Do you ever feel like you have to put lotion on all of the time in order to get rid of your dry skin? Now that it’s beginning to feel like winter, many people will start to get dry skin because of the dry air from our heaters and the cold air from the wind blowing on our face. But dry skin can occur because of several reasons relating to our health, not just the cold dry weather. Some causes for dry skin are skin dehydration, where the oil glands do not supply enough lubrication to the skin, poor diet, food allergies, under active thyroid, and diabetes. Here are some secrets to getting rid of that dry skin by changing your diet.
Staying hydrated during winter is just as important as it is during the hot summers. Your body should be so well hydrated that you don’t even need to put on body lotion. That means drinking lots of water! Drinks such as juice and soda contain a lot of sugar and artificial sweeteners that should be avoided, not to mention empty calories. Coffee is okay in moderation for some people (typically for the Bears, Monkeys, and Giraffes), but should be used with caution because of its diuretic effects.
• Drink herbal teas of chamomile, dandelion, or peppermint to help with dry skin.
How much water should you be drinking?
The recommended amount of water that each person should be consuming is 50% of their body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you will want to drink 75 ounces of water per day. That may sound like a lot, and it is a lot, but your body needs that much to stay hydrated and for the oil glands to produce enough lubrication for the skin. When your body does not get enough water it will start showing on the out side of your body-in your skin! You may also recognize that your nails and hair may be weak and brittle, which may be another sign of dehydration. If you can, drink filtered water. Tap water contains too many chemicals, which can harm the skin.
Diet for Dry Skin
Eating a healthy diet will help with dry skin, psoriasis, eczema, and other skin problems. People who tend to eat a diet high in sugar, simple carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners, and foods with preservatives can cause your body stress and your outer body will show it. This can also lead you to having dry skin and of course, other health problems.
• Try cutting out the sugar, white breads and pasta, coffee with sugar, sodas, diet sodas, sweeteners, cookies, pizza, packaged snacks like chips or vending machine type foods, TV dinners, canned foods, and packaged meats.
Eat more whole fresh foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and lean meats. The better quality of foods that you consume, the better your skin will become.
Sulfur-containing foods: Sulfur helps to keep skin smooth and youthful. Eat garlic, onions, eggs, and asparagus since they are high in sulfur.
Eat foods that are high in beta-carotene: Beta-carotene is present in dark leafy green vegetables, carrots and yellow, red fruits (such as peaches and apricots). This anti-oxidant helps maintain healthy skin, hair, and protects the mucus membrane.
Good fats and oils: Flax seed oil, salmon, nuts, soybeans are also excellent sources of essential fatty acids-omega 3 fatty acids and omega-6s. These are converted in the body into hormones like substances called prostaglandins, which support skin health. Essential fatty acids protect skin cells and are responsible for healthy cell membranes, which not only act as barriers to keep harmful things out, but also act as the passageway for nutrients to cross into the cell and waste products to cross out of the cell. The cell membrane also holds in water to keep the skin adequately hydrated. The stronger the cell membrane is, the more moisture your cells can hold, which means no dry skin.
Vitamin A and C: Many believe these vitamins to be very effective for skin disorders. As antioxidants vitamin A and C also help enhance immune function. Cantaloupes, carrots, and apricots are healing foods for dry skin because they are rich in vitamins A and C.
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol): Another vitamin believed beneficial for skin disorders.
Folic Acid: Besides the fact that everyone needs folic acid, folic acid has wound healing properties and may help clear those blemishes and skin irritations caused from dry skin.
Vitamin B-12: An essential nutrient, of the many things it does is help build proteins, which is what collagen is made of, which is what your skin is made of!
Selenium: Selenium is a trace mineral that helps in the production of antioxidants. Evidence suggests selenium may help.
Para-aminobenzoic acid: You may recognize this from its well known acronym PABA, the ingredient in sun blocker. It has been suggested since the 1940’s that PABA taken internally would have a beneficially effect on various skin disorders.
MSM: As an aid in healing, MSM helps repair damaged tissue in chronic pain and skin conditions. It may also help accelerate hair and nail growth.
Nettles leaf powder: The leaf form of this herb has been used for years in the form of various remedies to help various skin-related disorders.
Horsetail grass powder: Another herb that does many things, along with helping brittle nails and skin disorders.
Eczema is the common term for atopic dermatitis—a chronic, allergic skin irritation. This itchy, flakey, dry rash may appear on the inner surface of elbows and knees, the backs of the upper arms, wrists, cheeks, scalp, or eyelids.
Psoriasis is a disease which has gray or slivery, dry, flaky patches on the skin which are red and inflamed underneath. Commonly affected areas include the scalp, elbows, knees, navel, palms, ears, and groin.
Both eczema and psoriasis are skin disorders that can be treated by eliminating certain foods that the body is allergic to. Many people who have psoriasis and eczema have other symptoms that suggest the diagnosis of food allergies such as migraine headaches, sinusitis, fatigue, ear infections, and gastrointestinal disturbances.
Food allergies are known to cause reddening, flushing, dry and irritated skin. The body is rejecting the food sensitivity and trying to get rid of it. Try eliminating several foods from your diet to check for food allergies. See if your condition is relieved. Start by cutting out gluten filled foods for a few days, then next try dairy, then eggs, etc….Here at Caring Medical we have a food allergy test that you can take to test for food allergies. This test will show which foods your body has a sensitivity to that could be causing your skin irritations.
An allergic reaction to an artificial sweetener like aspartame in soft drinks, gelatin, sugar-free foods, candy, and other foods can cause noticeable skin irritations in many skin disorder sufferers. Like we talked about before, eliminate sugar, simple carbohydrates, and artificial sweeteners. Most of these foods contain chemicals and preservatives that are very harmful to the body.
Nutrients that help with Psoriasis and Eczema are beta-cartoene, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, copper, vitamin E, flax see oil, and vitamin C.
Having an under active thyroid can result in hypothyroidism which is a sluggish thyroid gland, and can result in dry skin. This means that the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone. One cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease. This disease will make the body develop antibodies to destroy thyroid tissue. When this happens the thyroid is unable to produce enough hormones. Hypothyroidism can also be caused by other factors such as, iodine deficiency, certain medications, and inflammation of thyroid gland due to infections. We can also check your thyroid function with some simple blood tests. So if you suspect this, come on in for a consultation.
People with diabetes are more prone to skin problems. The main reason is because of fluctuations in blood glucose levels. Good blood glucose control generally results in less skin problems. If blood glucose levels go high your body will lose fluid and some of that fluid will be lost from the layers of your skin drying it out.
If skin is dry, other problems may occur like flaky, itchy skin. If it is itchy and you scratch it, it will become sore. Dry skin is also more likely to crack, allowing germs to enter.
This could be caused by your diet. Eating foods that are high is sugar will bring glucose levels up. We cannot stress this enough, stay away from sugar and sweeteners. Simple carbohydrates, soda, artificial sweeteners, white breads and pasta, desserts, and cookies are foods that cause the body stress.
The Best Diet for you…
If you want to figure out what type of diet you should be following based on your individual body type, make an appointment for Hauser Diet Typing. You’ve heard us talk about this many times before. But we feel it is the best way to determine what your body needs. Our Diet Typing includes venous Blood pH (this tells us if your blood is alkaline or acidic) and a Glucose Tolerance Test (which shows us how fast you oxidize your food). Getting this test done will show which foods your body needs more of and less of. Come to Caring Medical, we can help you get on the right diet to help your dry, irritated skin, and your overall health!