NIAMS National Multicultural Outreach Initiative

Health Observances

November

November Is National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

What does my heritage have to do with my health?

Being an American Indian or an Alaska Native means enjoying a deep sense of identity, connection, and pride shaped by traditions and cultural heritage. But it also means that you may have an increased risk for health conditions like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, or scleroderma. Take some time and learn what you can do to manage these and other conditions.

How can I take steps to stay healthy?

The Indian Health Service (IHS) and other groups provide quality health care that helps American Indians and Alaska Natives take care of themselves and helps to strengthen future generations. It’s important to see a health care provider at least once a year and to reach out to family members for support.

Can I receive services if I live in the city?

Yes. In addition to its work on reservations, IHS funds 34 urban Indian health organizations that administer medical services, dental services, and community services for American Indians and Alaska Natives who live in cities.

How can I find out more?

For more information on managing and improving your health, click or download these easy-to-read publications from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS):

You can also order these and other topics for free by visiting https://catalog.niams.nih.gov/ or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many publications are also available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

Find additional information about Native American Heritage Month (Library of Congress).

November Is National Healthy Skin Month

What should I know about keeping my skin healthy?

Your skin is the largest organ of your body and plays an important role in protecting it. Your skin holds body fluids in, prevents dehydration, and keeps harmful germs out. It’s important to keep your skin healthy because it can prevent you from getting sick or damaging your bones, muscles, and internal organs.

How can I keep my skin healthy?

  • Washing your skin, especially your hands, is an important part of keeping it healthy. Washing regularly keeps you from spreading germs to other parts of your body and to other people.
  • You can enjoy being in the sun, but be sure to protect your skin. Whenever you’re outdoors, use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or 45. Apply it evenly and don’t forget to reapply for those longer days.
  • Be physically active; it’s actually good for your skin! Physical activity increases the flow of blood to the surface of your skin and brings oxygen and nutrients to your whole body.
  • Eat a balanced diet and get some sleep.

Where can I find out more?

For more information on keeping your skin healthy, click or download these easy-to-read publications from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS):

You can also order these and other topics for free by visiting https://catalog.niams.nih.gov/ or calling toll free at 877–226–4267 (TTY: 301–565–2966). Many of these publications are also available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.