Dry Skin Causes And Treatments - Olive Oil For Dry Skin
- By: Constantine Kara
Dry skin happens when the outer layer of the skin is deprived of water.
When this layer is moistened, it keeps water loss at a low level, creating a barrier and keeping out environmental irritants, allergens and germs.
When this layer dries out, it's protective functions are diminished and allows greater water loss, leaving your skin prone to environmental contaminates.
Under normal condition water evaporation from the skin's surface is slow giving time for more water to be replenished. When water loss is greater than water replacement the symptoms of dry skin occur.
Dry skin should not be taken lightly. Persistent dry skin can lead to other complications such as inflammation and infection.
Dry skin can also be the effects of other skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and ichthyosis a condition that causes flaking of the skin.
Most cases of dry skin can be treated by the use of moisturizers and other over the counter products.
But if dry skin persists after self-care treatments, then professional medical care may be needed.
Bellow I have listed some of the most common causes.
Hot water strips protective oils from the skin resulting in dry skin. Using warm water and limiting showers or baths to 5 or 10 minutes once a day will limit dryness.
Cold and dry winter air is a common cause. The low temperature and humidity levels in winter, sap protective oils from the outer layer of the skin leaving it chapped and dry.
Also in the winter the use of central heating drops the level of humidity aiding conditions that cause the skin to dry.
Hot dry air.
The hot dry air in desert climates can also cause dryness. Whether you live in a hot and dry climate or in a hot and humid climate, the use of air conditioning is common. Air conditioners remove the water level from the air causing a dry environment that also contributes to dry skin.
Exposure to sun.
The heat caused by the sun just like any type of heat, causes dryness.
But the UV from the sun causes damage to the skin bellow the outer layer, breaking down collagen and elasticity of the fibres, causing sagging and wrinkly skin.
Cosmetics and soaps.
Many cosmetics have ingredients the can cause irritation, as well as the use of soaps with a detergent base. The use of cosmetics at a very young age, can also cause premature aging of the skin.
As we age blood circulation and the ability to produce oil and fatty substances diminish. Cell repair is also slower and the skin also becomes thinner. All this causing water content to reduce and making it harder to retain oils and moisture.
Lack of exercise.
When we don't get enough exercise we deprive our skin from better blood flow and cleansing from with in by sweating.
Lack of sleep.
When we sleep the body repairs it's self. Lack of sleep deprives the time needed for skin cells to repair themselves.
Exposure to air pollution and other ozone concentrations reduces the skin's supply of vitamin E drastically within just a few hours.
Vitamin E preserves the skin's oils and helps protect the functions of cells and intracellular processes. Vitamin E also helps the body increase and control the levels of vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential in the growth of new skin cells.
An unhealthy diet lacking vegetables, fruits, grains and fish, can cause vitamin deficiencies that cause unhealthy skin conditions. Excessive consumption of fried foods, alcohol and caffeine, all help to increase dryness of the skin.
Most self-care treatments by using over the counter products like moisturizers, sunscreens, mild cleansers and soaps should improve the skin's condition. A healthy diet which includes omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E, fibres and antioxidants like olive oil and berry fruits, should also decrease dryness.
But despite all efforts, if conditions don't improve and you have symptoms like:
Dryness and itching severe enough to interfere with daily life and sleep.
Sores and infection caused by itching and scratching.
Large patches of scaly and peeling skin.
If you have any of the above, then, by all means, consult a Dermatologist or Doctor.
They can diagnose and determine whether or not your dry skin is in fact a more serious underlying medical condition.
A few tips to reduce dryness are:
The use of a humidifier to replenish water in the air that is removed by central heating or air conditioners.
A healthy diet rich in fibres, omega 3 fatty acids (fish and fish oils) and antioxidants like berries and olive oil.
Plenty of exercise and sleep.
Wear clothing made from natural fibres such as cotton and silk to help the skin breath better.
Limit showers to once a day for only 5 to 10 minutes and use only warm water.
Use mild natural soaps and shower gels with added fats, oils and moisturizer.
Olive oil based soaps are considered some of the best for your skin.
Application of moisturizers and body butters.
When applying moisturizer or body butters, it is best applied right after showers or baths while the skin is still damp, helping lock in the moisture.
These treatments should create relief, but if symptoms don't decrease, again I stress to check with a physician.
Olive Oil For Dry Skin
As you have read in some of my previous articles, I don't have to tell you the benefits that olive oil can bring to your skin.
Since ancient times, Egyptians and Greeks used olive oil to help keep their skin young and supple.
Today olive oil is still used to replenish and moisturize the skin. Olive oil can now be found in a endless array of skin products. While the use of olive oil can be used raw (directly from the bottle) as a moisturizer or as a bath oil, it does leave the skin greasy. While this method has a tremendous effect in healing the skin and is probably better used just before bed time, people prefer to purchase products that include olive oil as a basic ingredient. Skin care product also use other natural plant oils and antioxidants, along with olive oil, to increase their benefits on the skin.
In my belief there is no better moisturizer for dry skin then olive oil.
By choosing products with olive oil, your skin is sure to benefit.
Thank you for reading
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