How to prevent dry skin

Skin care

It is an unfortunate fact that a large number of the population suffer with dry skin. In fact, over 50% of older adults aged 40 or above have dry skin, whether it is temporarily induced by environmental factors or longer-term due to a condition.

There are plenty of remedies when it comes to getting rid of dry skin, but what about preventing it before it starts to develop?

Symptoms of dry skin

For the majority of people, dry skin is frustrating, but harmless. Depending on the severity of your dry skin, however, there are a range of symptoms that you may find. These include:

  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Flaking or peeling of the skin
  • Cracks and soreness (potential bleeding)
  • Visibly ashy skin
  • Skin tightness after bathing or showering

Areas where dry skin is likely to develop

While it can affect the entire body, there are particular areas which are slightly more prone to dry skin than others.

Typically, you’ll find dry skin is common on the face, hands, lower legs and feet. These areas of the body are typically more sensitive to external factors or are constantly exposed to the environment.

Different people will also be at more risk of dry skin than others. As you get older, the risk of dry skin increases and those in certain professions, such as hairdressing, will often be exposing their hands to water and harsh products.

Tips on preventing dry skin before it develops

There are certain steps you can take to try and prevent dry skin before it even develops, particularly during the winter months.

  • Harsh soaps and detergents. Try to stay away from harsh chemicals and products which may contribute to dry skin, such as strong detergents or soaps. These are known to remove natural oil from the skin which is necessary to prevent dryness.
  • Wool and synthetic fibers. This also rings true for clothing material, such as wool, which irritates the skin – so you’ll want to stick to softer materials.
  • Humidifiers. If you live in a dry environment, it may be worth investing in a humidifier to add moisture to the air before dry skin begins to develop.
  • Omega 3 and antioxidant rich food. Eating foods rich in omega 3 and antioxidants has also been proved to help prevent the symptoms of dry skin.

Let’s take a deeper look at some additional steps you can take to prevent dry skin within certain problem areas.

How to prevent dry skin on the face

Your face is, of course, particularly prone to dry skin as it is in constant contact with the environment. Sunscreen/SPF should be worn throughout the year, as the UVA and UVB rays are present even on cloudy days. To protect the skin in the summer months, sunscreen should be reapplied regularly, and it’s best to wear a hat if you’re out in the sun or on holiday. Within the winter months, try to cover your face as much as possible with a buff or scarf to stop wind burn.

On a day to day basis, moisturise after you wet your face and, if using skin care products, make sure they are the right ones for your skin type! This will help to prevent the development of rough, dehydrated skin.

How to prevent dry skin around the nose

The nose is often a problem area for dry skin during the winter months when colds are common. In addition to following the suggestions made above, using a nasal spray instead of a tissue can help prevent irritation and dry skin around the nose area. Vaseline is also a good choice for chapped noses, as it provides a protective barrier as well as hydrating.

How to prevent dry skin on the feet

Whether you’re standing for long hours, wearing ill-fitting shoes or stripping the oils from your feet through cleansing, cracked heels can quickly become a painful issue. To prevent dry skin on the feet, make sure you have correctly fitting shoes that support the heel. In fact, try to avoid sandals or flip flops altogether as these are top culprits for drying out the feet.

Use a pumice stone frequently to prevent the buildup of thick, rough skin and finish up with a good helping of foot moisturiser or balm.

Finally, make sure you are not sitting, standing or crossing your legs for too long as these contribute to sore, irritated skin.

How could a water softener help to prevent dry skin?

One of the best ways to prevent whole body dry skin is by ensuring your water is free of harsh minerals that could irritate the skin.

A water softener does exactly that – softening the water so that when bathing or showering, there is no harsh residue which could contribute to dry, irritable skin. In addition to that, soft water creates much more lather with soaps and shampoos – meaning your bathroom products should last much longer too!

If you’re interested in finding out more about our water softeners and how they could help dry skin, get in touch with us today.

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