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Dry skin can be a real pain – quite literally. It can be itchy, flaky, and just plain uncomfortable. And if you’re someone who suffers from dry skin, you know that it’s not just a cosmetic issue. Dry skin can also be a sign of a more serious underlying skin or health condition.
There are a number of symptoms of dry skin, which are all very uncomfortable such as redness and irritation, itching, peeling, skin cracking, heel cracking, fine lines and wrinkles.
Don’t worry, there are things you can do to help soothe and protect your dry skin. Let’s look at some of the factors that cause dry skin, and how you can alleviate and treat it.
ClimateBack to top
The sun, wind and winter months all play a part in drying of the skin.
It is common to suffer from dry skin during the winter months, when there is less moisture in the air causing skin dryness, redness and discomfort. Winter can take its toll on your skin, sapping it from precious moisture to remain soft and supple due to heaters or air conditioners sucking moisture from the air – and thus your skin.
In summer, we tend to head out in the sun, which dehydrates our skin and we switch on our cooling systems which further draws moisture out of the air.
If you are living in a dry area, or your house or workplace constantly has the heating or cooling on, it is a good idea to invest in a humidifier – which dispurses micro-particles of water into the air and in turn brings back moisture into your immediate environment and thus your skin.
POLLUTION, STRESS AND FATIGUEBack to top
Atmospheric pollution causes oxidative stress on the skin, compromising the natural skin barrier, which in turn dulls and dehydrates skin.
HARSH COSMETICS AND AGGRESSIVE HYGIENEBack to top
The overuse of soaps and long, hot baths take a toll on the moisture content of your skin. Try to use gentle products free from harsh chemicals as much as possible, and add an extra layer of moisture protection by pouring a gentle body or bathing oil to your bath water.
Be careful of products containing harsh chemicals, fragrances and sulfates. It’s best to go as natural as possible.
The golden rule: be gentle with your skin. Tugging, rubbing and shaving with blunt razors all add extra sensitivity to dry areas. Avoid very hot bathing or shower sessions, and it’s okay to wash your precious body just once a day-especially if your skin is dry.
AGEBack to top
As we age, the oil glands in our skins decline, which worsens dry skin conditions. 85% Of older people develop “winter itch” because of dry indoor air. Along with fluctuating hormones, menopause and an overall decline of effectiveness of our internal organs, many often do not realize that their dry skin is related to some underlying health issues. For example, dry skin is a symptom of thyroid problems.
If you have tried everything and still suffer from dehydrated skin, talk to your healthcare provider to make sure there is not an underlying health issue, which may usually easily be treated.
TREATING DRY SKINBack to top
First, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water every day. This will help to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. Second, use a gentle cleanser on your skin, and be sure to moisturize afterwards. Third, try using a humidifier in your home or workplace to add some extra moisture to the air. And finally, make sure you’re using a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Using effective skin care products and following an effective routine can help manage dry skin and make it a thing of the past.
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