After facing demanding bosses, traffic, and other aggravations, most people can’t wait to get home and relax. However, the place you go to put your feet up and relax may harbor its own kind of annoyances: things that can cause dry, itchy skin.
When it comes to household skin irritants, the list is practically endless. It includes cleaning products, floor polishes, air fresheners, and laundry detergent, just to name a few. These products strip skin of essential water and oils, leading to dryness and irritation. In some people, dry skin can progress to more severe skin conditions such as eczema or dermatitis.
In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our May 2010 issue, we turned to WebMD's Skin Care Expert, Karyn Grossman, MD, to get advice on dealing with those pesky little bumps that so many of us have on our upper arms.
Q. I have lots of little bumps on my upper arms -- I don't like going sleeveless. What are they? Can I get rid of them?
A. Those little bumps are caused by keratosis pilaris, a common skin condition...
To fight household irritants and make your home environment more soothing to your skin, try these practical tips:
Dry Skin Fix # 1: Gloves
You may have heard that if you want to keep your age a secret, you should take care of your hands. This means protecting them from harsh household cleaners and dish detergents, which are proven skin irritants.
To keep your dry skin soft and supple, cover them with non-latex rubber gloves when it’s time to scrub. Or better yet, create a double barrier of protection: Wear a pair of rubber gloves overtop a layer of thin, soft cotton ones before you touch a bucket or sponge.
Dry Skin Fix # 2: Post-Swim Shower and Moisture
One cause of dry, itchy skin isn’t in your home but lurking right outside in the pool: chlorine. The best dry skin treatment when it comes to chlorine-ravaged skin? Chemical-free water.
As soon as you or your children step out of the pool, head inside to rinse off with water and mild soap. Then follow up with a moisturizer that lists glycerin as the first ingredient. The glycerin will help your skin hold on to moisture more efficiently, preventing future dryness.
Dry Skin Fix # 3: Fish and Flaxseed Oil
If you have dry skin, you already know that your age, the environment, and even the time of year can take its toll on your skin. But did you know that fish and flaxseed oil that contain EFAs -- essential fatty acids -- can help keep your skin hydrated by protecting it from the damaging effects of the environment? Ask your health care provider about adding fish and flaxseed oil to help keep your skin moisturized.