Winter weather can be unpleasant for a number of reasons. Below freezing temperatures, icy conditions and don’t even get me started on the snow! Chronic exposure to the cold and dry weather can lead us to develop dry, itchy, flaky,and even scaly skin. Although dry skin is very common in the winter, it’s not the only time Americans suffer from this condition. Dry skin also known as Xerosis can occur at any age and time, and is a direct result of the skin losing too much water or oil. Common factors that lead to this condition include weather, occupation, sun exposure as well as other skin conditions. If you are concerned about the health of your skin consult with your health care provider. For tips, supplements and other products that may help your dry skin,read the information below.
Diet & Lifestyle Tips
- Make sure to wear gloves, hats and scarves to cover thinner areas of skin.
- Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize. Apply a moisturizer after a bath or shower to lock in moisture on the skin. You may also want to apply moisturizer to dry areasseveral times a day.
- Home heating& air conditioning systems tend to pump out dry air, which may lead to a decrease of moisture in the air. Try a humidifier, which will help to create more moisture in the air and may prevent your skin from drying out.
- Avoid Extremely Hot Showers or Baths. Hot water tends to remove the oils naturally found in our skin quicker than lukewarm water.
- Use Gentle Soaps vs. Harsh Soaps. Harsher soaps will remove the oil from the surface of the skin and dry it out.
- Drink More Water. Since temperatures are colder and our bodies don’t sweat as much, water intake is usually lower than in the summer months. Hydrating is also important for overall health.
- Dietary Factors to Consider.Avoiding refined sugar, white flour, food additives, processed foods and allergenic foods have shown to improve dry skin conditions.
- Essential Fatty Acids. Dry skin may be a sign of an essential fatty acid deficiency. Essential fatty acids such as Omega-3’s and Omega 6’s found in fish oil, krill oil, flaxseed oil, borage oil and other sources play an important role in normal skin function and appearance. It is believed that they may help to normalize your skin fats and help prevent dehydration in the cells while also having anti-inflammatory properties.
- Vitamin A.Vitamin A deficiency can cause rough, dry skin. This usually manifests as small, rough, raised bumps on the back of the arms. Increasing dietary forms of vitamin A, such as cod liver oil may help to improve skin dryness.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties as well as its role in collagen formation make it an important nutrient for skin health. Higher levels of vitamin C in the body have been associated with a decreased risk of skin dryness.
- Vitamin E.Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin necessary for healthy skin. Deficiency in vitamin E may result in dry skin and some research supports that vitamin E is important for maintaining the skin barrier necessary for keeping moisture in. Vitamin E applied topically may work as a moisturizer to help keep your skin feeling smooth and soft.
- Organic honeymay be a great remedy for dry skin such as cracked elbows as well as cracked lips. Just rub organic honeyon the affected area at night and enjoy the benefits.
- Coconut oil may help exfoliate the skin removing the dry, flaky and scaly spots. When applied topically, coconut oil may also work as a moisturizer for your skin.