Daily shower bad for your skin? Try the ‘soak and smear’

The East and the Midwest have been suffering a frigid, seemingly endless winter. The West, mainly California, has been mired in drought. Neither is good for skin.

The cold can keep people indoors in dry heating, while drought is, well, dry.

Combine this weather with the American love of frequent showers and baths and you’ve got a recipe for itchy, parched skin, or aggravated conditionslike dermatitis and eczema. Should we stop showering so much, as suggested by a recent Discovery News story, and embrace our stink?

Not necessarily, say dermatologists. It’s not so much how often you bathe, but how you bathe that matters.

Forget about that all over-sudsing, suggests Dr. Casey Carlos, assistant professor of medicine in the division of dermatology at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

“It’s the hardest thing to get people to use soap only where they need it,” Carlos told TODAY.com. Because soap is designed to remove oils from the skin, it’s drying. So Carlos suggests using it in armpits, the groin area, feet — the potentially smelly places —and skipping chest, back, legs, arms.

“People don’t realize that the skin does a pretty good job of cleaning itself,” Carlos said.

Use lukewarm, not hot, water, and keep showers short. (Water authorities in drought areas will thank you.) “Then, as soon as you get out of the shower, moisturize,” Carlos said.

Some research has shown using an emollient body wash can clean and moisturize as well as using an after-shower product. One risk, however, is that in-shower moisturizing can leave the shower or tub as slick as a used pasta plate.

“I used one, and the next time I stepped into the shower, I almost slipped,” Carlos said.

Baths can actually be therapeutic for dry skin sufferers because a soak in lukewarm water helps the skin absorb the moisture. Dermatologists use the phrase “soak and smear.” Soak for 10 or 15 minutes, then smear on moisturizer. That technique can be superior to moisturizing after a shower.

The American Academy of Dermatology says that small children and the elderly need to shower less often (unless, of course, your child has been building the Panama Canal in the backyard, or if they’ve been swimming in a lake, pool, or ocean.) The skin of small children is more delicate and elderly skin is naturally drier.

Many people, Carlos said, think that tight, after-shower feeling is a sign of cleanliness. It’s not. It means your skin is too dry

Source; Today health


5 Early signs you have a calcium deficiency

Calcium is widely found in the human body. While bones and teeth are home to 99 percent of the body’s calcium levels, remaining 1 percent circulates in the blood, muscles, and cell fluid.

Although the mineral’s key role is of maintaining bone health, it is also important for maintaining heart rhythm and muscle function. Calcium deficiency can impair the blood to clot properly and damages nerve impulses.

A balanced diet helps maintain the body’s calcium levels. One can also take calcium supplements to ensure we get the adequate amount of the mineral.

If one suffers from calcium deficiency, the most common symptoms experienced are:

Early signs

• Muscle Cramping Muscle cramping is believed to the first sign of calcium deficiency. These cramps usually occur at night and especially afflict the legs.

• Dry Skin and Brittle Nails Calcium deficiency causes the skin type to become dry. The nails of both fingers and toes become brittle, and thus can break easily.

• Yellowing of Teeth As calcium plays an important role in teeth health, its deficiency can cause the teeth to turn yellow.

• Increased PMS Symptoms Women suffering from calcium deficiency experience severe abdominal cramping during menstrual cycles. Calcium deficiency also alters her menstrual flow and taking additional calcium in diet helps ease these symptoms.

• Bone Fractures or Breakage Lack of calcium could also lead to high risk of osteoporosis or weakening of bones. Women who lack sufficient calcium in their bodies are at high risk of suffering from bone fractures. If early signs of calcium deficiency are missed and the condition is left untreated it may lead to chronic calcium deficiency. The symptoms include Memory loss, Muscle spasms,  Numbness and tingling in the hands, feet, and face, Depression

Source: mashable


Tips for taking care of skin during winters revealed

Winter time can be hard on the skin, making it dry, flaky and itchy, but with proper care you can effectively banish your skin woes. Dermatologist Rita Pichardo-Geisinger, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, provides tips that are easy to incorporate into your daily routine to help keep your skin and hair in prime condition.

First of all use a fragrance free soap because perfumes and additives can dry the skin which can lead to flaking and itching or exacerbate conditions like eczema. It is also important to use a moisturizing lotion after the shower because when you apply a moisturizer to damp skin right after showering, this helps seal in water to prevent skin from drying out. “A moisturizer helps to act as a barrier of protection for your skin so look for one that has ceramides, a new technology that helps restore and protect the skin barrier,” she said.

Next, keep the temperature at home on the cool side, not too warm, to avoid skin dehydration because if your home or workplace temperature is warm enough to make it feel like a sauna, you might be drying your skin out. Do not forget to use a fragrance free detergent and liquid fragrance free conditioner for the clothes because some people with skin sensitivities can experience skin irritation or rash after wearing clothes washed in a detergent with fragrance additives.

Also, do not forget your moisturizing lotion with sunscreen for your face, even if it is winter time. If lips get chapped, avoid cracking by using a lip balm with sunscreen to get the double benefit of smooth and protected lips, Rita asserted. And, your hair can get dry in the wintertime too, so you might need to use a hydrating shampoo or an anti-frizz leave-in conditioner.

Lastly, tend to your toes and feet and treat them with good lactic acid creams that can help keep feet soft and supple.

Source: Times of India

Aloe vera for winters

As the temperature begins to drop, and the skin begins to dry up, it’s vital to drink lots of water and use water-based organic products like aloe vera.  Due to aloe’s high water content (over 99 per cent water) it is a great way to hydrate, moisturize and rejuvenate the skin.

Aloe vera increases the elasticity of the skin making it more flexible through collagen and elastin repair.  It helps supply oxygen to the skin cells, increasing the strength and synthesis of skin tissue and induces improved blood flow. Aloe vera-based moisturisers should be used to keep your skin soft this winter as they prevent it from drying and keeps them fresh, soft and smooth.

Also, do not forget to drink as much water possible. In addition to that herbal teas and clear soups are more creative ways to get your daily H2O intake and flush out toxins.

Source: Deccan Chronicle