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Dry Skin can be a Problem for People of all Ages
"My niece, Makayla, had a problem for a long time with dry, itchy skin. Every time she would bathe her skin would be very dry and she would itch all night long -even getting bumps (like a rash) on her legs, stomach, and her head. The poor girl would sometimes itch herself until she bled..."
-- Chris Friske, TellMeTheStory.com
Indeed, dry skin can be a problem for people of all ages for many different reasons. R.M. Barry wrote in his Wellness Guide that, "some people have dry skin due to hormonal or nutritional deficiencies, prescription medications or a deficiency of essential fatty acids in their diet. Dry skin can also be caused by aging, the sun, or environmental stress. Hands that work in caustic or cold environments or those that are washed frequently can develop excessively dry, cracked skin. Women who are going through Menopause are very prone to dry skin and chapped hands. The decreased production of natural oils reduces moisture in the skin…"
Oftentimes, problems with dry, itchy skin become more acute as the weather begins to change and get cooler. Not only does cold weather dry the skin but central air conditioning and heating in our homes and places of employment make retaining moisture more difficult. Sometimes dry skin can be attributed to application of wrong moisturizing lotions or even certain soaps and bathing can be a contributor to skin dryness as bathing too often actually removes the skin's natural oils.
As we move into the cooler months, it is important to identify the factors that produce dryness, itching and cracking in our skin. I have provided some healthy tips to assist us in retaining the moisture that our bodies need to prevent painful dryness and/or alleviate the irritation or pain that comes from dry skin.
What To Look For
- Itching, flaking, burning, or redness of the skin.
- Dry and/or ashy skin especially in areas such as the heel, palms and elbows.
- Potential contributors to dry skin such as soaps, deodorants, air conditioners, lotions and/or diet, etc.
- Try using lukewarm water instead of hot water when bathing or showering as hot water dries out the skin.
- Bathe or shower only once daily and limit your time to no more than 15 minutes.
- Find out what kind of moisturizing cream works for you: water-based creams are more cosmetically appealing but oil-based creams trap moisture more effectively.
- Avoid harsh cleansers, such as deodorant soaps, as they are very drying to the skin. If you prefer to use them, try limiting them to more odor-prone areas such as the armpits, genital area and feet.
- Do not scrub your skin excessively with loofahs or washcloths.
- Instead of rubbing your skin with a towel to dry off, pat or blot dry to keep some moisture on the skin.
- Apply a moisturizer to the skin right after showering or bathing so the moisturizer keeps the moisture from the shower.
- If your skin is extremely dry, try applying a moisturizing oil to the your still moist skin, then follow up with a moisturizing lotion.
- Follow up with moisturizers at bedtime.
- Look for lotions containing sun block or sunscreen for areas that get constant exposure to the sun and environment (face, ears, back of the neck, hands, feet, etc.).
- Avoid harsh, toxic laundry detergents when washing your clothes and avoid fabric softeners in the dryer.
- Avoid wearing irritating, scratchy fabrics (such as wool).
- If you have central heating or air conditioning, consider using a humidifier to keep moisture in the air.
- Drink lots and lots of water. This is an extremely important factor in retaining the moisture your body needs.
- Incorporate foods into your diet that contain essential fatty acids and vitamins (especially vitamins C, B-12 and E).
- Cut back on caffeine, alcohol and sugar which dehydrates your body and can contribute to dryness in your skin.
- If you work in an environment that contributes to dry hands (such as food handling or health care), use protective gloves to prevent excessive contact with water and other drying liquids or chemicals.
Should you like to learn more about R M Barry's Wellness Guide, please feel free to contact me. I am here to help you address your concerns in regards to Dry Skin Issues and Psoriasis problems and what my household is doing to combat this problem thru using safer, greener products.