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 Post subject: Skin so dry it hurts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:51 pm 
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Hi all,

The skin on my back is extremely dry. It's been like this for at least 4 years, but it seems to have gotten worse over time. I used to take long, hot showers (30 minutes to an hour) once or twice a day for a few years, which I know is super harmful to the skin. Now I only have one shower a day, before I go to bed (only 10-20 mins) but when I curl up to go to sleep my skin feels so tight and hurts so much that sleeping is simply impossible if I don't apply copious amounts of rich body lotion, body butter or oil. The skin is not flaky, it's just dry.

Do you recognize this? Got any tips, tricks, favorite products? Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Skin so dry it hurts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:08 pm 
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Bathes in Braggs
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Shower less. I have dry skin on my upper body, especially in winter and it gets a lot worse when I shower. I shower once every two or three days, don't use soap (only a little shampoo for my hair) and rub with Weleda rose oil immediately after drying. If you feel dirty not showering every day, just wash the 'dirty' parts with a sponge at the sink. But really, most people don't need to shower every day, certainly not with soap.
If the dryness gets really bad, I sometimes rub with oil both before showering (especially my face) to protect my skin, and rub on some more after drying, since nearly all the oil is washed off. I guess that's why my skin is so dry after showering, all the natural body oils get washed away, and my skin just doesn't produce enough to compensate for the loss.

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 Post subject: Re: Skin so dry it hurts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:10 pm 
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I have this!!! I've always been like this even as a child. It is exacerbated by anti acne products I use for my bacne...
I can't really take shorter showers because it makes my skin worse because the dead skin doesn't have enough time to hydrate and slough off. The best solution I've found is making sure to exfoliate and using jojoba oil to moisturize. I've tried different diets and the like but without avail. I wish everything could be solved by diet, but unless you have a deficiency there's not much hope from that realm (in my experience and expertise).


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 Post subject: Re: Skin so dry it hurts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:32 pm 
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Location: Columbus
Something that may help is taking a bath with some apple cider vinegar mixed into the water. I started doing this when I got a really bad sunburn, and I found that it helps soothing my skin in general. Really not as disgusting as it sounds, especially if you rinse off quickly in the shower afterwards. You don't have to use soap or anything, so if you shower in the morning you can do this at night without drying out your skin further.

I use pure shea butter for my constantly dry skin. It's the only thing that works and doesn't give me allergic reactions. I use it all over my face and body in lieu of lotions and moisturizers, and generally only have to apply it once a day. Back when I used regular moisturizers on my face, I'd have to reapply at least every hour. I have a problem with itchy legs at night - your back issue sounds a lot like my legs. My legs will itch so much that I can't fall asleep, and then I'll wake up in the night scratching them, sometimes finding that I've scratched in my sleep until I'm bleeding. They still get itchy every now and then, but the shea butter really helps. I've also started using shea butter soap. I get a plain bar made by a brand called "One With Nature," which is $6 for 3 bars at my Whole Foods - a great deal compared to expensive organic/natural frangrance-free body washes.

I'm pretty positive that my skin issues have to do with yet unknown food allergies of some sort, so for me it's a complex cocktail of what I'm eating, what I'm not eating, what I'm putting onto my skin, and what I'm not putting onto my skin that seems to affect how bad it is. But if it's only your back and you don't have any other dermatological issues, you can probably improve your situation a lot by controlling your showers and trying out different oils and butters.


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 Post subject: Re: Skin so dry it hurts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:40 pm 
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All my skin issues disappeared after I increased the EPA & DHA in my diet and cut way down on omega-6 polyunsats. Eliminating gluten has helped me in the past as well. It took about a month to see a difference. I have other, worse, health problems now, but my skin is better than at any other point in my life.

Edited: Your problem sounds pretty bad. Have you considered showing it to a dermatologist?


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 Post subject: Re: Skin so dry it hurts
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 11:26 pm 
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I exfoliate in the shower, then moisturize with coconut oil right away. If I don't do that, everything is super dry, especially upper arms and the spots right behind my underarms (so much that it would hurt to put a bra on). My face used to get uncontrollably dry in the winter and look and feel tight/flaky all day, but I realized that it was an acne cream when I stopped using it (less dryness but I'm breaking out lately again...so annoying!).

Lately I've also been keeping a bottle of vitamin E oil in the shower to moisturize with right after showering while still wet, then coconut oil after drying off, then body lotion a little later. Triple moisturizing!

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 Post subject: Re: Skin so dry it hurts
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:13 pm 
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I use the A Derma Exomega cream - I have no idea if it is vegan, but it is not tested on animals. It's really REALLY good for bad skin - it's the only lotion i've tried that really makes a difference. I use it on my face, but two of my friends who have skin conditions with problems regarding the skins natural oil production, only use this.
I've never had luck with oils etc - i've tried so many different kinds of oils, and herbal creams, but the oils don't really work and the herbal creams and health food store creams usually make me break out like crazy (I have super sensitive skin).

you can get it at the medical stores here, I bet you can find it in Holland aswell, if you want to give it a try! having skin trouble should definitely be treated as a medical condition.. it can really make your life suck if it goes untreated.

http://a-derma.org/


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 Post subject: Re: Skin so dry it hurts
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:01 pm 
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My first thought was to suggest, as Fufapack mentioned, a good exfoliation. Could you be reacting to the soap you're using? I had a patch of terribly dry, itchy skin on my arm that no amount of moisturizer could relieve, but I switched to unscented natural soap a couple of days ago and it's already almost gone; apparently it was an allergic reaction to my shower gel. Moisturizing with some kind of oil while your skin is still wet is also a good thing to try. I hope your problem goes away very soon, it sounds extremely uncomfortable!


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 Post subject: Re: Skin so dry it hurts
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:03 pm 
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My recommendation is definitely to take a look at the body lotions and cleansers you use. I react really badly to cheaper stuff with fragrance - like itchy, burning hives that don't go away for days. It cleared up really quickly when I started using unfragranced natural soap. A lot of body moisturizers also contain alcohol, which can really dry you out, so I'd try to avoid those too. If you've eliminated the possibility that it's from something you're using, it's probably time to see your doctor.

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 Post subject: Re: Skin so dry it hurts
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:28 pm 
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I use different products every time, so I doubt it's the products I'm using (I'm addicted to finding new cosmetics, so there really isn't one brand I'm sticking to). I'm not really worried that it's a skin condition, because the skin isn't red, itchy or flaky; it's just dry as heck.

Thank you very much for your recommendations. I am definitely going to try the shea butter, showering even less (booo!), exfoliating more and I think the idea of applying oil BEFORE showering is a really good idea, too. If anyone's got any more tips, let me know!


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 Post subject: Re: Skin so dry it hurts
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:08 am 
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When I was young I followed a fairly low fat diet - my dad had high blood pressure and we all did. When I stopped worrying about fat content and focused on eating good fats my dry skin got way better. The first thing I did years ago was to start eating 2 tbsp ground flax seeds a day and that alone made a big difference.

You should also check your laundry detergent and try switching to an unscented/hypoallergenic one if you don't already use one.


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 Post subject: Re: Skin so dry it hurts
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:57 am 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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This might sound obvious, but ask a pharmacist. They'll probably direct you to some sort of ├╝ber-moisturiser or barrier cream.

Otherwise, I'd slather your back with vaseline at night and wear a long-sleeve shirt you don't mind ruining.

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 Post subject: Re: Skin so dry it hurts
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:47 am 
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Arisaig wrote:
When I was young I followed a fairly low fat diet - my dad had high blood pressure and we all did. When I stopped worrying about fat content and focused on eating good fats my dry skin got way better. The first thing I did years ago was to start eating 2 tbsp ground flax seeds a day and that alone made a big difference.

You should also check your laundry detergent and try switching to an unscented/hypoallergenic one if you don't already use one.


Yup, good fats in your diet is key, too. I get really dry skin unless I'm making sure I'm eating plenty of good fats and drinking lots of water.

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