Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Caring For Dry Skin

Dry skin is usually a result of the skin not retaining adequate levels of needed moisture. The main reason why this happens is often a result of damage to the natural barrier of the skin. Such damage can be caused by strong soaps, certain medical disorders, skin irritants and even having too frequent baths.

Environmental factors such as dry, cold weather also do cause dry skin because of the prevailing low humidity in the air.

Notable features of dry skin include visible presence of rough, itchy, scaly, chapped skin which can feel uncomfortable.

Most cases of dry skin, however, are not very serious medical conditions and can be relieved with appropriate care for the skin. Simple, effective ways to care for and relieve dry skin includes;

Bath In Moderation

Excessive and aggressive washing of the skin is bad for dry skin. A single 5 - 10 minutes once daily bath is preferrable. Bathing more than once a day will lead to stripping off the surface oils present on the skin which in turn would increase moisture loss and worsen dry skin.

Bathing with hot water is also bad for dry skin. To care for dry skin, wash the skin with little scrubbing action. Bath dry skin with tepid water instead of hot water.

It is good practise to pat the skin dry with clean towel. Do not rub the towel all over the skin.

Be Wary Of  Soaps

Frequent use of strong, harsh soap is a major cause of dry skin. Where possible, minimize use of soaps and use soap-free body cleansers.  Avoid detergents too. Perfumed or scented soaps are also not good for dry skin too.

Moisturize The Skin

Moisturising the skin regularly is a sure way to controlling and resolving dry skin. Moisturizers come in the form of oils, ointments, creams and lotions. Moisturizers work to improve skin hydration and reduce water loss from the surface of the skin. As a plus, moisturizers also control itching caused by dry skin.

Apply moisturizers to skin just immediately after bathing or washing (when the skin still has some water on it) so that they can lock in the moisture already present on the skin and slow down moisture loss. Apply moisturizer generously.

When choosing a moisturizer its best to use moisturizers that contain ceramides and lipids which not only locks in moisture but also reinforce the natural skin barrier, making it increasingly difficult for moisture loss from skin surface.

Avoid Hard Water

The type of water used in bathing is an important factor in the occurrence of dry, itchy skin. Water can be hard or soft depending on the presence or absence of undissolved minerals in the water.

Hard water is water that contains a significant proportion of undissolved minerals such as calcium, zinc, manganese, lead and magnesium. These metals, when they come in contact with the skin, they react with skin oils to leave a film a on the surface of the skin which plugs the pores, cause skin dryness and prevents applied skin moisturizers from working well.

Hard water is a common problem as it is almost present in a lot of water sources. To resolve dry skin problems  as a result of hard water, water softners are used to soften hard water.

Your New Cloth & Fabrics Might Be A Problem

Keep an eye on your clothes and fabrics. Certain fabrics are notorious for causing skin itching and drying e.g wool.

With new cloths, a rule of thumb to follow is to wash before wear. Dyes and add on fabric finishing can cause irritation to the skin of sensitive people.

People with persistent dry skin should avoid applying starch to cloths as starch would increase friction to skin.

Wear clothing made out of fabrics that allow good aeration e.g cotton.

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