by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper:
As preppers, we have all sorts of lists to help us remain organized and better prepared.
We have lists of food supplies, lists of off-grid supplies,lists of non-food supplies, lists of medical supplies, and lists of books. We have first aid lists, water purifications lists, and personal hygiene lists.
But there’s one prep that hardly ever makes it on any lists, and my friend, medical professional Lizzie Bennett of the website Underground Medic is going to explain why this humble item is one of the most important things you’ll ever stockpile.
Your skin is the largest organ of your body. It holds everything together and forms a barrier between your delicate internal organs, your muscles, bones and tendons and the elements on the outside.
Your skin is an amazing organ. It’s waterproof but at the same time semi-permeable. It allows waste products to seep out, such as sweat and it can directly absorb vitamins such as vitamins A, E, and C. It protects against infections too numerous to mention – providing it remains intact, but therein lies the problem.
The skin is easily damaged.
Anything sharp, from a bramble thorn to a stiletto blade damages it.
The sun can burn and blister it.
Foreign objects can pass right through it.
It is susceptible to blunt force trauma causing a drop in circulating blood volume as the blood from broken capillaries seep into the damaged area causing the classic discoloration of bruising.
It is affected by chemicals and environmental pollution.
It scars easily.
If it is over-stretched collagen in its sub-structure tears and stretch marks form. The nerve endings within stretch marks are damaged permanently.
For all its delicacies, skin is amazing. If you look after it, your skin will remain in good condition throughout your life and can directly help to keep you healthy by keeping out bacteria that would otherwise have access to the interior of your body where it would sicken or even kill you.
Keeping your skin in optimum condition is surprisingly easy. Wash it daily and keep it soft so it retains its elasticity. Supple skin is far more resilient than dry skin, so moisturizing is essential.
That’s right. Moisturizing.
But how many people actually think to stockpile lotions and oils for moisturizing? Not nearly enough.
I’m not giving you beauty tips here. Even the men reading this should read on because you are more at risk than women from skin infections and infections entering the body via a break in the skin. Women, on the whole, take better care of their skin than men do. Nothing personal guys, it’s just the way it is.
How does moisturizer fit in with preparedness and storage of all things useful?
Moisturizer should be on everyone’s list of products to store for hard times. SAs I said supple skin is resilient skin…or rather more resilient than dry skin. If you find yourself in a situation where you are doing more manual labor, chopping wood, tending a garden, and using manual tools your skin is going to suffer.
Dry skin is also prone to cracking, particularly on the heels and the hands if they aren’t protected adequately during cold and wet weather.
Initially as the skin begins to split there is not too much pain, but as the fissure deepens (and lengthens) it eventually affects healthy skin and will begin to hurt. It is like any other cut you may have on your body with the exception that you are walking on it. (ouch!)
The plot further thickens because these heel fissures are very prone to becoming infected. Once they become infected they become even more tender, they start draining and the surrounding area becomes red. (cellulitis). It does not take a great leap of faith to see how easily this can occur. The foot is usually subject to dirtier surrounding environments than the rest of the body and bacteria can easily invade these fissures. (source)
Also, keep in mind that being dehydrated shows on your skin. If the disaster has caused a situation in which you may not be drinking enough water, moisturizing externally becomes even more important.
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