Itchy, peeling skin is never fun to deal with. The good news is that it can be prevented -- as long as you don't flake on your skincare routine. Daily washing and moisturizing with products featuring vitamin E, aloe, lanolin and mineral oil soothe and heal the skin to help peeling become thing of the past. You can also get a leg up on skin hydration by eating water-based foods and drinking lots of fluids every day. The result is supple skin that feels silky smooth all day long.
Stay out of the sun. The sun's harmful UV rays can dry out the skin, cause it to burn and lead to blistering or peeling. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, avoid the sun during peak hours and cover up with a wide-brimmed hat or long sleeves when possible.
Avoid hot showers and baths, which can dry out the skin and cause irritation that can lead to peeling. Instead, take a 5- to 10-minute bath or shower using lukewarm water and a mild, hydrating cleanser.
Apply a moisturizer to damp skin twice a day. Water-based creams are best for people with acne-prone or oily skin; oil-based lotions, however, are most effective in trapping moisture in the skin. Purchase products with hydrating and soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, oatmeal and lavender oil, in addition to glycerin and sodium hyaluronate.
Ease up on skin-care products with harsh exfoliants and ingredients. Acne-fighting products like benzoyl-peroxide cleansers, toners and spot treatments feature ingredients made to exfoliate the skin and stop the overproduction of oils. While this helps your acne, it can lead to excessive dryness and peeling skin.
Keep your body hydrated so that skin-cell turnover happens quickly. Liquids in general, such as water, cucumber juice and green tea help keep your skin supple. Your water intake can also come from eating plenty of antioxidant-rich fruits, such as berries and watermelon, and vegetables, such as kale and bell peppers.
Hold a cold compress, such as a bag of frozen peas, to the surface of your skin for a few minutes, or place some cubes in a wash cloth and drizzle it with a bit of warm water to get it flowing. Place the cloth on top of the itchy skin for 5 minutes. Release for 5 minutes and repeat. This helps stop the itching and soothes a sunburn and chaffing.
Place a humidifier in the room where you sleep. The steam moistens the air, which in turn hydrates your skin and keeps it supple. Check the hydrometer to make sure the humidity is at 30 to 50 percent throughout the room.
- Fitday: Four Essential Vitamins for Great Skin
- Harvard Health Publications: Nine Wasy to Banish Dry Skin
- New Health Guide: Peeling Skin
- American Academy of Dermatology: Dry Skin -- Tips for Relieving
- University of Kentucky: Water Content of Fruits and Vegetables
- Washingtonian: The Right Way to Use a Humidifier
- Taking vitamins A, B and C may help promote stronger skin. Ask your doctor before taking herbs or vitamins.
- Refrain from scratching or peeling skin that does begin to fall off. Doing so can lead to infection. Instead, gently cut the skin away with a pair of sterilized scissors.
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