Skin is the largest organ of the body and also, it is the outer covering of the body. It contains 7% of the Body Weight. Skin mainly consists of 2 layers Epidermis and Dermis. Epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin also called protective wrap of the body. It protects the body against the infections. When skin loses too much water and oil or when skin lacks moisture, it leads to Dry skin.
In this article, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of Dry skin, Ayurvedic aspects of the same, and the beneficial home remedies to prevent and get rid of the situation along with some dietary changes.
Dry skin is a very common skin problem among all the age groups. Sometimes, it is the natural skin type of a person and other times, it may be caused due to some factors such as dehydration, infection, etc. Dry skin is also known as “Winter Itch”. Because, it is very common in dry months of the winter season. The most infected areas of the body due to dry skin are the lower legs, upper arms, sides of abdomen and thighs. The medical term which is used for extremely Dry skin is Dermatitis. There are three types of Dermatitis such as,
- Atopic Dermatitis: Atopic Dermatitis is also known as Eczema.
- Contact Dermatitis: Name suggests that this type of Dermatitis can occur after coming in contact with irritating chemicals, etc.
- Seborrheic Dermatitis: This type of Dermatitis occurs when production of oil by skin is increased.
But, here we will not discuss it majorly, but only the general problem of dry and itchy skin.
Symptoms of Dry Skin
Some common symptoms of Dry and Itchy skin in winters.
- Skin Tightness after bathing
- Highly roughness
- Cracks that leads to bleeding sometimes
- Scaly Skin
- Ashy Skin
Causes of Dry Skin
Some common symptoms of dry and itchy skin are:
- Dehydration: Lack of water content from skin may lead to dry and itchy.
- Nutritional Deficiency: Low level of certain nutrients in blood is responsible for dry skin. Deficiency of Vitamin B is the major one of them.
- Use of Diuretics: Regular use of some drugs such as Dorsamide, furosemide, results in loss of water content from the body, resists dryness of skin and forms scaly lesions.
- Age: With increase in age pores present in skin naturally produce less amount of oil becomes lusterless and dry skin.
- Over exposure to sun and wind: UV rays can damage or kill skin cells due to over exposure of skin in sun resulting in Dry
- Fungal Infections: Various kinds of infections may also cause dry and itchy skin such as, Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), etc.
- Hereditary: Most of the skin diseases are caused due to hereditary factors. It passes from one generation to another.
- Regular use of Air Conditioners: Air Conditioners release dried air that is responsible for the reduction of humidity. Due to lack of humidity, skin becomes dried, and rough.
- Environmental changes: Various kinds of climatic conditions cause Dry and Itchy skin. For example, people live in dry climatic conditions having more chances to get it. Breakdown of skin oil due to chemical pollutants that are present in the environment also leads to Dry skin.
In winters, the humidity level of the external environment is low. There is very cool and dry air blowing in winter, and this factor is responsible for evaporation of water content from skin that leads to excess Dry and Tight skin in Winter season. According to Ayurveda, Pitta prakop is mainly responsible for Dryness of skin in Sharad ritu.
Acharya Sushrut had beautifully described skin under the term of “त्वचा” in “शरीरस्थान” (4th chapter and 4th shloka of Grabhvyakarn sharir).
As we know, Dryness is the quality of Vata Dosha, thus, due to the over consumption of diet and practice of lifestyle that aggravates Vata Dosha, and in turn, vitiates the Kapha Dosha that cause symptoms like scaly skin with roughness, wrinkling and redness. So, we have to simply reduce the vitiated dosha and bring them to their normal state with the help of natural sources.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Dry and Itchy Skin
Here, we are going to discuss some Home Remedies that can be done to prevent / treat Dry skin.
- Drink more fluids: Drink plenty of fluids such as water, pumpkin juice, freshly prepared fruit juices, coconut water, etc. to stay hydrated.
- Consumption of several fresh fruits and vegetables: More consumption of fresh fruits is recommended. Fruits contain highly rich nutrients and fiber and they keep you fresh and hydrated. Whereas, fresh green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins. For example, fresh broccoli is the best green vegetable for skin as it contains lutein that protects your body from oxidative damage (which leads to dry skin).
- Dry Fruits: Walnuts are an excellent home remedy for fine skin because it contains essential fatty acids and other nutrients. Almonds, Cashew nuts, and resins act as a source of rich carbohydrates and minerals.
- Use of Herbs & Rasayana: Chayawanprash, Amlaki Rasayan, Gandhak Rasayan, Aloe vera, etc. are the antioxidants that promote healthy skin.
- Use of Turmeric Milk: Turmeric contains curcumin (active agent) which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which supports in maintaining the healthy skin cells.
- Use of Tankan Bhasmas: Tankan bhasma is the purified form of Borax. All of us, especially Indians are well aware about Suhaga (Borax). It is a very good antifungal agent. It gives relief from various symptoms of dry skin such as itching, etc. To use Tankan bhasma: Take a piece of Suhaga, heat it on the pan until it swells up. Then take the swelled purified Suhaga, crush it well, and you will have a fine powder which is Tankan bhasma. Apply it on dry skin.
Some Other Topical Home Remedies for Dry And Itchy Skin are
- Use of Mustard oil: Mustard oil maintains soothness, and moisture in the skin. It is described as the best for “kushth rog” by “Acharya Charka”.
- Use of Coconut oil: Due to its Vata, & Pitta calming properties. It is best to be used in scaly skin lesions and also in dandruff conditions. It is the perfect and easiest remedy for having healthy skin and hair as well, also suits each and every person with any skin type.
- Aloe Vera gel: Aloe Vera gel is another effective home remedies. It is used in the treatment and prevention of Dry skin especially in Seborrheic Dermatitis.
Lifestyle Changes / Modifications
Following the above diet and using the remedies as external application, some changes are required to be done in the lifestyle also, such as:
- Keep body and skin warm and covered.
- Avoid overexposure of skin to sun and wind
- Avoid overuse of Air conditioners.
- Take an adequate amount of sleep.
- Avoid waking up late during night hours as it vitiates Vata and Pitta doshas.
- Reduce the consumption of Non-vegetarian food items
- Avoid use of packed food items or food stored in plastic containers.
- Frozen food items should also be avoided.
- Use of alcohol beverages, soft drinks, junk food items should be restricted.
- Avoid consumption of stale food.
Try the above provided easy and convenient to use home remedy and stay away from the bad effects of dry skin on your health and lifestyle. Having dry skin also decreases the confidence of a person, and especially the dry scalp / dandruff worsens it. So, do not let your confidence go down due to a little ignorance. Follow the remedies and prevent the adverse consequences. For more details, stay connected.