Sunday, December 13, 2015

Do you have dry, itchy skin on your body?

Below is the case of a woman with dry skin due to hormone changes, but the information provided can help anyone with dry, itchy skin.

I had my ovaries removed 3 months ago and my skin on my entire body is so dry, it’s driving me crazy. I can literally scrape the dead skin off!

I am on estrogen medication, and when I asked my doctor what I could do, he said the dry skin is part of “the change” and that maybe in 6 months or so it will get better.

I live in Florida, so dry skin shouldn’t be such a problem in my life. Is there anything I can do to keep my skin from itching and get rid of all this dry skin?

This is a common problem for women who are going through perimenopause or really anyone living in a dry climate. To add to that, this client also had her estrogen-producing ovaries removed, so her skin just doesn’t have much of a chance to lubricate itself. Although, as the doctor said, there may not be any cures for the dry skin, I do believe there are things you can do to help the dryness from driving you crazy.

I asked this client if she had ever used body oils. Her answer was no. I asked if she had oil she used in her kitchen, she said yes. I told her to pour out about 1/4 cup of the oil into a container she could take into her shower with her. Here are the instructions I gave her:

  • After she had done everything in the shower,  keep the shower water running and take some of the oil and start spreading it over her body.
  • Start with the legs, but don’t put oil on the bottoms of your feet! Otherwise you might slip and fall in the tub.
  • Apply the oil in a medium layer to your entire body, back, front, up and down.
  • Massage the oil in to the skin, then let the water rinse any oil off that will come off.
  • Once you are out of the shower, don’t rub with your towel, but pat dry. This way the oil will have a better chance of staying on your skin.
  • You can apply an oil after you have gotten out of the shower or bathtub, but don’t dry your skin off first; apply any oil to wet skin, massage in and let it have it time to soak in.

You can also use this oil method in a bathtub, also being careful not to get oil on the bottoms of your feet, so when you’re exiting the tub you don’t slip and fall. Pour some oil into the bath water and while you’re there, smooth the oily water over all of your dry spots. Since oil is lighter than water, it will stay on the surface so be sure to massage any oil in where the water line was once you’re out of the tub.

An alternative to using plain oil from your kitchen is a get a manufactured product made specifically for (body) skin. Yonka has several body oils in its lineup and there are many other product lines that do as well. These will be more expensive, obviously, than a kitchen oil but look around and find one you like and one that has an aromatic that is pleasing since this scent will remain on you for a while after its application.

I wouldn’t put clothes on immediately—or at least I wouldn’t dress up. Bed or house clothes won’t matter as much if any oil residue gets on them. The more you massage the oil into your skin, the less it will affect any clothing you put on after the shower. You also get the benefit of blood circulation from the massage (as well as from the heat from the shower you just took).

Although I’m not a fan of mineral oil products for the face, when it comes to dry, itchy skin on the body these heavier, non-penetrating oils may be just the ticket to help with true-dry skin. Body lotions with mineral oil as a top ingredient are easy to obtain in most any kind of store that caries body products. You will probably find that these types of lotions will go far to helping your dry skin.

Exfoliation gloves make an excellent choice for getting rid of the dead skin on your body. You simply slip the gloves on, apply a bath gel, and go over all parts of your body. These gloves are easily rinsed out and can make exfoliating not only easy but fun as well. Be sure not to rub too hard, lest you cause skin irritation. And do be sure to thoroughly rinse the gloves before hanging them on the towel rack to dry, or throw them in the washing machine. More information on this exfoliation process can be found in the link below.

You may not be going through menopause, but perhaps you live in a cold and/or dry environment. The same oil application can help you too. During winter here in Colorado (and I know in Chicago), if the cold air doesn’t get you, the heat inside the buildings will! Using oil on your body with truly dried out skin is the most effective way to get rid of that dry feeling.

For more information, see: