Dry skin hurts. Especially itchy dry skin.
I was born with dry skin and I am eternally grateful to my folks for the wonderful skincare I received. Today, to look at me, you wouldn’t believe I have dry skin because I ensure that I moisturize it with oil pre-bath and lotion later. Yep, healthy skin is so important. I remember a classmate of mine used to apply butter on her skin and we’d tease her all the time–she had incredibly soft skin. Still has!
Most of us may not feel the cold – but I can assure you that the skin, the largest organ in the human body certainly does – in varying degrees. It shows it by becoming dry. And the worst thing about dry skin is that temptation to scratch. It is a vicious cycle, you know. It itches, you scratch. You scratch – and it itches!!
Let’s not even talk about how it looks, socially when you have to sneak a quick scratch in that embarrassing spot – instead, let’s look at a few easy steps to relieve it. Of course, this is not medical advice and you’d do well to consult a qualified dermatologist if your problem is severe – but by and large, these precautions certainly help: (and I just couldn’t resist adding this picture – whose skin is better than the baby’s?)
13 ways to avoid itchy dry skin
- Avoid scratching. Scratching irritates your skin even more. Yes, so it takes some self-control, but the rewards are worth it. You can pinch the skin around the itch through your clothing – it certainly causes less injury than actually scratching the area.
- Keep your nails short. No point dealing with lacerations on your skin.
- Avoid bathing in hot water – as soothing as that sounds. Believe me, its temporary and comes with punishment. Instead, cool, or lukewarm showers and baths are best.
- Avoid strongly perfumed soaps, shower gels and deos. Instead, use a mild soap and apply moisturizing lotions after your bath on your skin – it will help keep it moist and hydrated. The local medical shop has a huge variety of non-perfumed lotions and aqueous creams. I like Vaseline’s total moisturizing lotion with the soya extract – has a gentle fragrance and feel silky on the skin.
- Enjoy a bath with rolled oats. The itch relief is amazing – and its safe.
- Apply calamine on itchy skin – it soothes.
- A cold compress numbs the skin and relieves itching
- Preferably wear cotton rather than synthetic, wool, etc. Sleep in loose clothes.
- Avoid spending a lot of time in hot or humid environments. Try to be in well ventilated airy places
- Sometimes mild oral antihistamines relieve allergic itches – but use these on your doctor’s advice.These help you get a good night’s rest
- Maintain good hygiene. Bathe regularly
- Drink plenty of fluids and follow a healthy diet
- While applying any lotion or oil – the operative word is apply – not rub. Why wake up those itches?
The age-old habit of “oil-baths” is still valid in our house. My mother prepared a herbal oil with a variety of ingredients, designed to heal, keep skin and hair healthy, with anti-fungal properties, etc. and we have the benefit of it. Health, after all, is wealth. I have tried to replicate it with some success. But the most important thing is consistent care. It can be so easy to feel lazy about working in skincare or a massage into your routine. But when the alternative is dry itchy skin that…well…itches…isn’t it better to take care of yourself than suffer? Who wants a skin infection? Urrgh!
How do you look after your skin?