Having dry, irritated skin is a common skin ailment for many of our clients, and they are often left wondering how to solve the problem. Whether your skin is chronically dry, seasonally dry, or just recently dry, Kris, FNP-BC is here to offer some help on why it might be dry and how to help it.
Our skin is a major organ and needs enough water to function to the best of its ability. Whether you are not taking in enough liquids throughout the day, or whether a medication is causing excess dehydration, moisture is being pulled from the skin leaving it dry and irritated. If your skin is dehydrated, no amount of serums or moisturizers will be able to maintain proper moisture levels. At minimum, try to aim for eight or more standard 8oz glasses of water per day. It’s important to note however that certain climates, like the Arizona desert will require you to drink more than the standard 8 cups per day.
2. The Products
Second to dehydration, another suspect could be the ingredients in your products which can lead to drier, more irritated skin. A few ingredients to always avoid are drying agents or certain types of alcohol that can essentially be pulling moisture off your skin. Some well-known culprits of this are products that are designed to “mattify” the skin, blemish control, or products claiming to leave you with “silky” skin. In the short-term they may give you nice looking results, but they can be pulling out moisture causing dry skin in the long-term. If you are prone to dry skin, make sure to check out the ingredient label of your products to make sure they aren’t the culprit. Instead, look for emollient products with moisturizing ingredients that add moisture back to the skin.
3. Your Skincare Regimen
Your daily morning and nighttime skin care regimen can make or break how your skin ultimately behaves. If you don’t keep up with it or do it on a consistent basis, then you are going to be more prone to changes in the skin and potentially see dryness occur. Nobody is perfect however, and it is perfectly okay if you miss your skincare routine one day, but remember, consistency is key! Along with your twice daily routine, aim to incorporate one exfoliating treatment per week to get rid of any build-up on the skin. Pro tip: put your moisturizer on no more than 30 - 60 seconds after cleansing or exfoliating to absorb and lock in moisture.
You might be surprised to learn how much of an impact stress can have on your skin. Everyone experiences stress at different points in their life, and sometimes it is unavoidable, but there is a big difference between manageable stress, and unmanageable stress. Is your stress predictable? Does it have an end date? Is it chronic? Chronic stress can cause many skin issues ranging from age spots, fine lines and wrinkles, to discoloration, acne breakouts, and lastly, the sensation of dryness on the skin. When it comes to managing stress, it’s important to find an activity that helps you wind down, whether it’s talking to friends and family, exercise, meditation, etcetera. Another great option is to get a hormone evaluation that will help rule out any hormonal imbalances that may be exacerbating your stress levels. At our clinic, we can test your stress levels and evaluate the hormones that may be in flux when you’re experiencing stress. If irregularities are found, our Family Nurse Practitioner, Kris, can prescribe medication to help balance hormone levels.
There are many factors that can ultimately contribute to dry, irritated skin. Whether it is one of the factors described above, or a combination of factors, there are always steps that can be taken to correct it. If your skin dryness persists, come visit one of our experienced skin care specialists at Adair Family Clinic & Medspa for a more in-depth analysis and affordable treatment options.