Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Why You Shouldn’t Take Dry Skin Lightly!

Showering woman.jpeg
Those with very dry skin may need to make a few changes in your normal cleansing routine to avoid future problems.

Depending on how severe your dry skin is, you might be able to miss moisturizing on occasion. The worst that can happen is the skin will feel tight and uncomfortable. However, if you have a problem with extremely dry skin or eczema on a regular basis, you can’t afford ever to neglect it.  The price you can pay far exceeds mere discomfort.  Instead, you could be risking skin infections because the normal barrier of oil protection against bacteria and viruses has been compromised.  

What you are doing is only making the skin itch. Of course, you will scratch because of the annoying itch, which can get intense.  For a fleeting moment, you might get some relief but only temporarily.  Besides possibly damaging the skin by digging into it, the tearing, even however slight, is enough to open the surface for viruses and bacteria to get in.

There are many causes of very dry skin or eczema such as heredity for one, but you can also be indirectly responsible. Taking too hot or long of a shower or bath is far from healthy for your skin, especially if you already are prone to dryness.  

Another thing that you may be doing wrong is using too heavily scented soaps, bath gels or body washes. Very strong fragrances in such products have a tendency to be harsh and quite drying for the skin.  

Though you want to stay clean and fresh, you might want to switch from using deodorant soaps, especially if they’re labeled antibacterial.  If you’re unsure, look for ingredients like triclosan or triclocarbon that are commonly found in deodorants.  Their purpose is to inhibit bacteria from growing on your skin.  Yet, there have been studies that have proven that such antibacterial soaps do not work any better than regular soaps in controlling bacteria.  In one study, only after nine hours of initially cleansing was the bacteria fighting action associated with triclosan more effective than regular soap.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, long-term usage of such antibacterial soaps can lead to bacterial resistance to antibiotics and also may have hormonal effects.  Therefore, you are safest sticking to a regular soap for your dry skin as well as overall health.  

Something else you may want to change is the time when you moisturize after stepping out of that shower or tub.  Within minutes after emerging, the moist skin is receptive to help the product best trap in the water so this is the best time to do it.

Look for moisturizing lotions that have humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin to attract water from the top layer of the skin, the dermis, to the deeper epidermis below.  Lipids, such as ceramides to nourish and support the structure of the skin to keep it soft and supple are also important ingredients to scan for when shopping for lotions.  Also, search the label for emollients like shea butter or propylene glycol to lubricate. 

You may be tempted to resort to occlusive moisturizers (heavier formulations with ingredients such as beeswax, mineral oils or petrolatum) since they help prevent moisture loss by sealing in hydration. Nonetheless, they are thicker and might leave you feeling greasy so do keep that in mind when making your selection for this problem.  

All I’m saying is that you should take very dry skin seriously and take care of it now before it has a chance to become a problem.  After all, you don’t want to pay for that neglect later with needless suffering.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Thanks for all the great tips. I have very dry skin and I need to remember to moisturize more often, especially my hands. I often forget to put on lotion, until it's too late and my skin is cracked.