How to Treat Your Skin Problems : Itchy Skin Conditions
How to Solve Irritation from Head to Toe
Grumpy children, moody bosses, crazy traffic — you deal withplentyof annoyances throughout your day. (Gracefully, we might add!) There's no need to suffer from skin irritations on top of that. Here's exactly how to address your pesky problems.
1. Itchy Scalp
Everything from dyeing to blow drying to over-brushing your mane can leave the scalp red and bothered. Also, yeast resides on the scalp, and an overgrowth of this microorganism could lead to dandruff.
The Simple Rx:It all comes down to finding the culprit. Your dermatologist can test for the exact chemicals that could be causing the reaction. If you're dealing with dandruff, consider an over-the-counter shampoo containing selenium or zinc pyrithione, according to Cleveland Clinic.
2. Irritated Eyes
OK, not a skin issue, but annoying nonetheless! Your eyes take a beating every day — dry indoor heating or cooling, strong winds, the bright sun, and the blue light from your computer screen and smartphone all contribute to dryness and irritation.
The Simple Rx:To soothe your eyes fast, try SYSTANE® ULTRA Lubricant Eye Drops, the number-one doctor-recommended brand of artificial tears. It's important to be prepared when symptoms like burning and irritation from dry eyes strike, so keep the eye drops close by (like in your purse or on your nightstand) for fast, long-lasting relief.
3. Chapped lips
A parched pout, caused by the weather, dehydration, or regularly licking your lips (thanks to the enzymes present in saliva), is a pain.
The Simple Rx:The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests applying a lubricated lip cream, a lip balm that contains sunscreen, or petroleum jelly to your pucker. Keeping your entire body hydrated (i.e., drinking plenty of fluids and using a humidifier to moisten the air in your home) can help soothe chapped lips as well, according to the Mayo Clinic.
4. Dry elbows
You're not alone on this one. The skin on the elbow is naturally drier and denser than on other parts of the body, because there are very few sebaceous glands (which secrete moisturizing oil) on the elbow.
The Simple Rx:Wash away any dead skin cells by gently exfoliating the area with warm water and a washcloth, sponge, or pumice for about 30 seconds, advises the AAD. Then apply a generous amount of cream or ointment that contains an oil (such as olive oil and jojoba oil), or Shea butter. There — so much better!
5. Fraying cuticles
Cuticles serve as a barrier to protect your nails and surrounding skin from infection. If they get ragged, a rough manicure or cutting your cuticles with a snipper might be to blame.
The Simple Rx:Nourish your nail area with a cuticle oil, like . Twice a month, gently push back (never cut!) cuticles with an orange stick — just make sure they're moistened with oil first.
6. Razor bumps
Shaving can leave your skin with reddish bumps (almost like pimples) and a burning sensation anywhere you've removed hair. They're ingrown hairs, and women (and men) with coarse or curly hair are more likely to be affected.
The Simple Rx:Unplug the clogged hair follicle with exfoliating ingredients, such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid. Also always shave in the direction of the hair growth while using a moisturizing shaving gel, foam, or cream. Follow up with a moisturizer for your legs or a hydrating deodorant for your underarms, like Dove's Invisible Dry Spray, which contains sunflower seed oil.
7. Parched hands
Dry air can be behind scaly hands, but other common drying agents include smoking, genetics, aging, soaps and skincare products that contain alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). Washing in hard water is also an issue; extra minerals in tap H2O can leave a substance on the skin that blocks sebaceous glands.
The Simple Rx:Wash with unscented soaps and pat dry. Then, apply an ointment or cream that contains softening oils (like olive or jojoba), vitamin E, lactic acid, urea, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, glycerin, lanolin, mineral oil, or petrolatum, advises the AAD. For extra protection, wear gloves when cleaning dishes and your home — the harsh ingredients in most household products can exacerbate chapped hands.
8. Cracked heels
Our heels can expand and split for a number of reasons, including standing too long, walking barefoot, wearing sandals, living in a dry climate, or suffering from obesity. Left untreated, cracked heels — or heel fissures — will deepen over time, opening the door for infections.
The Simple Rx:First, soften your skin by washing and drying the heel. Then, exfoliate it using a pumice stone, gently removing the dead skin by filing in one direction. Moisturize your feet at least twice a day (look for products that contain lactic acid or uric acid to keep callouses at bay), and pop on a pair of cotton socks. Now you're ready for sandal weather!
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