If your neck is chronically red, rough and dry, it may be due to sun damage over a period of time. Your neck and chest are exposed to the sun just as much as your face is. The redness could be due to sunburn, heat rash or sweat dermatitis. However, you should consult your doctor to rule out eczema, folliculitis, impetigo or lupus. The key to improving the red dry skin on your neck is a regular skin care routine.
Vitamin A Creams
Vitamin A is one of the most effective ingredients for repair of sun-damaged and aging skin. It is sold by prescription under the trade names Renova, Retin-A, Tazorac or Retin-A Micro. Tretinoin is the generic name. Retinol 1.0 by SkinCeuticals is available over the counter and is nearly as effective as the prescription treatments, according to Dr. Brandith Irwin, a board certified dermatologist. Vitamin A is found in yellow and orange fruits and vegetables and fruits like papaya are sometimes used in skin repair creams.
Vitamins C and E
Vitamins A, C and E are antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent and repair damage from free radical oxygen molecules. These vitamins help repair and protect damaged skin and are contained in many skin repair creams. Vitamin E is necessary for healthy moist skin; vitamin C is a fruit acid, a source of alpha hydroxy acid. Alpha hydroxy acid dissolves the bonds holding the dead outer layer of skin cells, so that they can be washed away revealing younger-looking skin beneath.
According to Skin Care Physicians, barrier repair moisturizers contain ceramides which do more than traditional moisturizers. Moisturizers seal in moisture and work best when applied within a few minutes of bathing while the skin is still damp. Barrier repair moisturizers not only seal in moisture, they help to repair the skin's natural barrier.
Topical application of antioxidant plant extracts, such as green and black tea, carotenoids and flavonoids from fruits and vegetables, can protect skin from erythem or redness due to exposure to the sun and early aging, according to the 2010 "American Journal of Clinical Dermatology." Look for skin repair creams that contain one or more of these antioxidant plant extracts.
Essential oils are the fragrant and healing components of plants, extracted by means of steam distillation. Many essential oils, such as rosemary, lavender, chamomile and eucalyptus have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Choose skin repair creams with natural essential oils rather than synthetic fragrances which can be irritating to your skin. An article in a 2008 "Journal of Drugs in Dermatology" lists colloidal oatmeal, green tea, feverfew, licorice, aloe vera, chamomile and turmeric as herbs that have been shown to improve skin irritation.
- Skintour: Repair Creams
- "Journal of Drugs in Dermatology;" Anti-inflammatory ingredients; Wu J; July 2008
- Adverse Drug Reactions and Toxicological Reviews: Adverse and beneficial effects of plant extracts on skin and skin disorders.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Aloe
- American Journal of Clinical Dermatology:Botanicals in dermatology: an evidence-based review.
- EczemaNet: Barrier Repair Moisturizers
- "Harvard Medical School Skin Care and Repair"; KA Arndt M.D., et al.; 2010