How to Prevent and Treat Dry Skin

Dry skin can take many forms, can be caused by many things, and can be manifest in many levels of severity.  In addition to the discomfort, and cosmetic problems that may be brought on as a result of dry skin, your in tact, healthy skin is an important part of your immune system.  Broken and damaged skin can allow germs and bacteria in that healthy skin could keep out.  It is important to do all you can to keep your skin healthy, supple, and intact. This article cannot address all types of skin dryness and is not intended to take the place of medical treatment by qualified specialists.  If skin conditions worsen or if any of the suggestions mentioned herein aggravate existing conditions, seek medical treatment immediately.

How to Prevent Dry Skin

Cold Weather Readiness:

Lower temperatures often mean lower humidity levels.   Low humidity and wind can act on the oils in your skin that would normally keep your skin supple.   Take steps to keep your body’s moisture from being affected.

  1. LIP BALM:  One with Vitamin E, Aloe, and other moisturizers along with a solid SPF rating will help keep lips from getting chapped.
  2. MOISTURIZERS:  After bathing, while skin is still damp, apply effective lotions to help keep moisture close to the skin.
  3. APPROPRIATE CLOTHES:  Dress in layers and keep skin from being exposed to the elements.  Gloves, hats, and scarves in moderate weather, and ear and face coverings as the temperature continues to drop.

Warm Weather Readiness:

Along with sweating and high heat you may find yourself just as chapped in the summer as in winter.  Exposure to direct sunlight and extended periods in the water can draw the moisture from your skin so take steps to enjoy the heat while drying your skin.

  1. SUNSCREEN:  One with a high SPF and other moisturizers can prevent sunburns  and can keep moisture next to the skin.  Remember to cover your exposed feet, ears and nose.
  2. WATER:  Consume a lot of it, and do not spend too much time in it.  Chlorine and pools and saltwater at the beach can cause your skin to feel tight and itchy.
  3. FOOD and DRINK:  Summer often means extra free-time and extra free time often means soda and/or alcoholic beverages.  Caffeine and alcohol both act as diuretics that can cause you to expel much needed moisture.  Foods high in sodium can also prevent work against your body when attempting to assimilate moisture.
  4. APPROPRIATE CLOTHING:  Wear a hat that can provide shade to your face and neck.  Opt for shirts instead of tank-tops or other clothing that leaves skin exposed.

Readiness in your Diet:

  1. WATER: Your body is comprised largely of water.  Drink plenty of it to aid in keeping your body nourished and your skin’s cells hydrated.
  2. MINERALS:  An iron rich diet, along with plenty of vitamins A, C,  and E can help heal your irritated or broken skin Hydrated.
  3. HEALTHY FATS: Fish oils, either in meat or pill form, can provide fats acids in the form of omega-3 fatty acids.  Either form can provide, and help retain moisture in your skin.

How to Treat Dry Skin

So your skin is already dry, cracked, irritated, or all three.   Depending on the severity or your problem skin, you can likely treat yours by simple means.

On the Surface:

  1. LOTIONS and CREAMS:  These can be effective to treat dry skin, on the surface, in the short term.  There are countless varieties that make claims to heal and protect.  The problem is that most people apply them to already dry skin.  Lotions will have the most effect on your irritated skin when applied on skin that is still damp from showering or bathing.   Vitamin E and Vitamin A are components to look for and many of their derivatives can aid in cell production and collagen retention.
  2. WASHING and BATHING:  The water should be warm, but not exceedingly hot.  Try taking slightly cooler baths and showers if your skin is already irritated.  If your hands are dry and cracking you should try to refrain from unnecessary hand-washing.  If this is not possible or palatable you should  keep an therapeutic lotion nearby to apply afterwards
  3. CLOTHES:  If your skin is irritated or you find yourself itching frequently, you may want to experiment with new detergents, water softeners, or even different clothing materials.  Try each of these methods separately so that it is easier to determine which culprit was the problem and which method was the solution.
  4. HUMIDIFIERS:  The same type of humidifiers used to treat bronchial problems can be used to increase the humidity in your home.  If you can do this without damage to the structure or furnishings in your home, try to spend some part of your day with one of these in the vicinity.

On the Inside:

  1. ALLERGIES:  Many people suffer from food allergies that do not manifest themselves in ways that are obvious.  Try changing up your diet or contact a specialist to see if what you are putting on your inside is irritating your skin on the outside.
  2. SOY:  Applied to skin or worked into your diet you can help your irritated skin  and can slow the regrowth of hair in trouble spots to prevent irritated follicles and ingrown hairs.
  3. PRECIOUS METALS:  Coloidial silver, gold, and copper added to your diet can make skin more supple and flexible and allow trouble areas heal more quickly.

Practices that promote general good health and hygiene are often the same as those recommended for skin heath.   Use good sense in preventing and keep trying until you find things that work for your trouble skin.  REMEMBER:

  1. Balance your diet and drink plenty of water.
  2. When applying lotions do so while skin is damp.
  3. Dress for the weather and keep skin protected from the elements
  4. Avoid diuretics like caffeine and alcohol and high sodium foods.
  5. Consider the materials you wear and what you use to wash them.

If conditions worsen or do not improve consult a qualified medical specialist.

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