When we lose water and oil on the surface of our skin it causes dryness, itchiness and redness. The key is to replace the lost moisture, but that can be difficult if we don’t know what is causing the dry skin in the first place.
Dry skin can be irritating and it can cause wrinkles so many people try to avoid it by using a daily moisturizer while others simply attack the problem when it strikes. Weather is the biggest factor leading to most dry skin complaints. When temperatures and humidity levels take a nose dive, that’s when the majority of the population start to feel the urge to scratch. It is common knowledge that winter weather conditions can cause dry, itchy, scaly skin for people of all ages.
While the environment can provoke dry skin and wrinkles, there are many other things that can generate itchy, flaky skin, including some of the items we consume. For instance, Coffee is a diuretic. This means it helps expel fluids by overproducing urine. In an average person this can lead to dehydration. Dehydration happens to be one of the leading causes of dry skin and aging skin. Drinking beyond 2 or 3 cups of coffee a day will put you in a position where you could experience dry skin. Alcohol works much the same as coffee in terms of acting like a diuretic. Studies have shown that it also causes dry skin when consumed in excess.
It is not just what we drink that impacts our skin, what we eat also plays a role in whether our skin is dry, moist, has wrinkles or if we have aging skin. According to the Mayo Clinic skipping meals is bad for our skin. It too can lead to dehydration and thus dry out our skin. Including vitamin C foods (oranges), vitamin E (avocados), and vitamin A (sweet potatoes) are healthy options. These foods not only promote moisture, they promote elasticity and therefore might ward off wrinkles a little longer.
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According to dermatologists not getting enough sleep will also play havoc on our skin. They say lack of sleep will not only create dark circles under our eyes, it can produce stress hormones which can cause inflammation in the skin, leading to more wrinkles. It can also make us more sensitive to irritants. Irritants can be anything from cleaning products we use around the house to our own hand soap if we use it too often.
Medical research has shown that aging skin and dry skin is also caused by central heating and air conditioning. Space heaters, wood-burning stoves and fire places will also contribute to dry skin if you sit near them regularly. Dermatologists point out that some people just have naturally dry houses and should consider using portable humidifiers or think about attaching one to their furnace to add moisture to the air.
While you have to think about what’s in the air, you also have to consider what you wear. The clothes on your back could be giving you that itchy, scaly skin. Doctors say it is often due to the dyes in fabric or the detergent you are using. For some people the only way to avoid dry skin is to wear clothing that is made of natural fibers, such as cotton or silk. These fabrics allow your skin to breathe better.
Once you have a handle on what is causing your skin to dry out or why aging skin seems to be an issue for you, treatment is easier. In many cases over the counter moisturizers will help or simply avoiding what causes the skin irritation in the first place will rid you of the problem. When the dryness doesn’t go away, discuss it with your doctor. He or she will recommend a course of action or perhaps suggest you see a dermatologist.