Itchy skin is annoying. Whether you have several skin conditions, or just don’t have a routine in place to give your skin some TLC, there’s so much you can do to feel better.
After noticing my eczema skin care treatment article ranking in the top five posts on this blog most days, I thought I’d expand those ideas into a new post relating specifically to the lingering itch that accompanies rosacea, autoimmune atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis, three skin conditions I manage each day.
Since my diagnoses (via skin biopsies), I’ve paid extra attention to what I’m putting on my skin and inside my body that can have an effect on my skin. If you also have these conditions, these tips might help you too.
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Skin Care on the Outside
1. Moisturize every day. If you occasionally apply lotion after a shower, it’s probably not enough. Use a thick barrier cream to penetrate itchy, dry skin and protect it from wind, skin and overuse. I rotate my use of Eucerin, CeraVe and Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Diaper Rash Ointment.
2. Follow the doctor’s orders. If you have a skin condition, use the prescription or over-the-counter products your dermatologist tells you to use. I know it can be time-consuming (my daily routine takes an hour!!), but the compounding effects of regular treatments promote healing and comfort.
3. Protect your skin. Wear sunscreen daily on exposed facial or body skin (even in the winter or fall) if you’re going to be outside. On days that I forget sunscreen for my face, the itchy dryness and red patches of rosacea pop up.
Skin Care on the Inside
4. Drink more water. You hear this all the time for so many reasons, and one includes keeping my skin hydrated. I try to mix it up and drink lots of herbal tea, coconut water, plain water and water with fresh lemon. The Mayo Clinic suggests 11.5 cups per day for women and 15.5 cups for men.
5. Learn your allergies. You may have an undiagnosed food allergy that is irritating your skin from the inside out. For me, it’s pineapple, peanuts and raisins that make me itch like crazy. I’m also sensitive to refined sugars and cow-based dairy products. An allergist can do testing to help you learn which foods or environmentals adversely affect your skin.
6. Eat fresh foods. I notice my skin is much healthier when I stay away from overly processed, packaged foods with ingredients created in a lab, not a garden.
If you have ongoing itchy skin, but haven’t been diagnosed with a specific condition, please visit a dermatologist. Use the American Academy of Dermatology Association’s dermatologist look-up by zip code, state, name or condition.
There are many, many illnesses and health issues that manifest as itchy skin. Please take care of yourself!
Until next time,
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Note: This post was updated on October 28, 2019 with new information from the Mayo Clinic on water drinking guidelines.