Double Sunrise Young Women's Health: early teen to college years

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Your Skin: First Line of Defense

Developing healthy habits and learning to take care of yourself are actions that you can take to prevent health problems.

Young women today have numerous and serious threats to their health. The Commonwealth Fund Survey of the Health of Adolescent Girls (1996), reported: "The survey found disturbingly high rate of behaviors that can put health at risk and have potential life-long consequences."

Infections are a leading cause of health problems in young women, and the first line of defense against these infections, is an important organ - the skin.

The first line of defense to infection is the skin. When your skin is healthy and intact, you have your first defense, and a strong defense, against harmful organisms that are bacterial or viral. Any break in your skin makes you more vulnerable to infection, two serious examples are organisms that cause Hepatitis B* and HIV.

Tips to protect your skin:

  • Be careful when working with paring knives or tools or sharp objects.
  • If you shave, there is important information you should know.
  • Protect all of your hygiene products, buying special colors to distinguish yours, storing them in a special spot and in a special kit.

*The Massachusetts Department of Public Health states (How is Hepatitis B Spread, Oct 1999), "Sharing a toothbrush, razor, or anything else that might have blood on it can also spread the virus."

Written 9/00
Revised 9/3/02

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