Dry skin – tips for proper care
Sensitive skin is a topic that concerns many of my patients. Some complain of dryness, a tense feeling on the skin and even redness, flaking and itching, even eczema and neurodermatitis. Affected patients often ask me for tips on proper care and what else to look out for. In this article, I will tell you, since we’re talking about sensitive skin, where it comes from and how you can best take action against it.
When do we talk about dry, sensitive skin?
Now let us first look into the question of what characterises this skin type in the first place. Here, there is a lack of moisturising factors and lipids (fats). The result is a disturbed skin barrier.
In the areas of the face, neck and décolletage, dry skin often appears red, flaky or pale. Fine wrinkles also develop more quickly, especially around the eyes and mouth.
On the body, my patients often report a feeling of tightness or even itching – increasingly after showering or when sweating heavily. The lower legs above the shins, feet, hands, elbows and forearms are usually particularly affected. If the skin then does not receive sufficient protection and care, it can become increasingly flaky, cracked and even inflamed.
Where does dry skin come from?
People who tend to have dry skin usually have a genetic predisposition to it. Many exacerbate this tendency through their lifestyle and incorrect skincare habits.
External influences such as cold, heat, sun and water as well as irritants play a significant role when the skin starts to rebel. From the inside, lack of fluids, an unbalanced diet, smoking, regular alcohol consumption, hormone fluctuations and, last but not least, the psyche have an effect on the skin condition. However, underlying diseases such as hormonal and metabolic disorders, for example, an underactive thyroid or diabetes mellitus, are also possible causes.
Eczema and neurodermatitis – when sensitive, dry skin is ill
In some cases, however, on top of dry skin recurring eczema (skin inflammation) with severe itching can also occur. Then we speak of neurodermatitis or atopic eczema. About 25% of the population is affected. This skin complaint, which is caused by hereditary predispositions and environmental influences, often breaks out in childhood.
The skin is repeatedly very dry, reddened, thickened and often very itchy in various places. Scratching results in open skin areas that easily become inflamed. Many factors such as dry air, allergies, food intolerances or stress aggravate the symptoms.
Read more about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment options for atopic dermatitis and chronic eczema at www.neurodermitishilfe-wien.at or contact our hotline on +43 (0)1 817 49 93-16.
What can I do myself for dry skin?
Most of my patients with dry, sensitive skin come to me to learn what they can do themselves to relieve their symptoms. Below, I’d like to share my tips for dry skin.
- Anything that irritates and dries out sensitive skin should be avoided as much as possible. This includes extreme heat, cold or sun as well as alcohol, nicotine, stress or lack of sleep. Too much water contact such as frequent showers without moisturising cleansing products and subsequent care products are also stressful for your skin.
- Since this skin type is more prone to allergic reactions, make sure that your skincare products are free of parabens, kerosenes and sulphates.
- Drink at least two litres of water and/or unsweetened herbal tea per day. Please remember to eat a diet rich in vitamins and minerals or supplement from within.
- Use unsaturated oils. My favourite is evening primrose oil, which contains linoleic acid. It is readily available at any chemist or pharmacy and is best incorporated into the skin’s own lipid structure as a “replenisher from within.” Take one to two tablespoons of it daily.
The right care for dry, sensitive skin:
Finding the right skincare product for this demanding skin type is not so easy. All products for this skin type must be rich in natural oils, moisturisers and be hypoallergenic.
I’ll take the liberty here to introduce you to some suitable products from my skincare range:
- Pomegranate cleansing milk and pomegranate body lotion.
- Argan oil shower milk
- Anti-aging cream and Anti-aging mask
- Intensive eye cream
- Hyaluron mask and hyaluron concentrate
- Stem cell hyaluron serum
- Collagen hyaluron powder
An incredibly special product and one of my “favourites” is the Derma Balance ointment. It reliably soothes reddened, irritated skin areas on the face and body. Especially our patients with chronic eczema and neurodermatitis benefit from it, as we can reduce or avoid the prescription of cortisone-containing ointments due to the unique combination of active ingredients in the Derma Balance ointment.
Dry skin is often more than just a cosmetic problem. Many of my patients suffer from it and are looking for a natural solution to their problem. The right care can bring about improvement here. With my Derma Balance ointment, I have succeeded (as the experience of the last few years has shown) in developing efficient help for this skin problem.
Dr. Sabine Schwarz