5 Natural Approaches to Heal Chapped Skin Print Write e-mail
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Skin Care - Skin Care 2011
Written by Frank Mangano   
Sunday, 09 January 2011 23:22

Most people are not too fond of the snow and the cold weather, not only because it brings with it added tasks such as snow-plowing, but it is also a potential cause of health-related concerns like the common cold, flu and chapped skin. Much has been written about colds and flu, so I’ll talk about chapped skin.

Chapped skin is not a very good sight – and it hurts too.  It typically occurs when the natural oils of our body are depleted which normally happens during a change of temperature, and the defense system becomes overburdened. Another potential cause is too much exposure to bacteria and radiation. All these will result in dryness, soreness, and cracking of the skin and yes, it can be pretty painful. The most obvious signs of chapped skin include feeling itchy, your skin seems to be tight, and it has visible marks on it.

So when you are experiencing it or if you want to stay away from it, hang on. There are several ways to heal or avoid chapped skin naturally.

  1. Focus on your Diet

    Eat foods that are rich in Vitamin A such as tomatoes, carrots, and green, leafy vegetables. These foods are important for the repair and growth of the skin. Moreover, they are essential for a skin that is smooth and supple.  Also, increase your intake of essential fatty acids through unrefined vegetable oils, whole grains, and legumes. They are rich in Vitamin B5, also known as Pantothenic Acid, which will help moisten the skin enabling you to get away with the dryness. Vitamin B5 is needed for the skin’s synthesis of its oil and fats.

    Also, eat foods high in sulfur such as onion, garlic, and eggs. Foods rich in sulfur help keep your skin smooth. Additionally, increasing your consumption of vitamin E-rich foods will greatly help since it is essential for all skin conditions. Rich vitamin E sources include sunflower oil, hazelnuts, almonds, wheat germ, Brazil nuts and avocadoes.

  2. Take Extra Care of your Skin

    Because your skin is the problem area, it is important that you go the extra mile in taking good care of it.  Here are a few simple things that you can do:

    • Moisturize regularly and religiously. Apply a moisturizer, preferably a petroleum jelly, after washing your hands and taking a bath. A moisturizer raises the water content of the skin’s outer layers; keeping it away from having a dry look. Olive oil may be an excellent option since it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which are moisturizing for the skin. Mix it with a sugar scrub because it helps eliminate the skin patches.

    • Make sure your hands have protection – may it be a pair of mittens or gloves – when you are out in the cold. Keep in mind that being exposed to an environment that is either too cold or too hot can predispose you to chapped skin.

    • Take oil supplements that are beneficial for the skin. They have gamma-linolenic acid or the GLA which is known for strengthening the skin cells and enhance the content of their moisture. You may also want to use products such as Burtsbees to further protect your skin

    • Every morning, dry brush your skin for you to stimulate your sebaceous glands.
  3. Water, Sleep and Exercise

    The human body is composed of 61 percent water.  It is essential for the proper functioning of all body systems – it lubricates joints, is an essential component of blood, and it helps maintain the skin’s health.  In normal conditions, you may have heard health professionals recommending that you take at least 10 glasses every day. When you have chapped skin, it is important that you remain hydrated. Dehydration, or the lack of water in the body, may just add up to your problems as this will cause your skin to wrinkle, lose elasticity and chap even more.

    Sleep is the time when your body takes a rest from too much work.  It is also the perfect chance for your body to heal itself.  So try to get enough number of sleeping hours. While you are resting, the cellular repair activity of the skin is at its peak. This will give way to your skin’s improvement.

    The benefits of exercise are endless – so make sure that you indulge in physical activity on a regular basis. Exercising helps you boost your blood circulation, hence, cleaning your skin from the inside.

  4. Take Advantage of Nature’s Gifts

    Nature has provided you with a plethora of natural products for skin consumption.  Here are some:

    Honey.  This is a naturally-occurring humectants which helps the skin preserve its moisture and heal chapped skin.  A tablespoon of honey can be used as a moisturizer.

    Almonds.  Before going to bed, mix one ground of almond with the extracted white part of an egg and apply it on your face. For your skin, apply a nourishing cream.

    Eggs. The pantothenic acid contained in eggs serves as an emollient which helps in skin lubrication. It can make your skin feel smoother and more elastic.

    Olive Oil.  As previously mentioned, olive oil can also act as a moisturizer which can penetrate your skin’s surface in order to help trap moisture, keeping the skin more supple and smooth.  It also contains vitamin A and vitamin E.

    Aloe Vera.  When trying to remove dead skin, remember to do it gently.  Remove dry skins by applying aloe vera on the affected areas. It provides a soothing and moisturizing effect.

    Unrefined Shea Butter.  This is considered to be an excellent moisturizer for skin that is very dry and chapped due to its high fat content.  Unrefined shea butter contains vitamins A, E and F plus big amounts of non-saponifiable fats. You may massage it on your face, pretty much like how you would apply a regular moisturizer.  It can also be used in the body.  You may also soak your feet into a mixture of one teaspoon unrefined shea butter and warm water.  After you have dried your feet, you may then proceed to rub them with unrefined shea butter.

  5. Know What to Avoid

    It is time that you start being conscious of what you are doing.  Sometimes, something as simple as hand washing can worsen chapped skin.  In order to help you further, try to keep these tips in mind:

    • Remember to avoid eating too much sugar, chocolates, and junk foods.

    • Do not wash your hands too much, especially when you are doing it with hot water since it can be irritating to the skin. Moreover, when water and soap go together, they have the tendency to eliminate natural oils which causes the skin to dry out even more.

    • Prevent direct exposure to sunlight. Its radiation and ultraviolet-rays causes the dryness of the skin. When going out, especially when there’s extreme heat, make sure you have applied sun screen in the areas of your body which will be exposed. It will protect your skin from getting too affected by the sunlight. The best times for exposing yourself under the sun are early in the morning and during the afternoon, when the sun is about to set. This way, you are going to acquire the sunshine vitamin – vitamin D.

    • Stay away from smoking and areas which are smoke-filled. Smoking removes the oxygen that the skin needs causing it to dry out, making the skin parched.

    • Avoid intake of too much caffeine. Its substances have an effect that causes the skin to lose essential minerals and fluids.

    • Avoid or minimize alcohol intake. It does no good to your body or on your skin.

    • Avoid using a powder or talc after taking a bath because it causes your skin to dry out even more. You may use a mashed avocado as a substitute for powder or talc.

    • Do not stay in sea water too long.

    • Harsh soaps for the face must not be used. Do not use those commercial soaps, if you can.  It contains a number of chemicals which can further cause skin soreness.

    • Do not vigorously rub your skin after a bath since it will further cause pain and irritation.  Instead, blot yourself dry with a clean bath towel.

    • Do not wear clothes that are rough such as wool since they will only aggravate your condition.





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