Patches of dry, flaky and itchy skin are common during the fall and winter months. While they can appear on almost any part of the body there are typically common on the legs, face, and hands. While there are many skin conditions that cause dry patches such as eczema, psoriasis, and fungal infections, this article will deal with dry skin patches due to environmental factors, such as cold weather and low humidity and the lack of hydration to the skin.
Below are some simple steps to help you treat dry skin patches:
1) Limit the time you spend in the bath or shower. If you like extremely hot showers, adjust your water temperature down. Showers and baths strip the body of its natural oils thus causing the skin to become overly dry.
2) Apply an emollient rich cream on dry patches while skin is still damp. Continue to apply cream frequently throughout the day. I have used Eucerin and I also find that body butters work great too. Other options are Vitamin E and oils such as olive oil, avocado oil, tea tree oil, grape seed oil, etc. where a little dab will work wonders
3) Evaluate your soap. There are varieties on the market that can provide moisturizing ingredients. If you use a deodorant soap use only in areas that need it, underarms, etc. These types of soap are harsh and very drying. Better yet consider making some homemade soap rich in essential oils that offer so many benefits to the skin. They also make great Christmas presents too!
4) Exfoliation is recommended for dry patches if the area is not inflamed or has broken skin. Exfoliates will slough off the dead skin on top thus allowing your moisturizer into the lower layers of the skin.
5) Hydrate from the inside! Drinking water is vital to good health and good skin. Most people do not realize the importance water plays in their overall health.
6) Diet – unfortunately fresh fruits and vegetables are scarce in the northern climates, however try to follow a diet that is rich in Vitamin E, A, C, essential minerals and omega-3 fatty acids or consider vitamins and supplements.