Monday, December 27, 2010

Dry Skin

Living in West Texas, I have dealt with dry skin for a long time.  There are a combination of factors that contribute to dry skin. It is amazing how the arid atmosphere just seems to suck the moisture out of the skin.  When I travel to other parts of Texas, or the country, I can feel the moisture returning to my skin.  It is just amazing, and if you have not experienced it, this is something that is very difficult to understand.

The factors that influence dry skin include not only the arid climate, but the cold, and the wind. Additionally, in West Texas, the water is very hard, so often a shower feels like little sand grit being pelted at the body. It is not unusual for lips to chap and crack, even after just a few hours of exposure to the elements. Skin also chaps easily, and may be red, cracked, scaly, or all three.  It is also not unusual for skin just to be very itchy... And, in the winter time, the temptation is to take long hot showers, and we know that exposure to hot water contributes to the dry skin.

Years ago, I discovered that a coating of body lotion helped to keep the skin warm and not chapped in the winter weather. This is something I have used often, including if I know I am going to be out in the cold, I will lotion my legs and arms.

A problem area for dry skin is the torso... For some reason, that seems to dry out and become itchy early in the dry skin season.  Amazingly, a body wash with additives such as aloe, shea butter or oatmeal can make all the difference in the world.  I was once again amazed when I switched from my perfumed body wash to an oatmeal and shea butter body wash a few weeks ago. The first shower felt like I was slathering  my skin with comfort, instead of taking a shower in grit.  The relief was palpable. 

Dry skin seems to be a minor discomfort, but when the skin cracks, bleeds, and causes unceasing itching and pain, it is serious.  Open skin wounds are ripe areas for infection.  Just the pain and discomfort and distraction are serious.

Years ago, a friend suggested using CurĂ©l This product is pricier than some, but its soothing properties, and lack of greasiness are absolutely well worth the cost.  Because it is so effective, less is needed, and it lasts for quite a while.

Other products work, of course, with varying effectiveness.  The important thing to remember is to take care of your dry skin and chapped lips.

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