Dermatologists all over the country are dealing with complaints of dry and itching skin now that winter is here. The decreased humidity, temperature extremes, and tendency to become dehydrated in the winter all play a role in this.
Dry skin is a frustrating condition and as you know winter weather makes it even worse. If you have a moisturizer that does not burn, then you should stick with that.
Here are a few more dry skin tips for winter:
Take warm showers, not hot. When possible, rinse in cooler water. This helps your skin to not over-respond to the hot water by becoming more dry and red.
After showering, washing your face or hands, be sure to dry your skin completely with a dry towel. I'm not sure why this is, but we tend to only partially dry our hands during the winter, and this will contribute to the development of really dry skin that is prone to cracking and breaking.
Some people use a sugar scrub that is oil-based, which seems to help hold moisture better than their usual lotions.
Use a humidifier in your room. Winter air is dry and your skin suffers from this. Raising the humidity in your home will help your overall symptoms.
Obviously, you want to stay well hydrated, so drink plenty of water and water containing beverages, eat fruit and vegetables. Stay away from caffeine and alcohol because they dehydrate you.
Hopefully some of these tips will help you to get through the winter without too much discomfort.
The skin on our face suffers as much, if not more than the rest of our body. It is constantly exposed to the elements, and is especially susceptible to improper care. Here are some of the most common mistakes women make when caring for their facial skin:
Overcleansing. I'm not sure if this tendency starts in our teens, when acne seems to be most prevalent, but in a misguided attempt to avoid those blemishes, many people turn to harsher and harsher cleansers. Stop doing this. Most of the time, it is best to use the mildest cleanser that will do the job. Using a soft washcloth with a mild cleanser is usually adequate to remove all traces of dirt and/or makeup from your face. Try to avoid using products that have alcohol listed in the ingredients. This works to dry the skin, almost too much.
Exfoliating. While removing dead skin cells will certainly give your face a beautiful glow, it is pretty easy to be too aggressive when it comes to exfoliation. Most women should only consider exfoliating once a week unless they have a condition that causes them to shed skin cells more rapidly than normal. Overdoing the exfoliation will leave your skin inflamed and more rough than you want.
Going to bed with makeup on. This is the biggest no-no for women, and yet I hear it all the time, "I was so tired, I figured it didn't matter." I have heard that going to bed with makeup on can lead to premature aging of your skin. While I don't have any scientific data to back this up, not cleaning your face before bedtime can lead to a buildup of makeup in your skin cells, leading to clogged pores, blemishes, and dull and dry skin.
Overmoisturizing. Your skin tells on you. If you're dehydrated, our facial skin will be one of the first places you'll notice it, especially your lips. It certainly makes sense to try to moisturize to counteract this problem, but you are actually much better off trying to appropriately rehydrate, eat a balanced diet with healthy fats, and keep the humidity level in your home at a comfortable level. This is especially important in the wintertime.
No, you still should not pick at your face. All this does is make your skin inflamed and more prone to infection.
Try simplifying your facial routine and see if your skin doesn't thank you for it.
Have you taken your son to see his pediatrician? It is possible it could be a contact dermatitis, or an allergy, but it could also be a possible yeast infection. The only way to know is to see your child's doctor.
With the current economic conditions, I've heard from a number of you, and some of you have had some fairly serious concerns, and yet you do not seek medical attention due to lack of insurance.
While insurance is a very helpful benefit, it should never, ever keep you from seeking appropriate medical care when you are truly suffering. Call your doctor and ask what a brief office visit would cost for an established patient. You may be pleasantly surprised.
As one reader pointed out, going to urgent care cost her $100, but it addressed her problem and she was on the road to recovery very quickly.
Rather than waiting things out, suffering, possibly even putting your future health at risk, consider paying for one visit out of pocket so that you can have a medical evaluation.
This will do two things:
It will put your mind at ease.
It will put on the road to health much more quickly.
There are also low-cost medical clinics that are popping up to help manage the vast number of people who are currently without medical insurance. By looking in some unexpected places, you may be able to take care of your medical needs without insurance and without breaking the bank.
The use of borage oil is a little-known secret that helps to keep your skin healthy. This can be smoothed on top of your skin or taken internally. It is considered to be one of the best skin hydrators in nature.
Borage is a wildflower, also known as a starflower. Fortunately, you don't have to scavenge for this as borage oil is sold in most health food stores. It is the richest known source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) an essential fatty acid that works to maintain your skin's moisture content. This is especially important as we age.
Many skin conditions can be improved by the ability of this oil to minimize inflammation and improve your skin's ability to retain moisture.
No. Dry skin does not cause wrinkles. However, dry skin can make your wrinkles much more obvious, making it look as if you are older than you are.
One of the best ways to prevent your wrinkles from looking so pronounced is to drink plenty of water and eat foods that have a high water content and good, healthy fats. This will keep your skin hydrated and minimize the appearance of your wrinkles.
There are certainly cosmetic products that contain ingredients that temporarily puff up your skin, reducing the appearance of your wrinkles, but this is only a temporary fix.
Your diet is still the best place to start when it comes to improving the appearance of your skin. As we age, our skin naturally dries. For women, this is due to the decreasing levels of estrogen. This hormone prevents our skin from aging by increasing the moisture content of our skin and by maintaining the thickness of the skin.
With lower levels of estrogen, our skin does thin and its ability to hold moisture diminishes. By eating foods with Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C, you will be less likely to wrinkle as you age.
Here is a list of wonderful foods that fight both dry skin and wrinkles:
grape seed oil
In addition to this, try to drink 6 - 8 glasses of water each day to make sure you are adequately hydrated. Aging brings with it some challenges, but by battling it naturally, we will look younger much longer.View Thread
Keep an eczema diary. Certain things make eczema worse, and when you notice your eczema worsening, look back and see what caused it. Some people react to certain foods. Some react to fabrics such as wool. Most eczema sufferers avoid strong soaps and detergents. When they find a soap they can tolerate, they will never change.
Stress is a big problem with eczema. Finding ways to handle stress are helpful overall for general health as well as eczema.
Try to avoid irritating your skin. Take short and relatively cool showers rather than soaking in hot baths or saunas. Do not scrub hard. Very gentle exfoliation with a washcloth is appropriate once or twice a week, but avoid irritating the surface of the skin where you're having an eczema outbreak.
Take the medications that your doctor has prescribed, and ask what you can expect when taking them. Topical steroid cream is most commonly prescribed. More severe eczema requires stronger medications.
For the most severe eczema, you may need to include more than one doctor in your care. Your dermatologist may have a great deal of expertise in eczema, but because it is a complex and complicated condition, you may also be seeing an allergist too.
For now, there is no absolute cure for eczema. It is considered to be a life-long condition, and learning to manage your flare-ups becomes a way of life. Having a good line of communication with your doctor(s) is the best tool in this battle. When your flare-ups aren't responding to medication, go back and ask for a re-evaluation. Your doctor won't know something is not working unless you provide feedback.
Eczema is becoming a more and more common problem throughout the world with 1 in 5 children being diagnosed with this condition. As more is learned about eczema, better ways to handle it will result.View Thread
Of all the skin conditions I see, the most frustrating for both me and my patients has to be eczema.
The most common form of eczema is atopic eczema, which is believed to be similar to an allergy, and is essentially a hypersensitivity of the skin. This leads to long-term skin inflammation. Some people outgrow it as they get older. It does tend to run in families.
Most people with eczema also have trouble with hay fever, allergies, or asthma. Because of this, anything that would irritate an allergy will aggravate your skin. Here are a few things that make eczema worse:
Having allergies to animal dander, dust mites, pollen, or mold
Being sick with a viral infection
Touching rough materials like cardboard boxes or wood
Having excessively dry skin
Being exposed to irritants in the environment
Being too hot or too cold
Dyes and perfumes in soap, cream, and lotion
In order to be diagnosed with eczema, your doctor will do a physical exam of your skin and take a detailed personal and family history. The skin lesions will be examined, and sometimes a punch biopsy is done so that it can be examined under the microscope.
Eczema almost always causes itching, which can sometimes begin even before any skin lesions or rashes appear. Eczema will usually present as oozing blisters that crust over as they heal. Areas of the skin that are affected are sometimes lighter or darker than the surrounding skin. There is usually redness/inflammation around the blisters. And yes, they itch!
People who have been affected with eczema for a long time develop leather-like skin in those areas; a result of the irritation and the scratching.
Obviously, you want to avoid scratching if you possibly can. Use cold compresses to help alleviate the itching. Take antihistamines to help with the most severe itching.
Try to find a moisturizer that you can tolerate because your skin needs to be lubricated, as dry skin makes eczema even worse. The moisturizer should not have any alcohol, fragrance or dye in it. You will have to experiment to find what works for you.
Bedbugs are making a comeback in the U.S. They had all but disappeared through the 1970's and 1990's. Recently they have been making headlines coast to coast. This is frustrating, especially for the people getting bit.
What I'd like to point out is that while bedbugs are an irritant, they are not dangerous and they do not transmit disease through their bites. There are ways to deal with a bedbug infestation in your home, but please make sure that whatever method you employ, you don't go overboard and try to kill them with pesticides that are designed only for outdoor use.
These types of pesticides are dangerous to humans, especially to younger children. Please don't put your children in danger as you try to eradicate a minor irritant. Make sure any extermination company you hire is authentic and has a history of successfully dealing with bedbugs. As this problem becomes more widespread, there are a number of businesses that pop up claiming to be experts at getting rid of bedbugs, but all they manage to do is to make your family ill.
A good extermination company will be costly, but they will work with you until the problem is solved and most importantly, they will make sure you family suffers no ill effects from the chemicals they use.
Stretch marks are the result of the underlying skin tissue tearing due to rapid growth or over-stretching. This damages the collagen fibers in the underlying layers of skin. This is the most common skin lesion complaint, but only for cosmetic reasons. There is no medical problem associated with stretch marks.
While most people associate stretch marks to great weight gain or during pregnancy, one of the most common times for people to develop stretch marks is during puberty. During this time young men and women grow rapidly, not necessarily becoming overweight, but their skin cannot keep up with the growth. For young women, the most common places for stretch marks to appear during puberty are their hips, thighs, buttocks, and breasts.
Young men can develop stretch marks for similar reasons, especially as they eat more to quench the overpowering hunger they feel during puberty. An additional reason for young men to develop stretch marks is from weight lifting.
There really is nothing you can do to prevent the formation of stretch marks, especially during puberty or during pregnancy. You can certainly use creams and lotions, massage and rubbing vitamin E oil can help to increase circulation to certain areas.
There is some suggestion that the term "stretch marks" is somewhat of a misnomer as during pregnancy, puberty, with weight lifting, and with great weight gain there is an increase in the hormone glucocorticoid in the blood. There is some speculation that this hormone prevents the dermis from functioning properly, allowing the skin to be stretched and small tears appear.
More studies in this area need to be done as it is not clear exactly why stretch marks appear.
If the appearance of the marks bother you, there are a few things that you can do to help diminish their appearance. Talk to your dermatologist about topical chemical peels, retinoid therapy, or pulse dye laser therapy.