Do you find it awkward to constantly scratch your skin when the business meeting is on? Do you spot many scrapes on your skin due to constant raking? Do you always find those ugly scales on your skin despite applying a handful of lotion? If your answer to abovementioned questions is ‘yes’ then most possibly you suffer from dry and itchy skin problem.
Somehow, if you find rashes on your body or notice something unusual on your skin like cuts and sores due to scratching then confirm with your doctor whether it is any disease or mere day to day dryness and itchiness. If it is general dryness accompanied with itchiness then taking some precautions and changing a bit of lifestyle can bring in lots of relief.
In order to chuck dry and itchy skin you need to understand its causes. Dry skin is caused by external factors like harsh and abrasive soaps, low humidity caused by weather or air conditioning or heating units and long exposure to water especially hot or highly chlorinated water. Your genes can also play a certain role in your predisposition towards dry skin.
Besides, certain medical conditions like hypothyroidism or diabetes can also aggravate dry skin. Menopause and aging can also worsen the situation. Life style factors like dehydration, sun exposure, stress and smoking also further aggravate dryness in skin. Once you identify the culprit, work towards rectifying the problem and regaining smooth and soft skin.
It is important to pay attention to dryness because excessive dryness can lead to skin problems like eczema or dermatitis. Dryness and itchiness can be prevented or reduced to minimum with a few small steps inculcated in day to day life.
Take Care Of Dry And Itchy Skin
Take Short Baths with Tepid Water
Hot water strips off whatever small amount of oils and natural moistures your dry skin contains and further dries it off. Always use lukewarm water for showers and washing hands. Keep your bath time short. By shortening the time of skin exposure to water you can significantly bring down the dryness.
Moisturize Moisturize Moisturize
Make it a rule to moisturize your skin as soon as you are through with your bath. Water evaporates from our skin fast and along with that natural oils and moisture also vanish quickly so in order to lock the moisture on your skin rub a good amount of lotion on your skin within 3 minutes of taking bath. Do not rub your skin with the towel because rubbing will also rob your skin off natural moistures.
Gently pat dry your skin and apply some moisturizers. Moisturizers are available in various forms like lotions, ointments and heavy duty creams. Though lotions are easy to apply but they don’t provide adequate protection to very dry skin. You need to apply them repeatedly for soothing your skin.
If you want one time protection from dryness and itchiness than opt for creams which stay on your skin for longer time and provide protection for longer hours. The same rule applies after washing your hands. Gently pat dry your hands after washing them and quickly apply good quality moisture on them throughout the day.
Dead skin cell turnover rate is higher on dry skin. Exfoliation ensures that accumulated dead cells are warded off and new fresh skin surfaces up. This helps in better absorption of oils and moistures. Exfoliate once a week for best results. You can use homemade scrubs. One homemade scrub which I have found particularly helpful for my dry and itchy skin is made by mixing full cream with sugar.
You can add a few drops of lime juice too. Take a tablespoon of cream and mix it with a table spoon of sugar. Use it immediately after mixing the ingredients otherwise sugar begins to dissolve in milk. Scrub gently on your skin and wash off with lukewarm water.
Massaging your skin with a variety of oils can be quite helpful in eliminating dryness and itchiness. You can take extra virgin coconut oil, mustard oil, sesame oil or olive oil for massage.
Even vegetable oils are also good for massages. Use warm oil for better absorption. Massage in circular motion over entire body and wait for 30 minutes. Wash off with plain water. Do not use soap after massage.
Use a Humidifier
If despite all your efforts the dryness and itchiness does not disappear then probably the culprit is low humidity level in your environment. It can be due to dry weather or due to constant use of AC or heaters at home and workplace. Use a humidifier in your room to balance out humidity levels and if that is not possible then keep a big bowl full of water in your room.
This will also act as a humidifier. Do not over look this tip. Humidifiers play an important role in your skin health because according to an estimate your skin needs more than 30 percent humidity in air for remaining moist whereas a room heated up with a furnace can have as low as 10 percent humidity.
Eat and Drink Well
No amount of lotions and creams can help you relieve of dryness and itchiness if it is due to inadequate nutrition. Pay attention on your food and water intake. Do you drink very little water? Does your diet comprise of mainly junk food or only one kind of food (like selective vegetables, grains, etc.)? If you like to drink more of aerated drinks or beverages than water than the chances are that your skin will never recover from dryness and itchiness.
Fuzzy drinks and beverages like tea, coffee, alcohol, etc. are diuretics and they tend to dehydrate our body. They make skin perennially dry. Likewise if your diet lacks essential fatty acids found in fish, seeds, nuts, etc. than your skin will be constantly dry. Try to eat a balanced diet and include variety of fruits, vegetables, dry fruits, nuts and seeds in your diet.
Good food shows on your skin faster than anything else. Drink at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day. During winters, sip up on warm water rather than gulping down dozens of cups of tea and coffee. Try to replace tea and coffee with herbal and green tea as they hydrate your body and are quite beneficial for overall health.
These tips can help you take care of your dryness and itchiness. Somehow if the dryness persists than consult your doctor to find out if dryness is due to medical conditions like hypothyroidism or diabetes Miletus and get it treated for banishing that dry and itchy feeling.