(NaturalNews) The onset of winter means sweatshirts, blankets, and - for many - dry skin. It can range from minor irritation to painful cracking and soreness, and there are many products out there to combat the effects of dry skin. However, it is worthwhile to look at natural ways to avoid dry, damaged skin and to learn prevention methods that could help minimize or erase dry skin year-round.
Skin is the largest organ on the human body. It acts as a shield to the elements, helps with detoxification, protects our tissues and inner organs, and even reflects our inner health by showing stress, tension, hormonal imbalances, and nutritional deficiencies. While plenty of products on the shelves may work against dry skin, they are only cosmetic fixes. To really take care of your skin, it is important to work from the inside out.
The first and easiest step to treating your dry skin is a natural, simple thing: water. Dry skin is, well, dry. By increasing your water consumption, your skin will maintain proper hydration. The daily recommendation of water intake is eight cups per day, but amidst the harsh elements of winter, more may be necessary to allow your body to cope. Note that caffeine and alcohol act as dehydrators, so for each caffeinated or alcoholic beverage you drink, add an additional glass of water to your intake for the day.
Eating healthy fats can also be a beneficial combatant against dry skin. Also known as essential fatty acids, healthy fats can readily be found in fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Vitamins A, E, and D can also be of great assistance during cold months. Vitamin A is found in veggies like carrots, yams, and green, leafy vegetables, while vitamin E is common in raw, unsalted seeds and nuts. The body naturally produces vitamin D when skin is in sunlight, but during winter, other sources can be found like sweet potatoes, fish, and eggs.
It is important to treat and prevent dry skin. It may seem like a cosmetic issue above anything else, but sufferers complain of things such as itching, unsightly blemishes, flaking, cracking, soreness, or stinging. Worse still than these symptoms are the risks dry skin can introduce. Bacteria germs are highly attracted to dry surfaces, so it becomes easier to pick up unpleasant germs from workstations, restrooms, doorknobs, etc. when you have dry skin. Especially in the case of cracked, open skin, it offers germs an easy entry into your body.
Creams, lotions, and moisturizers can definitely help with dry skin afflictions. It is very important; however, for chronic sufferers to treat dry skin both externally and internally for an efficient fix.