that time of the year where your skin begins to peel, lips get
chapped, the soles of the feet develop cracks. Though the temperature
drops and most people in this city welcome winter, it also brings
DRYNESS and low humidity. For people who are already suffering
from dry skin disorder this is the worst season in the calendar.
A lot of patients come to me with this problem but medicine alone
cannot fight the dryness.
We all have a natural oil coating
over our skin produced by the oil glands present in the skin. If
this oil is removed by any cause it makes the skin dry which leads
to cracking and this can lead to inflammation. Winter is not the
only reason for chapping, chafing, or cracking of the skin. Here
are a few other causes:-
Use of harsh soaps can cause dryness
Long hot showers tend to remove
the natural oil in our skin
As you get older your skin starts
losing its natural oil and the production reduces
Detergent is especially harsh on
the palms producing cracks
Lack of vitamins in your diet
Poor consumption of fluids and water
Most of these causes can be overcome
by proper care. As the say prevention is always better than cure
, so here are a few ways by which you can prevent chapping, cracking
and chafing of the skin.
CHAPPED HANDS AND CRACKED PALMS
Contrary to what people believe water
actually removes the oils from the skin and the worst kind of water
is - soapy water. While washing dishes you are not only removing
the oil from the dish but also from your hands. Try to wear white
cotton gloves while doing dry work and rubber ones over the cotton
ones while washing dishes.
Use a long handled brush while washing
Put vaseline or oil on your hands
Another effective way to take care
of your hands is by massaging then with a few drops of glycerine
combined with a few drops of lemon oil.
CHAPPED AND PEELING LIPS
The skin on our lips is very thin
and unfortunately there are no oil glands to help protect them.
Therefore the lips need to be cared for by you.
Avoid licking your lips. This is
ofcourse easier said than done. Also refrain from biting of dead
bits of skin.
Chewing on your lips is another bad
habit. A lot people subconsciously bite their lips all the time.
Here is a funny fact for you - women who wear lipstick and are habitual
lip chewers eat four to nine pounds of lipstick during their lifetime.
Drink plenty of water to moisturize
your lips from inside.
Make sure you are eating healthy,
getting your daily dose of vitamins form your food. If not then
you should take vitamin supplements specially B2 and Brewers Yeast.
Certain toothpastes can also cause
dryness of the lips so make sure yours is not.
Use a lip balm or chap-stick all
day long , make sure you are using a good one which will give you
proper protection. Simple Petroleum jelly will also help.
DRY AND CHAFFED SKIN
There are numerous causes of dry
skin. But here are few tips that everyone can follow that will help
tremendously no matter what the cause.
Superficial creams are not the solution.
Eat healthy, by that I mean try and eat the correct food which will
give you all your daily requirement of vitamins which your system
needs. Vegetables and fruits are a great source of vitamins but
overcooked vegetables loose their vitamins. Brewers Yeast is an
excellent nutritional supplement to your diet as it contains vitamins
essential for your skin. Also Vitamin E supplement will help and
Wear cotton clothes, harsh fabrics
like wool and synthetics will only aggravate the chafing.
Drink lots of water and fluids through
out the day.
For your bath use lukewarm water
and not hot water. Use as little soap as possible, the best ones
are those which have glycerine or vegetable oil like for example
Pears or Oil of Olay.
Just after your bath, when your skin
is still damp, apply petroleum jelly or your moisturizer. This helps
to trap the moisture in your skin.
Do not take more than one bath or
shower a day. This will dry your skin and cause more chafing.
Do not rub your self dry with a towel,
just lightly dab yourself dry.
Just remember that whatever you place
on your skin is absorbed into your body. So be extremely careful
about what you use as a cream or moisturizer. There are a hundred
items in the market, choose judiciously and with your doctors advise.
If after all this care and prevention
you still have a tendency to get dry, chafed, chapped skin and cracks
on your palms and soles then you need treatment.
Homoeopathy has some wonderful remedies
for chapping, chafing and cracking of the skin though the constitutional
remedy is the best. Here are a few useful drugs for this skin condition.
This is an excellent
remedy for skin and its affections. Cracks, thickening, hardness
of the skin especially in the folds of the elbow, lips, near the
corner of the eyes, fingertips, palms etc calls for this drug.
A mother who while breast feeding
her baby develops cracks of the nipples and she says that a dirty,
sticky, honey like discharge oozes from the cracks. This condition
is very painful and she can't bear to feed her baby. Then this condition
calls for Graphites.
The skin has a characteristic raw
and unhealthy look about it.
Graphites 200 , 5 pills four times
a day will help soothe the skin.
Though the name "Nitric Acid"
may make you think of the deadly corrosive acid, it is one of the
most important remedy for cracks of the skin.
The lips are dry, cracked and BLEEDING.
It resembles the corrosive action that the raw acid produces.
Even the area near the anus is cracked,
fissured and bleeding, the patient is in agony after passing stool.
Along with the blood there may pus which makes the discharge extremely
Nitric Acid 200, 5 pills four times
a day will help heal the cracks and stop the bleeding.
This is a wonderful remedy for dry
skin especially in the winter months.
Chapped hands and fingers, rough
tips of fingers calls for Petroleum. The patient says that he feels
much better in summer and has no dryness but come winter all his
skin problems surface.
The skin of a Petroleum patient feels
dry, parched, constricted, as if the skin is dehydrated. There is
redness, "itching", and bleeding from the cracks. Here thick, greenish
crusts are formed. Even wearing clothes becomes a problem and is
painful for the person suffering.
Petroleum 30, 5 pills four times
a day will bring great relief.