Itch, Itch Itch, Scratch, Scratch, Scratch…..sound familiar? If you are like me, this time of year means a significant change in your skin, hair and nails. Along with plummeting temperatures, we are turning on the furnace which creates drier air. Even with a humidifier on your furnace you can find yourself uncomfortably dry and itchy each winter. What’s a body to do?
For one thing – DRINK MORE WATER! Often with lower temperatures our thirst mechanism doesn’t kick in and we end up very dehydrated and not even aware of it. Make no mistake – coffee, tea and alcohol are NOT the same as good old fashioned H2O. Add a squirt of a lemon or orange to help with taste but try to get in 16 ounces on arising and a total of 32-64 ounces each day. I find keeping a bottle with me at all times ensures I am reminded to drink.
Another way to banish dry skin is by increasing your essential fatty acids. Most Americans are heavy on the omega 6’s which are found in animal products, canola oil and processed/boxed foods. Often we find patients lacking in both omega 3’s and 9’s which are found in fish oil, flax, walnuts, chia seeds, and olive oil. Options include 3 tablespoons of uncooked extra virgin olive oil/day, 1/4; cup walnuts, 1 Tbsp. chia seeds, or 2-3 gms of EPA/DHA (fish oil) per day.
Take a look at what you are putting on your skin to moisturize. Most commercially available lotions have alcohol in them and many ingredients on “the NO list”. This is a list of chemicals and fillers that are known to be unhealthy for humans but persist in the industry for various reasons. We carry a line of shampoos, conditioners, skincare and make-up products from Intelligent Nutrients that are all made from essential oils and have none of “the NO list” ingredients in them. Another option would be coconut oil. You can find this in your grocery store and don’t be surprised—it is SOLID at room temperature but becomes liquid over 77 degrees. Just scoop some out with your hand, rub your hands together and it will liquefy and go on easily.
One last tip is to avoid soaking for long periods in a hot bath since that ultimately dries out your skin as do long hot showers.