According to research from Vaseline DermaCare, up to 47% of the UK population are dealing with dry to very dry skin patches all over their bodies. Ranging from a mild irritant to severe skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema, lacking moisture in the skin can have a detrimental impact on our mental and physical health. The skin is a protective barrier that keeps bacteria and contaminants outside of the body. If this becomes cracked or damaged in any way, this barrier becomes broken and it is less able to do its role.
Many dry skin ailments are exacerbated during Winter because of the excessive exposure to cold temperature and lower moisture levels in the air. However, other causes can occur all year round. In this article, we’ll take a look at the most common cause and how to treat them.
From bathing, washing up and other water-related activities, exposure to hot water can have a significant impact on the moisture levels in our skin. It heightens the skin’s level of sensitivity and strips it of the natural levels of sebum, healthy fats and oils. Temperatures over 40°C are said to be the most detrimental by Doctors. At this level, hot water dehydrates the skin and can be seen when our fingers become wrinkled in the bath – here it has literally stripped all the moisture away from the skin.
The best treatment here is prevention. Avoid water that exceeds 40°C and where this isn’t possible, try to avoid contact for extended periods. If you have to come into contact with hot water, make sure to use a rich and luxurious lotion afterwards to flush your skin with the necessary moisture it needs to continue offering protection. Something like the Malée Verdure Conditioning Body Cream is ideal. It uses 100% active natural ingredients recognised for their ability to infuse deep nourishment into the skin. Apply liberally and allow it to absorb to get the full benefits.
Excessive hand washing
Keeping our hands clean is key to preventing infection and bacteria spread. However, excessive hand washing can have a significant impact on the quality of our skin and cause dry skin patches to occur. This is largely due to the exposure to soaps and water which are used to remove contaminants from our hands. Antibacterial soaps and gels are designed to break down the lipid membrane of certain viruses and bacteria. While this is highly effective at protecting our health and that of others, it does no favours to our skin.
The same lipids that make up the outer shell of viruses mimic those found on our skin and those that offer the best level of protection. Using soaps and gels excessively over some time will cause dryness, itching and eventually cracking. This opens up your protective barrier and makes it easier for bacteria and viruses to penetrate below.
Hand washing is a vital part of our daily health care routine and, as such, it’s nearly unavoidable. But the best way to combat dry skin patches caused by excessive soap and water exposure is to invest in a high-quality moisturiser. This will replenish the skin and strengthen up the protective top layer. Infusing the skin with moisture, it helps to minimise the destructive impact of soaps.
Choose something like the Malée Nourishing Hand Cream which is non-greasy and formulated with natural ingredients for the best results. Just a pea-sized amount is enough to melt into the skin and reinfuse the moisture that you need to keep dry skin at bay.
Dry skin is commonly caused by a lack of moisture in this protective surface. But did you know that internal dehydration can also have a significant impact on the health of your skin? Lacking water in your general diet or exposure to external elements can all cause significant dehydration. Signs include dry patches, unusual pigmentation and, perhaps surprisingly, excessive oil. When your skin is dehydrated, it will produce more natural oils to compensate for this lack of water. Dehydrated skin can happen to anyone, not just those who have dry skin naturally.
The most effective way to treat dehydrated skin depends on the causes. If it’s exposure to cold weather and pollution, you need to opt for protective moisturisers and anti-pollution products. If the dry patches are caused by diet, introducing more water every single day will have a significant impact. Avoid drinking excessive caffeine or alcohol as these will dehydrate you more.
Neglecting your overall health won’t just result in bodily issues but can also impact your skin. It is largely made up of omega fatty acids and lipids. If these are lacking in your diet, the protective barrier that your skin creates will become damaged, causing dry patches. For example, Omega 3 helps to prevent dry skin. Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen while Vitamin D helps to control the growth and development of cells in the deeper layer of the skin. When Zinc levels are low, you may notice pigmentation or heightened sensitivity to UV rays. All of these, in deficit, can cause dry patches to form on the skin.
To treat poor nutrition skin-based problems, improve the variety of healthy foods in your diet. Choose rich, leafy greens and fruits alongside lean meats. An all-encompassing multivitamin will also ensure you have good levels of the most essential minerals, vitamins and fatty acids you need for ultimate health.
Alcohol is largely used in skin care products for many reasons. Versions such as ethanol, isopropyl alcohol and methanol are used to make creams feel lighter. They help products to penetrate the skin easier and can act as a preservative to make products last for longer. However, high concentrations of these alcohols can deteriorate the skin’s natural protective barrier. There is also evidence that excessive use will stimulate oil production. For many people, this leads to breakouts and other skin-related issues alongside dry skin patches too.
Instead of chemical-based products, choose something that makes use of natural ingredients. Options like the Verdure Conditioning Body Cream make use of coconut oil fatty acids, sweet almond oil and wheat germ oil to help combat signs of skin dryness and absorb easily without the need for excessive alcohol.
Dry skin patches are caused by several factors, both environmental and internal. Understanding the cause of yours will help you to determine the most appropriate means of treatment. For many, using a natural-based moisturiser or cream will help to combat the issues that you face while leaving skin healthier and glowing from top-to-bottom.
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