Dry skin is a common condition, which occurs when the skin loses moisture or cannot retain it. Dry skin can be a symptom indicating a need for more serious diagnosis. However, normally dry skin is caused by environmental factors that rob moisture from the skin. Heated air indoors during winter, hot showers, arid climates and using harsh soaps are some of the causes that lead to dry skin.
According to The University of Maryland Medical Center, dry skin occurs mostly on the lower legs, sides of the abdomen and thighs, although this condition may appear anywhere on the body. Extremely dry skin can cause scaling, cracking, flaking and irritation. But, there’s a lot you can do to resolve dry skin problem and restore moisture using natural home remedies. Here are dermatologists- recommended top natural tips and effective remedies for relieving dry skin quickly and preventing its return.
How To Treat Extremely Dry Skin – Natural Home Remedies?
Prevent Baths And Showers From Drying Out Your Skin
If you tend to have dry skin, make sure to:
(i) Limit your time in the shower or bath up to 5 minutes.
(ii) Use water that’s warm, not hot.
(iii) Apply fragrance-free, gentle cleanser than traditional soaps.
(iv) Use cleanser just enough to remove dirt. Don’t use too much so as to get a thick lather.
(v) After bath or shower, pat gently with a towel to dry your skin.
(vi) Apply moisturizer immediately after drying the skin.
Apply Moisturizer Immediately After Washing
Applying moisturizer (ointments, creams, and lotions) to dry skin creates a seal that prevents moisture escaping from your skin. Best way is to apply the moisturizer immediately after blotting your skin dry after shower, bath or washing your face or hands. This is the best technique to trap maximum moisture, which your dry skin needs.
Use An Oil Or Ointment Or Cream Rather Than A Lotion
For Extremely Dry Skin: Natural oils such as jojoba and almond help maintain acute dry skin hydrated. Alternatively, you can use an oil-based moisturizer like baby oil for extremely dry skin because it lasts longer than other types of moisturizers. Trick is to apply oil to your skin immediately after bathing. Pat your skin dry with a towel, but let some moisture remain on the surface. Slather oil generously, trapping moisture in and preventing your skin from drying out too quickly.
Instead of lotions apply ointments and creams because they work more effectively and are less irritating. Choose a cream or ointment that contains an oil, like olive oil or jojoba oil. Shea butter too is a good option.
Apply Only Gentle, Unscented Skin Care Products
If you are suffering from dry skin or if your skin is prone to dryness, stop using the skin care products that are too harsh for skin. Staying away from these products will help your skin preserve its natural oils. Such products include:
(i) Deodorant soaps
(ii) Products that contain alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA)
Most often our hands come into direct contact with environmental irritants, so they are usually the first place where dry skin erupts. Such irritants can be in the form of dish soap and laundry detergent. Our hands also enormously exposed when temperature drops and we are working outside in the cold.
You can reduce dry, irritated skin on hands by wearing gloves. Make sure to put gloves on while doing household chores or going outdoors in winter.
Choose Non-Irritating Clothes
When our skin is dry, clothes made of wool or any other rough material can aggravate dry skin conditions. To prevent this, you should wear cotton under the woolen or rough material made clothing.
Stay Away From A Direct Heat Source
To keep you warm don’t get tempted to sit in front of an open flame or other heat source because it’s a sure shot way to aggravate your dry skin woes.
Use A Humidifier To Add Moisture To The Air
Keep a humidifier in your home, if your home heating system doesn’t have a humidifier or when it’s not working.
Aloe Vera Gel
According to “Skin Pharmacology and Physiology”, Aloe vera gel contains calming, anti-inflammatory, healing and moisturizing properties. This means it can reduce redness; swelling and discomfort when applied topically on extremely dry skin.
Tip: Apply a thin layer of 100 percent pure aloe vera gel to dry skin areas. If it gets absorbed in to the skin, you don’t need to rinse. If the gel remains on your skin even after 30 minutes and if you like, rinse with water. Repeat the process 2-3 times a day. Alternatively replace your regular moisturizer with aloe gel.
With its humectants, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, honey is an excellent moisturizer for dry skin. It keeps the skin supple and baby-like soft.
Tip: Apply pure organic honey directly on to extremely dry skin. Using your fingertips gently tap the area lightly for about 2 minutes. This increases circulation and thereby ensures deeper moisturizing action. Rinse with water, and follow with applying your favorite moisturizer. Do the honey treatment at least once a day to help calm down dry skin irritation.
Our skin is the first line of protection against bacteria and viruses. When it’s dry and suffering from itching, it’s prone to infection. So it’s important to preserve well-hydrated healthy skin. We recommend that you include a good moisturizer into your daily routine, irrespective of whether your skin is bothering you or not. Actually applying a healthy skin barrier everyday is one of the best preventions to save you from dry skin. Also use a moisturizing sunscreen daily to avert skin damage and dryness.
Note: Even oily skin needs a moisturizer.
When you’re exposed to high temperatures or suffering from skin-irritating conditions, make sure to wear loose fitting, cotton clothing as that helps in keeping sweat away from the skin.
When To See A Dermatologist?
If you use the above remedies, your skin should start to feel better quickly. If the above tips do not provide you relief, you may like to see a dermatologist. Extremely dry skin may need a prescription ointment or cream. Dry skin also can be an indication of a more serious condition. A dermatologist can examine your skin and explain what can help reduce your discomfort.