Dry skin can be a bothersome condition that may be exacerbated, especially during the dry winter months. There are some underlying skin conditions that will allow dry skin to seem like a constant malady. These conditions include eczema, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. But besides the drying effects of weather and other associated medical conditions, you might be inadvertently inducing dryness of the skin.
Some of the common triggers of dry skin include:
- taking very hot, long baths which will remove natural moisture from the skin
- using certain types of soaps
- some medications like antihistamines and diuretics
- using astringents or other products containing salicylic acid Benzoyl Peroxide and Resorcinol
- uncomfortable, itchy clothing
- environmental factors such as pollution, exposure to the sun for long durations, less humidity
There are things that you may do to prevent and treat excessive dryness of the skin at home. However, if these simple methods do not work it is best to visit a dermatologist who may be able to identify the true cause of your dry skin and give the appropriate treatment. If you have an underlying medical condition that is triggering your dry skin then it is imperative to consult your doctor who will be able to treat the actual disease / condition.
Simple Remedies to Soothe Dry Skin
Let us look at some possible home remedies that can help to soothe dry skin.
- oiling your thirsty skin: You may use certain types of natural oils such as olive oil, almond oil, castor oil and avocado oil to moisturize your skin. These oils may be massaged on the skin overnight to increase the moisturizing effect. Skin is more receptive to moisture when you are sleeping and so, applying these oils directly before bedtime is highly recommended. However, be careful not to put the oil on skin that is acne prone, for example on the face, neck, back and shoulders. These oils may clog the pores and cause more breakouts. If you are experiencing dryness of the skin associated with using topical acne treatments, it is best to buy a noncomedogenic moisturizer.
- what you eat matters: Ensure you eat a healthy diet that includes the vitamins A, B, C and E. These vitamins appear to have beneficial effects on the skin. Though some moisturizers may claim to have these added ingredients, the antioxidant effect is far greater when taken orally. It will not only improve your skin condition but it will also improve your overall health.
Dietary sources of these vitamins include:
- vitamin A: carrots, liver, egg and broccoli
- vitamin B: meat, potatoes and banana
- vitamin C: oranges and tomatoes
- vitamin E: egg, milk, avocado and wheat germ
If you are unable to fulfil your daily vitamin requirements through diet alone, consider taking supplements. It is best to consult a professional medical practitioner who can advice you best regarding which supplement to use and its intake.
- choose soaps with care: Avoid using soaps with harsh detergents. Use soaps that are mild or that specifically state that they are suitable for sensitive skin.
- avoiding long, hot baths: Avoid bathing in very hot baths for prolonged periods. As mentioned earlier, this will cause excessive dryness of the skin.
- moisturize your skin daily: Use a regular or sensitive skin lotion twice every day to add moisture to your dry skin.
- bathe less frequently: Bathe less frequently, if you find that your skin is overly dry. Bathe no more than twice daily as each bath will remove some of your body’s natural oils.
- fluid intake: Drink a lot of water as this should help improve skin’s natural moisture levels. Ensure that you drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day.
- using sunscreen: Remember to apply a quality sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15 before you step out into the sun.
- reduce intake of caffeine and alcohol: The consumption of alcohol and caffeine should be reduced as these have a tendency to dry skin.
- ripe banana: Take a ripe banana and mash it well. Apply the same on your face and neck and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Wash your face and neck using lukewarm water.
- apricots: Take some apricots and mash them well. In warm olive oil, mix the mashed apricots. Apply the fine paste on your face and neck and then leave it on for about 10-15 minutes. Wash your face and neck with lukewarm water.
- applying Aloe Vera: Apply the pulp of Aloe Vera on your dry skin. This is an excellent, natural moisturizer and it can help to restore the suppleness and smoothness of your skin. After applying the pulp, leave it one for a few minutes and then wash it off with warm water.