January 26, 2024
If you're dealing with dry skin, what you are essentially experiencing is a lack of adequate moisture which is what keeps your skin feeling smooth and supple. Your skin might not actually be dry all over, but can be dry in spots, commonly seen as patches of rough, flaky, or even scaly skin on your hands, feet, elbows, legs and around your mouth.
Dry skin can also sometimes be annoyingly itchy and in more extreme cases, itching can lead to painful cracking and bleeding. It's very important to take care of your skin to maintain its health, not only for comfort but to preserve its vital barrier function that protects you against bacteria, chemical agents and trauma to your body.
Dry skin can be caused by a variety of everyday factors such as using deodorant soaps or harsh cleaners. These can remove essential oils and fats from your skin. Taking lengthy hot showers and living in cold, dry climates can contribute to dryness as well. Some people are more prone to developing dry skin than others. Several factors can increase your risk, including:
Age - As you age, your skin produces less sebum, which is crucial for keeping skin moist and youthful. This reduction becomes more significant after the age of 40.
Nutritional Deficiencies: A lack of essential nutrients, such as vitamins D and A, niacin, zinc, or iron, can result in dry skin.
Smoking: The harmful chemicals in cigarettes accelerate skin aging, leading to increased dryness.
Occupation: Jobs that involve frequent hand washing or exposure to harsh chemicals can strip your skin of its protective layer. Professions like hairdressing, nursing, housekeeping, and construction are a few examples.
Health Conditions: Diabetes, thyroid disease, kidney disease, and undergoing dialysis can lead to excessively dry skin. Also cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation can result in extremely dry skin.
Skin Conditions: Certain skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, ichthyosis, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis can cause excessively dry skin.
Thankfully, dry skin can often be remedied by adopting some skin-friendly habits. Let’s look at what you can do to help relieve your dry skin.
Adjust Your Bathing Habits:
Keep the bathroom door closed during baths or showers and opt for warm water instead of hot. Limit your shower or bath time to 5-10 minutes and use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser. After bathing, gently pat your skin dry with a towel and apply moisturizer immediately after drying to lock in moisture.
Moisturizers work best when applied within a few minutes of bathing or washing your face or hands. Choose fragrance-free ointments or creams over lotions for better effectiveness and less irritation. Ingredients to look for include Jojoba oil, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Hyaluronic acid, Lactic acid, Lanolin, Mineral oil, Petrolatum, and Shea butter. Steer clear of products with Alcohol (except hand sanitizers), Alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA), Fragrances, and Retinoids.
Studies have shown that taking a high quality, small molecule collagen supplement like DeepMarine Collagen can improve skin hydration. DeepMarine stimulates your body to produce more collagen in the skin’s dermal layer. This provides a stronger foundation and support for your skin’s outer layer. This extra support makes the skin firmer, smoother and stronger and also improves its ability to retain moisture, resulting in not only reduces dryness but can also minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles which are accented when your skin is dry.
Use a lip balm that feels comfortable and soothing. If you experience stinging or tingling, switch to a different product.
Protect Your Hands:
Wear gloves outdoors in winter, during wet tasks, or when handling harsh substances.
If you find that your skin continues to be dry, itchy, inflamed, painful, has open sores, or if it's affecting your sleep or daily activities despite lifestyle changes and home treatments, it might be time to see your primary care provider or a dermatologist. These professionals can offer treatment options to help you manage your skin's condition more effectively. Remember, taking care of your skin is an important part of your overall health and well-being.
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