Dry skin is among the most common of skin conditions and it varies in severity from person to person.
Some people may only have patches of dry skin. On the face, the cheeks and lips might be most affected. Hands, elbows, knees and feet are other areas commonly affected by dry skin. Some people only experience dry skin in particular weather conditions. Those living in temperate weather regions may find their skin dries out during the winter months only. Others resident in more tropical climates may find that the skin dries out during the periods of the year with the least rainfall.
There are people who have much more prevalent dry skin. For those, the condition may affect larger sections of the body and may include the entire face, arms, torso and legs. In the most severe cases people’s scalps may be affected too. More chronic sufferers may also find that their skin is dry almost all the year round though is worsened by harsher external environmental factors.
The main concern for anyone with dry skin, regardless of the prevalence or severity, will be how to restore moisture. Dry skin is not comfortable especially when rubbed against certain fabrics such as acrylic wool. Dry skin does nothing to enhance physical appearance either; it can make a person look tired or even a bit aged. Properly hydrated skin on the other hand, is supple to the touch and appears more radiant and youthful.
There are several moisture restoring methods for treating dry skin. The most common approaches involve the application of topical creams and lotions. Some of these products try to control dry skin by locking moisture in. Petroleum based products such as Vaseline are known for working in this way but other natural products like cocoa butter and shea butter also have similar moisture preserving properties. Propylene glycol or glycerine based products work by drawing moisture from the air to the skin as do some natural alternatives like aloe vera based lotions.
There is also an internal approach to dry skin care which concentrates on regulating the skin through diet and nutrition. It is surprising how much a simple measure such as drinking more water can boost moisture levels of the skin. It is even more shocking how much smoking, too much alcohol and over consumption of refined sugar can dry the skin out. Indeed, nutrient deficient diets are responsible for many peoples experience of dry skin but they do not realize it. Diets rich in essential nutrients from natural fruit and vegetable sources help the skin by supplementing it with invigorating and renewing elements. Particularly effective are foods that are high in antioxidants like oranges, watermelon, spinach and garlic. These foods promote internal moisturising of the skin by neutralizing the effects of skin drying free radicals in the system.
Dry skin can be recognised by symptoms of flaky and cracking of the skin. Balance can be restored to the skin by preserving or renewing moisture with creams and lotions. Dry skin can also be treated by boosting the body with an improved diet. Best results can probably be achieved by a combination of internal and external methods.