregnancy but don’t stop STIs from affecting you or your partner. The only protection that can prevent both pregnancy and STIs is a latex condom. Staying in monogamous relationships or abstaining are also effective ways to prevent STIs, HIV, and AIDS.
Don’t take your good health for granted. If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, take care of your body inside and out. Your risks for disease will lower down significantly as a result.