- Aging & Longevity
My Dry, Itchy Skin Treatment: Relief From Itching and Other Symptoms Through Vitamin Therapy
As we get older, our skin slowly loses it's ability to retain moisture. Extreme hot and cold weather conditions only make things worse. Winter winds not only remove moisture from skin but tone and color as well. The hands and the feet are usually hardest hit. The changes in skin are often subtle and the damage is done before we even think about taking any preventative steps. Skin becomes dry, itchy and sometimes begins to crack. Applying creams can be beneficial if they have healing properties. Unfortunately, many creams on the market today contain mineral oil, which only clogs pores and prevents the absorption of needed nutrients by the skin. More important than what goes on the skin is what goes in the body. Poor diet only accelerates the aging and moisture loss of the skin.
A deficiency in vitamin A will leave skin dry and scaling. Dandruff is often a sign that the body needs Vitamin A. If the skin is developing dry patches that are turning dark and scaly, Vitamin A levels are dangerously low. Short term high dosages of vitamin A can be taken to clear up these skin conditions under a health practitioner's care. High dosages must be worked up to slowly. If you begin to experience headaches this is a sign you need to lower the dosage. Once the problem is resolved, taking a lower dosage regularly will help maintain skin health.
To help improve skin elasticity take short term, high dosages of vitamin C. To improve skin color take Vitamin B complex. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are necessary for healthy skin. Some excellent sources are flax seed and fish oil. The best sources of fish oil are fresh salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and trout. Well refined fish oil supplements will have the added benefit of no PCBs or mercury.
When looking for moisturizing products at your local health store, choose products that contain ingredients such as aloe vera, calendula, sunflower oil and jojoba. Peppermint is a popular ingredient in foot creams because of its cooling and soothing effect and invigorating odor. Some of the best ingredients for extra dry skin are avocado oil and olive oil. If you have more oily skin the best oils to use are hazelnut or rose hip oil. Prior to moisturizing soak in warm water and bath salts. Colloidal oatmeal (a fine powder) is a great way to enrich your bath because it helps prevent moisture loss from the skin and soothes itchiness. Avoid soaps with added scents and dyes. Look for soaps that are high in soybean, jojoba or olive oil. After emerging from the bath, moisturize with a body lotion rich in vitamin E.
Long term healthy skin is best obtained by working from the inside out. Limit the use of diuretics such as alcohol and caffeine and drink at least eight glasses of water each day. A well balanced diet is important. It should consist of a large percentage of raw fruits and vegetables. Eat plenty of whole grain products and avoid unhealthy fats, high sugar and processed foods.
Before heading outdoors (especially snowy conditions) apply a sunscreen with natural ingredients. The reflective power of the sun upon snow is 63 percent higher than sand. It is wise to always apply a healthy sunscreen before heading outdoors because of the aging effects of the sun on the skin in any weather conditions. Sunscreen should be applied to the face, neck and any other area that is going to be exposed to the sun for a long period of time.
Shea butter has been found to have many benefits to the skin. It is effective in treating a number of skin conditions including psoriasis, cold sores, bed sores, rashes, and eczema and helps protect the skin from sun rays and excessive heat. It is high in vitamins A, B, C, D, K, E, calcium, protein and iron. Since it is totally non-toxic it has even been used by the food industry as a substitute for cocoa butter. It is very safe and can be used by the whole family.