Monday, May 19, 2008


Dry Skin Remedies
How can you tell if it’s just a mild case of dry skin? If your skin is dry to the touch and you don’t have a rash, lesions or other bumps on your skin, you might have an acute (temporary) case of dry skin. Lucky for you, this probably means you're just dehydrated or neglecting the body lotion, both of which can easily be remedied by drinking more water and applying topical moisturizers.

However, there are many factors that can contribute to dry skin: certain weather conditions, cosmetics, perfumes, showering too much, and even friction from tight clothing. Even age can be a factor; over the years, sebaceous glands in the skin produce less and less sebum, the oil that naturally moisturizes our skin, causing dry skin.

If you determine that you have a simple case of dry skin, try these seven helpful dry skin remedies:

1. Wear sunscreen whenever you're outside, especially when it's sunny out. Be sure to hydrate both internally and externally by drinking plenty of water and applying a moisturizer.

2. Avoid perfumed body lotions, cosmetics, bath bubbles, and shower gels.
3. Use a humidifier in extremely dry weather conditions such as on your next ski vacation.

4. Wear loose-fitting cotton clothing instead of tight, non-breathable fabrics.

5. Take a daily multivitamin! Vitamins A and E, zinc and essential fatty acids all help to ease dry skin and reduce inflammation, from the inside out.

6. Don’t shower more than once a day and do not use hot water, which irritates dry skin.

7. Apply moisturizing lotions after showering or bathing to restore moisture.

Is It Eczema?

How can you tell if it’s not just a mild case of dry skin, but something more sinister? When dry, itchy skin is accompanied by scaly, red, irritated bumps, lesions or blisters, you can be sure it’s more than just a simple case of dry skin.

Millions of adults suffer from eczema, which most commonly appears on the face, hands, scalp, and wrists, as well as behind the elbows and knees (although it can appear anywhere on the body).

Eczema runs in families and is thought to be triggered by allergens such as a certain foods, pollen or animal dander. People who suffer from eczema produce a higher than normal amount of histamines, which are released during the allergic response. This excess of histamine produces exaggerated allergic skin reactions, resulting in the uncomfortable skin lesions known to eczema.

For some helpful hints on clearing up eczema in as few as 3-4 days, try these seven eczema treatments:

1. Follow all the tips.

2. Don’t scratch! Scratching only aggravates already irritated skin.

3. Be mindful of anything that touches your skin on a regular basis, such as chrome and nickel jewelry, perfumed cosmetics and lotions, clothing dyes, laundry detergents, and tight clothes – these can all trigger contact dermatitis (inflammation of the skin).

4. Stay out of the sun, which can aggravate eczema symptoms.

5. Watch out for foods that can trigger allergic responses, which can aggravate eczema symptoms. Common food allergens include: eggs, chocolate, milk, nuts, shellfish, strawberries, and wheat.

6. Eat fresh! Fruits and veggies provide antioxidants and flavonoids that inhibit the allergic response.

7. Call your doctor if these eczema treatments don’t help, or if the sores become infected and start to ooze or form a crust, which indicates a bacterial infection.

Is It Psoriasis?
Eczema isn't the only skin problem plaguing adults. Millions suffer from psoriasis, a more serious form of dry skin that produces red, flaky, itchy, scale-like raised patches. Psoriasis also shows up on the fingernails and toenails, as yellowed, pitted and loose nails.

Although the majority of psoriasis-sufferers don’t experience extreme pain with psoriasis, in severe cases the pain can be so unbearable that daily activities are interrupted. The dry, itchy skin and sores from psoriasis are most commonly found on the elbows, knees, lower back, buttocks, and scalp, and are very unsightly, usually covering quite a large area.

In about 5% of cases, joint pain and swelling similar to the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis accompany the painful rash.

Psoriasis is the result of abnormally fast cell replication, which causes immature skin cells to pile up on the surface and become irritated. Like eczema, psoriasis is also common along family lines, leading experts to believe the problem may have a genetic link.

Although psoriasis cannot be prevented or cured, there are a few things you can do to suppress outbreaks:

1. Follow all theese tips. And don’t scratch!

2. Unlike the advice given for eczema treatments, sunlight exposure is good for psoriasis sufferers. Fifteen to 30 minutes of sun exposure every day suppresses psoriasis symptoms. You should apply sunscreen to the unaffected areas of your skin, but never to the sores. However, too much of a good thing is not recommended: A sunburn will irritate the condition.

3. Eat fatty fish, such as herring, mackerel, tuna, salmon, and sardines, all of which supply Omega-3 fatty acids to help nourish the skin and reduce inflammation.

4. Moisturize often to reduce cracking and itching. Try aloe vera gels for their cooling effect.

5. Avoid alcohol if you notice that it triggers outbreaks.

6. Don’t smoke! Studies show that smokers are two times more likely to suffer from psoriasis, especially women.

Call the doctor if these psoriasis treatments don’t help or if the sores spread. Call immediately if you start to experience fatigue, fever or joint pain in addition to the sores.



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