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Dealing with Dry skin

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Sand paper skin is not uncommon in cold weather conditions and easily treated with plentiful moisturisers, however sometimes you need a dermatologist to address the extremely dry skin.

Basically dryness of skin leads to compromised barrier function of skin, this could be any body part but commonly the exposed body parts. Lips are the first and the worst to suffer due to dryness. many a times it becomes challenging to understand which is your moisturiser as the market is flooded with fancy moisturisers each one claiming to be the best and long lasting. Skin is kept hydrated with the water content in the upper layer, the layer of sweat and sebum keeps a check on the evaporation of internal water content. Visibly dry rough and flaky skin is the result of transepidermal water loss. The reasons for this could be many; weather conditions, frequent long hot water bath, detergents, central heating and air condition, sun exposure, allergic skin, hypothyroidism and old age to name some.

Moisturisers are available as creams lotion gels and serums. Petroleum jelly in fact is still used as a first choice for many skin conditions. Oil is also used as a moisturiser for ages and this too acts by occlusion, it is highly recommended by dermatologists. Moisturisers can be humectant or occlusives, humectants attract water from air to moisturise and occlusives restrict the water loss from skin. Moisturisers come in combination as well for instance with sun screen, with anti-inflammatory agents like aloe chamomile, with tinted finish as make up base, or with antioxidants. Heavy moisturisers work well for elbows knees exfoliating moisturisers are preferred for these areas. Apart from hydrating moisturisers injectable hyaluronic acid are also used for extremely dry skin especially when fine lines and flaking is uncontrollable. This is not limited to ageing or mature skin, dermatologists consider this as an option when local applications have not yielded results; it receives the patient of the dry stretchy feeling all day long however moisturisers are an important maintenance regimen.

I cannot stress the importance of diet for dry skin, there is enough published literature on how diet can influence skin conditions, I recommend fish especially salmon and sardines regularly for moisturising skin from within. walnuts for vegetarians are recommended. Intake of ghee is suggested in fact local application of ghee especially for lips works very well. So just enjoy the weather with loads of moisturisers but be regular with application!

(Dr Narmada Matang is a reputed dermatologist practicing in Hiranandani Gardens Powai since 17 years. She is also an author of the book “How to look like a million buck” and has contributed to many books on the subject.She has been awarded for her contribution as a woman achiever in 2016. For more details on any skin and hair concerns please contact her at Neo skin and cosmetic clinic 410 B wing fourth floor, Above ICICI Bank, Galleria shopping complex, Hiranandani Gardens
Powai, Mumbai 400076.
Contact 9920973724/ 02225703390
www.drnarmada.com
www.neoskinandcosmeticclinic.com)