South Tampa Skincare Blog for November-
How to manage dry skin during the winter months and beyond…
Dry skin can be very uncomfortable and drive you mad. It feels tight, it peels, flakes and in some cases cracks(which if left unattended can lead to infection). So who wants itchy, tight, flaky, infected skin? No one, that’s who!
So, how do we prevent or repair dry skin? First we start by identifying the causes. First offender is usually a change in weather, i.e. from hot to cold. When there is less moisture in the air, the skin suffers. We usually also crank up the heat indoors, which compounds the problem and dries skin out even more. It’s a good idea to have a humidifier plugged in at home, and if possible, work. This will reintroduce moisture into your environment. It is also wise for sufferers of dry skin to limit their long, hot showers in the mornings or evenings. Even though a long, hot shower feels super awesome, it’s bad news for the skin because it strips the moisture barrier( the natural oil that protects the skin). What you do in the shower also matters, using harsh cleansers, scrubs and loofahs does nothing to help improve a dry skin condition. You must treat dry skin with a gentle hand and NO chemical ingredients. Use a mild, chemical free cleanser and use gentle massage strokes to apply your cleansers. Aggressively scrubbing the skin will further irritate and strip the skin, causing a viscous cycle. Make sure that you apply a hydrator as soon as you exit the shower(towel off lightly, keeping the skin somewhat moist) again, make sure whatever you are using is chemical and dye free.
Raw coconut oil makes an amazing dry skin moisturizer. It can also heal cracked skin and repair the lipid barrier. When I say coconut oil, I do not mean coconut scented oil! I mean raw coconut oil that one would use to cook with. It has virtually no scent and is very emollient and has been shown to repair and heal the skin. You may not want to use coconut oil as your permanent form of hydration, but if the situation is extreme, it can be very helpful.
In my opinion, the skin is the window to your over all health. Often times if we are plagued by a chronic condition, there is an internal reason. Dry skin can sometimes be caused by prolonged illness, medication use, improper diet or emotional upset. So it is important to take these factors into consideration when analyzing your dry and itchy skin. If you notice a change in your skin after starting any new regimen(internal or external) consult your health care provider, as there may be an aggravating factor involved.
What can you eat to improve dry skin?
Foods high in omega-3s like salmon, tuna, and trout. If fish isn’t your thing, look for flax-seed, avocado, and walnuts.
If skin is dehydrated and cracked, look to dishes containing zinc. Oysters, crab, legumes, spinach.
Foods rich in vitamin A are also helpful, such as butternut squash and pumpkins
Foods rich in Vitamin E- such as broccoli, seeds, nuts and leafy greens
H2O also known as water ;). Excellent not only for hydration but for removing any free floating toxins!
Receiving professional skincare treatments can also be very beneficial. Schedule your treatment soon and together we can attempt to figure out what is causing your condition and start a plan to resolve it!