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Amazing facts about skin, hair, and nails for kids

Need help with school reports and other fun projects? Check out these quick facts about skin, hair, and nails!

Check out "About skin, hair, and nails" for lots of good background information on each of these important parts of your body and how you can take care of them. This information also might help you work on a school or scouting project. Here are some quick facts and numbers that you also might be able to use.

Acne (pimples and zits)

  • Acne is a very common skin problem, affecting about 40 million to 50 million Americans.

  • Nearly 85 percent of people have acne at some point in their lives.  It usually starts in puberty but can affect people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and even 50s.

  • Acne usually appears on the face, chest and back.

  • By the mid-teens, more than 40 percent of kids have acne or scars from acne that need to be treated by a dermatologist, a doctor who takes care of the skin.

  • In 2004, people spent $2.2 billion to treat acne.

Skin cancer

  • More than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year.

  • 1 out of 5 Americans will have skin cancer at some point in their life.

  • Melanoma is the most serious kind of skin cancer, and one in 58 people will get melanoma at some time during their life.

  • Melanoma is the most common kind of cancer for young adults who are 25-29 years old.  It is the second most common kind of cancer for teens and young adults who are 15-29 years old.

  • One American dies of melanoma almost every hour (every 62 minutes). In 2008, about 8,420 people died from melanoma.

Tanning beds

  • Even though they are bad for skin and can cause skin cancer, each day about 1 million Americans use tanning beds.

  • Almost 28 million people tan indoors in the U.S. every year; 2.3 million are teens.

  • Nearly 70 percent of tanning salon patrons are girls and women, primarily aged 16 to 29 years.

  • Indoor tanning before the age of 35 has been associated with a significant increase in the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

  • Studies also have found that indoor tanning can make skin look old, hurt the immune system (the part of the body that helps fight infections), and damage eyes.

Hair and nails

  • It's normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs a day but anyone who notices thinning hair should see a dermatologist.

  • Hairstyles that pull the hair, like ponytails and braids, can cause hair loss.

  • Fingernails grow 0.1 millimeters each day and toenails grow 1 millimeter a month. Fingernails grow faster than toenails, and nails grow faster during the summer than the winter.

Tattoos and piercings

  • When a group of 500 grown-ups ages 18-50 were asked about tattoos and piercings, 24 percent said they had tattoos and 48 percent had a piercing in the ears or another part of the body.

  • Almost one in five (17 percent) people with tattoos have thought about having them removed.

  • People with tattoos are six times more likely to have hepatitis C, a liver disease that kills 10,000 people a year.

  • Common problems with piercings include infections and allergies to metal.