The most common therapy for dry skin tends to be a high-quality moisturizer. However, over time, people usually learn that with health, what you eat has as much of an impact on your condition as a topical solution. People who suffer from dry skin and more severe skin conditions like eczema regularly have to deal with flare-ups and cracking, which turn into wounds and painful itching. So, anything that can help alleviate dry skin problems can be a plus for affected people.
Lipids are the Key Players!
From a scientific and medical perspective, it’s the lipids in the skin that give the external layer its flexibility and protection from dehydration. However, when skin lipids are short on fat, the layer tends to lose moisture far faster. The loss, in turn, creates a drying-out effect. That fat source comes from consuming omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats.
On the omega-3 fat menu list of foods for dry skin, people should be eating:
- Natural (not farmed) Fish
- Grass-fed Eggs
- Grass-fed Beef
- Flaxseed Oil
If you are not into fish, consider at least consuming regular omega-3 supplements. The body will use some of it for recovery, which is better than nothing at all.
As for omega-6 fats in a diet for dry skin, most Americans have no problem consuming plenty of that type. Omega-6 fats are regularly found in corn, a common food staple in the American diet. Omega-6 can also be consumed in safflower oil.
Getting That Itch Taken Care Of
As for reducing itching, the most common symptom of dry skin, many patients have found significant relief in consuming primrose oil on a regular basis. Borage seed oil is another supplement that can help, especially with water retention in the skin. Borage oil is particularly effective for small children and infants with dry skin problems as well.
Another supplement that has been a standard for dry skin improvement has been Vitamin C. The mineral is a must for skin to be able to retain and build up its collagen levels, which in turn helps hold onto moisture. A quality multivitamin with a combination of Vitamin C, copper, and zinc provides a triple bonus.
The Myth of Caffeine and Alcohol
In extreme amounts, both caffeine and alcohol can have negative effects on the body, but neither of them has an immediate effect on the skin. Instead, their damage is long-term, built up over time when either drink is abused heavily. Extreme alcohol drinking poisons the liver and eventually the body, and heavy caffeine constricts circulation, making it harder for the body to deliver nutrients, including resources to external skin layers. An average drink a day of coffee in the morning and a beer at night is not going to suddenly turn a person into a dried-out prune. That’s more likely to happen from general dehydration and being exposed to the heat of the sun first.
Getting Professional Help
Your best results will come from a combination of both diet and high-quality topicals. If you’re realizing a need for professional help for dry skin, Valley Skin Institute is available. Call our team to schedule an appointment for an evaluation or shop our specialized skin care products.