Female Factor group learns to take care of themselves, inside and out

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Jacque Chirico, CRNP speaks to the Female Factor group Wednesday at noon about the importance of skin care.

Jacque Chirico, CRNP speaks to the Female Factor group Wednesday at noon about the importance of skin care.

Beauty may be skin deep, but there are also plenty of things that get under a woman’s skin that affects her outward beauty.

That’s why the May Female Factor theme was “Skin Deep.”

Dr. Heather Hartwell, a mental health counselor, was invited to speak to the luncheon group about things that get under your skin and what can be done about them.

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Hartwell said the first thing that can prevent some stress is to disconnect from the cell phone. She shared that when she and her husband are together, they leave their phones in the car.

“You have to take some time away to take care of yourself,” Hartwell explained. “Take time in order for you to be a good mother, a good wife and a good employee.”

Hartwell also suggested that the ladies find creative ways to cut down on stress. She said she could talk about some ideas, but until someone personalizes the idea, it doesn’t work.

One of the biggest ways to cut down on stress, Hartwell said, is to prioritize. Put tasks into perspective. Planning can take away so much stress.

Jacque Chirico, CRNP also spoke to the Female Factor guests about taking care of their skin. She explained that, as the largest human organ, skin weighs about 61 pounds.

“It’s an organ that can repair itself under most circumstances,” Chirico said.

But there are circumstances where too much damage has been done. Excessive sun and smoking can lead to skin cancer, Chirico said.

Chirico gave pointers on how to recognize types of skin cancer. She said it was important to pay attention to the ABCs – asymmetry, borders, color and diameter.

If a spot on skin is in question, go to a doctor or dermatologist, Chirico said.

“It’s so simple to have it checked out. It only takes about five minutes,” Chirico said. “Ninety percent of the time they come back benign.”

As always, Chirico advised, prevention is key. That means sunscreen and being safe outdoors.

“Don’t be fooled by clouds,” Chirico said. “We’ve got to treat our skin gently.

Female Factor meets the second Wednesday of each month at The Studio in Troy. It is free to attend.