We can all take steps to ease dry itchy skin without needing to seek medical treatment, says Jake Witherington, Senior Brand Manager at O’Keeffe’s Company, who offer a range of moisturisers specially-designed for dry skin.
“Anyone can be vulnerable to dry skin and it might be for any number of reasons” he said, adding that younger and older people are more susceptible to the problem of dry skin.
A skin barrier
The skin is made up of several layers, the outer of which is called the epidermis. It keeps allergens, pollution and irritants on the outside, and the water our skin needs to stay healthy on the inside. Dry skin can occur when this barrier gets damaged.
“A breakdown of the epidermis allows water to escape, and this is a key driver of dry skin,” said Jake, adding that dry skin can develop on any part of the body.
“Factors which can contribute to someone being susceptible to dry skin include genetics – some people are just unfortunate enough to have it in their family tree – but it could also be to do with lifestyle.”
Impact to skin can be caused by central heating or air conditioning systems, for example, and people who work outdoors through the cold season often suffer with dry skin, as do those who frequently wash their hands.”
“It can be itchy, flaky, scaly and in some cases skin can even crack, which could then potentially lead to infection. It can be debilitating and can really get in the way of everyday life, especially for people who work with their hands.”
While it is more common during the winter, Jake said dry skin can flare up at any time of the year.
But whatever the cause, there are ways of managing it without needing to seek medical treatment.
O’Keeffe’s, which was developed in California more than 20 years ago, has a high concentration of glycerine that draws moisture from the atmosphere and locks it in, known as a humectant action, providing your skin with that extra moisture to help your body repair.
O’Keeffe’s Skin Repair is effective for 48 hours after one application and is safe for people with skin conditions including eczema or diabetes.
“For people suffering with dry skin it’s incredibly important to moisturise with a product such as O’Keeffe’s Skin Repair after regular bathing to help lock in moisture; Avoiding perfumed products is also recommended as there are often substances present, which have been shown to sensitive skin and increase the likelihood of an adverse reaction” said Jake Witherington.
Make lifestyle changes
However, it’s not all about moisturiser, he said.
Getting out in the sun which stimulates your skin to produce Vitamin D – as per Public Health England’s advice – together with managing stress, drinking plenty of water and eating healthily will all help maintain adequate levels of water within the skin, and keep the barrier strong.
Source: Jake Witherington, Senior Brand Manager, O’Keeffe’s