Dry Skin Issues
We all know that dry skin looks and feels quite uncomfortable…but why exactly does it occur? Dry skin is known medically as Xeroderma or Xerodermia. It is a very common skin disorder characterized by a lack of appropriate amount of water on the skin’s epidermis or surface and equally affects both male and females. However, older individuals are more prone to dry skin due to diminished amounts of natural skin oils and lubricants.
The scalp, knuckles, arms, hands, and particularly the sides of the abdomen and thighs tend to be more affected by dry skin. Dryness of the skin is affected by humidity, therefore the less the moisture in the air, the dryer skin can get. Dry skin may cause itching, cracking, peeling or scaling, which may both be uncomfortable and unsightly. Dry skin is also much more prone to aging. In serious dry skin conditions, an inherited disorder may result in disfiguring, which may cause psychological distress to the person.
Causes of Dry Skin
Something in the environment or something one may be doing to one’s skin may be stripping away fatty oils, leaving skin unprotected. Less often, the cause may be internal; where a health condition or genetic predisposition is making skin dry out.
Most common cause is frequent bathing (especially taking long, hot showers), or hand washing with the use of harsh soaps. Other causes may be itchy clothing, misusing moisturizer or a deficiency of vitamin A, vitamin D, systemic illness, and sunburn. Some medications and even medical conditions such as diabetes, psoriasis, hypothyroidism, and malnutrition may cause dry skin. Skin dryness can also be caused by detergents like harsh washing powder or washing liquid.
Remedies of Dry Skin
Most dry skin problems are external and careful skin care can cure the problem.
*Avoid prolonged exposure to water. Take short lukewarm showers instead of long hot baths which may be quite damaging, leaving skin feeling tight and dried out. Reduce the time that skin is pounded by water by angling the shower head away from the body while shaving or soaping up. Choose mild fragrance free soap or gentle soap free cleansers which are much nicer on the skin. Avoid excessive scrubbing after baths and instead pat skin dry with a towel.
*Apply moisturizers while skin is damp but use special moisturizers containing lactic acid (Amlactin, Lac-Hydrin), or urea (Urix or Carmol) that are very effective in hydrating the skin. For dry skin use appropriate moisturizers that are heavier, oil-based and contain ingredients such as antioxidants, grape seed oil and dimethicone. For very dry cracked skin use petroleum jelly which acts as a barrier to prevent water evaporation.
*Proper nutrition and food rich in fatty acids like Omega 3 produce natural, moisture-retaining oil barriers of the skin. Eat Omega-3-rich foods like flax, walnuts, safflower oil, and cold-water fish such as tuna, herring, halibut, salmon, sardines, and mackerel.
*Avoid wool clothing and instead use cotton and natural fiber clothing. Use indoor room humidifiers. Limit exposure to irritants such as solvents. Lastly for severe cases of dry skin consult your doctor to ensure proper treatment.
More remedies and tips:
- Drink 6 to 10 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated
- Before going to sleep at night drink a warm glass of milk mixed with 1 teaspoon of almond oil
- Rub honey over your body and leave on for a few minutes before taking a bath
- Soak in a tub full of milk and warm water
- After the bath, rub on sesame oil over your body
- Coconut, avocado and glycerin oil is good for dry skin as well
- Avocado paste is good nourishment for the skin
- Make a paste out of oatmeal, baking soda and vanilla extract and add to a tub of water to soak your body in
- Rub oatmeal all over your hands before you wash them
- Petroleum jelly or Vaseline is a good remedy for dry feet, hands and lips
- Humidify the air in the room
- Instead of soaking in hot water, choose warm water
- Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes or use a gentle detergent
- Mix 1 teaspoon of olive oil, orange juice, a few drops of lime juice and rose water to an egg yolk, apply to your face and leave it on for about 10 minutes
- Fish oil is rich in essential fatty acids and good for the skin
- The inside of a banana peel is good for rubbing on cracked heels
- A mashed ripe banana is good for face pack
- Quit smoking, get plenty of sleep, exercise and add spices like cumin and coriander to your diet
Hope these remedies and tips work for you!