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Remedies for Patches
of Dry Itchy Skin

Clean beauty industry maven Mary Futher founded kaia naturals® after spending 20 years working for global beauty companies. Mary now shares her weekly content series, delivering a quick fix, home remedy, or clean beauty product suggestion for a variety of human discomforts that some may find too embarrassing to discuss.

As winter approaches, the heating goes on and dry air begins to creep in with the fireplace, heater, or a hot shower, and then so do the small patches of itchy dry skin.

For those of us that suffer from this annoying skin condition in the winter, we all know that moisturizers are not always enough or at least finding one that actually solves the problem is difficult. Below is some seriously good advice on what you can do (besides moisturizer):

What Causes Patches of Dry Itchy Skin?

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Environmental Factors

1. During the winter months, the moisture in the air decreases and we can turn on our heaters. Heaters draw the moisture out of the air as it delivers warm air. We can compensate on the lost moisture with a humidifier especially in the bedroom as you sleep, it also prevents sore dry throat in the morning.

2. The change in our environment effects the transepidermal water loss (TEWL) in our skin. “TEWL is the amount of water that passively evaporates through skin,” according to Science Direct. The external factors in our environment change the pressure and either helps retain moisture or takes it away. During the cooler months when the air becomes dryer, and there is a constant change in environment, going from outside, cold air, to inside, warm air, puts our body, immune system and skin under stress and effecting the TEWL of our skin and results in feeling dry, and itchy.

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Soap

According to a leading dermatologist Dr. Sandy Skotnicki, the author of Beyond Soap, suggested that soap plays a huge role in skin irritation (especially in the winter months) due to daily showering and shampooing.

There’s no need to wash your entire body every day, just your “bits” (armpits, genitals, and feet). Using soap on your legs and arms that don’t really get very dirty on an average day, especially in winter when we are covering most of our bodies up to stay warm, is lending itself to patches of itchy dry skin. Eliminating soap on arms and legs at least three times a week can save your skins’ microbiome a great deal of trauma and help to reduce patches of dry itchy skin.

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Hot Showers

Although a scorching hot shower on those chilly winter mornings may sound delightful, it’s best to keep the water tepid. Hot showers may exacerbate dry skin problems you may already be dealing with, like eczema.

It’s very easy to burn the skin, if you find that you come out of the shower and your skin is red, you may need to turn the temperature way down. Another mistake that is very common when showering is rough drying the skin. It’s cold and you want to put your clothes on as fast as possible, so you harshly dry yourself off. After a hot shower, abrasive towelling your skin is definitely going to dry out your skin. Instead, lightly pat the skin dry.

Hot Showers

Although a scorching hot shower on those chilly winter mornings may sound delightful, it’s best to keep the water tepid. Hot showers may exacerbate dry skin problems you may already be dealing with, like eczema.

It’s very easy to burn the skin, if you find that you come out of the shower and your skin is red, you may need to turn the temperature way down. Another mistake that is very common when showering is rough drying the skin. It’s cold and you want to put your clothes on as fast as possible, so you harshly dry yourself off. After a hot shower, abrasive towelling your skin is definitely going to dry out your skin. Instead, lightly pat the skin dry.

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In Shower Hack to Combat Patches of Dry Itchy Skin

My husband is one of those typical men who skip the moisturizer when he comes out of the shower and as a result has suffered from dry itchy patches of skin on his arms and legs and when working out it is even worse (as he is showering twice per day). I understand that if you work out and you sweat then me telling you to ditch the soap, is not be the most appealing. So this is why my Barrier Method works for those clean obsessed folks that love to shower.

Here’s the method that I developed to help my husband with his dry patches. I keep an oil mixture in a pump container in my shower.   I create a moisture barrier using oil and apply it all over your body before lathering with soap. Apply the oil rinse off both the oil and the soap, completely. After stepping out of the shower, I still suggest using a moisturizer, but you will notice a significate reduction in dry patchy skin and you will see better results from your moisturizer.

This hack isn’t some crazy, expensive, hard to come by method, instead, you can buy all these ingredients from your local grocery store and I am sure you probably already have a few in your pantry.

I use these three oils, avocado oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, almond oil (avoid coconut oil as it is too greasy and can cause a fall in the shower). Mix equal parts (1/3) in a bottle with a pump.

This method helped my husband and completely combatted his dry patches in the winter.

Each week on my blog The Little Book of Human Discomforts I share clever solutions for seemingly embarrassing skin, body, and hair issues. Consider subscribing below to be the first to know when new content is live! I also share lots of body and skincare tips on Instagram @kaianaturals and on my TikTok page @madamesweat.

The information provided in this blog is taken from Healthline (1). Medical News Today (1), HuffPost, Well + Good, Everyday health, Healthline (2), Harvard, Medical News Today (2), Science Direct, Healthline (3), Beyond Soap.

All content found on this website is created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website. 

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