The Dry Skin Winter Blues

January 20, 2009 - Posted by Joanna

It’s that time of year for dry skin!  I bought some really good lotion the other day - Nivea Intensive Moisturizing Lotion.  Love it!  Not too greasy, not too watery.   Of course, that’s just what works for me – everyone is different! 

Most over the counter products and some small lifestyle changes, like drinking more water, can relieve normal dry skin.  But how do you know when it’s time to see a doctor because of dry skin?

First we have to realize what it is that is making our skin dry.  Weather obviously is a big one - too cold and windy or too dry is not good for the skin.  Itchy clothing, swimming, excessive bathing and harsh soaps can all play a role in stripping away essential oils that are naturally produced to keep skin soft. 

Interestingly, too, hypothyroidism, a condition that occurs when your thyroid produces too little thyroid hormones, can reduce the activity of your sweat and oil glands.  (That little thyroid can cause so many problems if it’s not in balance!  I’ll have to talk about that more in detail soon.)

According to Mayo Clinic, see your doctor if:

  • Your skin doesn't improve in spite of your best efforts
  • Dry skin is accompanied by redness
  • Dryness and itching interfere with sleeping 
  • You have open sores or infections from scratching 
  • You have large areas of scaling or peeling skin

Dry skin that's not cared for can lead to:

  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema). This condition causes redness, cracking and inflammation.
  • Folliculitis. This is an inflammation of your hair follicles.
  • Cellulitis. This is a potentially serious bacterial infection of the skin's underlying tissues that may enter the lymphatic system and blood vessels.

Our skin, our epidermis, is the largest organ our body has.  (Actually, the skin is the largest external organ.  The largest internal organ is the liver; it is also the heaviest organ, weighing an average of 3.5 pounds.)  We need to take care of our skin:  drink plenty of water to keep it hydrated and use sunscreen to protect against the harmful UVA and UVB rays.  I like to keep my skin a nice deep blue, but you might not want to experiment with that. 

Jojoba oil works really well on the face and won’t cause it to be extra oily, despite the fact that you are using oil.  Mix a few drops of 100% pure jojoba oil with a mild lotion specifically designed for the face. 

Do you have any other home remedies that have worked for you?

Related Posts:
Summer Skin Care
Winter-proofing Your Workout
Top 5 Health Resolutions for 2009

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