November 29, 2011

Dry Skin: How to Prevent Them Naturally

dry skinDry skin, more scientifically called Xerosis, is a condition when our skin becomes freckled and wrinkled. Our skin needs moisture and oil to remain supple. As we grow older these oil producing glands, also called the sebaceous glands, starts fading out. There are several environmental factors to lose moisture from the skin. During the winter season and in hot dry areas, moisture starts evaporating from our skin. Although dry skin is not a serious condition, it looks odd to have wrinkles in our face and other body parts.

A condition called ichthyosis is a disease where there is extensive dryness of the skin leading to restriction of normal activities. This can be very much devastating psychologically. The skin becomes scaly and extremely rough.

Nutritional deficiency especially less intake of Vitamin A and B-group of vitamins can lead to dry skin condition. Exposure to direct sunlight for a long time, working in dusty and windy environment can also lead to dry skin. During winter season, as the humidity falls, our skin becomes dry. It is also true in a centrally air-conditioned and centrally heated room. Fireplace is again another notorious object to destroy humidity and precipitating dry skin. If you have a habit of having a hot bath for a long time, the upper protective oily coat of your skin becomes washed out. This is a common risk factor for dry skin. Some chemicals, especially some low quality soaps (having less Total Fatty Matter – TFM) are among the common reasons for dry skin. Tanning in a beach for a long time has the risk of exposure to ultraviolet rays. This ray can penetrate through the epidermal layer of the skin and damaging the sebum producing glands.

There are disease conditions like Psoriasis, Xeroderma pigmentosa and Hyperthyroidism which can lead to dry skin. If you have dry skin for a long time, there is chance to develop inflammation and infection of that particular area.

You can beat the formation of dry skin by adopting some lifestyle modifications. If you have a habit to bathe for a long time, cut it short and finish it within 5-10 minutes. It is better to bathe in lukewarm water. Sitting away from the air-conditioner duct, the room heater and from the fireplace will save some moisture. If you are going for a sun tanning, apply a better quality sun-block cream (SPF 20 or higher) to all your exposed body parts. Use good quality soaps and it is better to use natural face wash to clean your face. Avoid using deodorant soap as they are very harsh to your skin. Apply moisturizer or good quality body lotion liberally just after taking a bath. This will help to retain water from the shower. If you use chemical detergents for laundry, use mild detergents and wash your hands just after finishing the task. Use a humidifier if you are staying in a house with central heating system. Limit the use of body deodorants. You must pay attention to the linen you wear. Wardrobes full of cotton and silk fabric will let your skin to breathe and to retain moisture.

Eat plenty of water. Water deprivation is often the main cause of dry skin. And don’t forget to take fresh green leafy vegetables. There are several natural homemade beauty preparations that are extremely helpful for restoration of normal skin.

Dry Eyes: The Things You Should Know

dry eyesOur tears express many of our moods. The things make you sad will bring tears to your eyes. Again on the extreme opposite hand, tremendous enjoyment also makes you cry. But have you ever thought of the situation when your eyes become dry? Well, it can happen and the condition is called Dry Eyes Syndrome.

Dry Eyes Syndrome is medically termed as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca or Sicca syndrome. More than 10 million American citizens are suffering from dry eyes. If the tear is evaporated from the eyes at a rate which is more than normal or more commonly if the production of tear by the tear gland becomes compromised, the Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) can occur. Tears are the main source of nutrition and lubrication of the most outer part of our eyes. In case there is less tear production, this outer surface becomes dry. And every moment we blink or come in contact with the outer world, this layer gets irritated. Now let us know that the outer layer of the eyes is very much delicate. Here lies the cornea through which light rays fall over the lens and after that to the retina. If there is less amount of tear, there will be friction between the inner surface of the eyelids and the outer layer of the eyes. After a certain time, there is fair chance of production of opacity over the cornea, which means blindness.

The common symptoms of DES include a constant irritation on the eyes. You will feel that some small particles have entered and there is continuous gritty sensation. In DES, both the eyes are usually involved. There will be pain in the eyes, redness and feeling of heaviness behind the eyeball. There is secretion of exudative white fluid from the eyes which does not relieve the symptoms. The symptoms worsen in conditions of constant gazing like sitting in front of a computer, watching television, reading or driving. They also aggravate in windy and smoky atmosphere and become a bit lessened in humid conditions.

As it was already mentioned, DES occurs when there is less production of tear from the eyes. The cause is mainly idiopathic (where the actual cause cannot be differentiated). The common medical conditions where it can occur are – congenital absence of tear (lacrimal) glands, Xerophthalmia (Vitamin A deficiency), Sjögren’s syndrome, Rhuematoid Arthritis, SLE and Wegner’s granulomatosis. Long standing use of some drugs like diuretics, antidepressants, oral contraceptives and some hypertensive drugs can bring out DES.

Your ophthalmologist can diagnose the case only from the symptoms itself. Schirmer’s test is performed to quantify the amount of tears produced from the lacrimal glands. Recent development in diagnosing DES is to measure a special molecule called Ap4A in the tears. It can increase in some cases of DES.

Your doctor will tell you to avoid the conditions where you may have to gaze for a long time. The treatment includes instillation of artificial tear preparations over the eyes and to block the tear outflow system that drain out tears. Presently, there are over-the-counter artificial tear preparations available which means you don’t have to carry a doctor’s prescription to buy a product. Food additives containing Omega-3 fatty acid have shown to reduce the symptoms of DES to a certain extent. Instillation of Cyclosporin drop has also beneficial activity on DES. A small surgical procedure can block the mouth of the tear drainage system.

DES can be very irritable. You must consult the ophthalmologist once you feel that your eyes have become dry. Early diagnosis can make the condition more favorable.