Dry Skin: Includes cracking and splits
This is what you will feel or see:
-Rough, dry, cracked, red, sore, or bleeding skin
-Gray, ashy skin
-Chapped or cracked lips.
Who gets dry skin and why?
- Anyone and anytime at any age can have dry flaky skin. In fact, some people are more likely to have dry skin especially if you live in a very dry climate (desert) or indoors with seasonal heating. Fact, without humidification and the indoor temperature at 68 Degrees Fahrenheit your home can be as dry as the desert.
- - As we age and arrive in our 40 s, our skin tends to lose moisture.
- - If you live in a desert or in a home heated during the fall and winter months
- - Did you know that people who had eczema as a child will most likely have dry skin as an adult.
- - Your job is a big contributor to dry skin. If you wash your hands often,(nurses,food prep, etc) you probably already know that water and soaps rob your skin of its natural moisture. However, you cannot stop working. Try gloves that are powder free and not latex. Maybe a few less exposures to water, soap or other harsh skin irritants. For example, degreasers or paint solvents.
So, you cannot give up your job or turn back time. Here are some things that will help you regain normal skin.
Drink more water. You should know that medicines such as diuretics (water pills) and even topical products with retinoids can cause dry skin.
If you can, avoid drinking alcohol at least until your skin starts to regain it normal appearance.
First, do not bath with hot water. Hot water takes away the oils and moisture from your skin. Use warm water. Long showers or baths feel good, but long exposure to water also dehydrates your skin. Did you know that a 5 to 10 minute shower actually adds moisture to your skin. Avoid bathing more than once per day.
Second, use a mild soap to prevent removing oils from your skin. Preferably choose a fragrance free brand. Stay away from antibacterial, deodorant, and perfumed soaps. Watch out for products that contain alcohol. Stay away from products that contain steroids.
Third, here is a hint for getting more moisture into your skin. Apply a moisturizer (Tough and Quick) immediately after bathing while your skin is still moist. For severely dry, itchy or cracked skin you probably should use a moisturizer several times a day. Pick a moisturizer that does not contain petrolatum or the first ingredient on the label is an oil. Products that are water base and have multiple humectants and emollients. If moisturizer still leaves you with that itch feeling, apply a cool compress.
Use a cool air humidifier. This is important for your bedroom. Do not forget to keep the device clean! Bacteria, molds, and viruses can aggravate or cause respiratory issues. Keep It Clean. Change the pads and wash out the water reservoir.
When its is cold outside-- cover up. Wear a scarf, gloves in addition to hat and coat.
Okay, so you have tried diligently to relieve your dry, itchy skin without results. Perhaps you see a rash! Time to seek a visit with your physician. There is an outside chance that your skin problem is a symptom of an underlying medical issue.