Personal Care

How To Deal With Cracked Skin?

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HOW TO DEAL WITH CRACKED SKIN
HOW TO DEAL WITH CRACKED SKIN

Introduction

A lot of People experience cracked skin. Especially if you are an athlete with a highly active day, cracked skin may disturb your daily routine. People with cracked skin normally use creams that deal with short-term problems. But, because the skin is much cracked, it becomes difficult for the normal creams and moisturizers to deal with cracked skin; without knowing why the skin cracks and what happens if you don’t pay attention to it, you can’t treat it. Here, we are going to explain to you in detail the things that may cause cracked skin. Also, we will share the home treatments.

What Causes Cracked Skin

Dry Skin

Dry skin is not usually serious but it can lead to other symptoms which may cause cracked skin. When the skin becomes extremely dry, it can even cause cracked skin. Dryness may appear anywhere on the skin, but most likely, it occurs on the hands and feet and the other most exposed parts of the body. There are a lot of things that may affect the skin, but the most eminent cause factors that may dry your skin are stated below:

Unbalanced Diet

If enough vitamins and proteins are not part of your diet, your skin may become dry. Processed food, ready meals, and highly spicy food can lead to dry skin. Consuming very few calories can also cause less production of natural oils, which tends the skin to be dry. If you are experiencing dry skin symptoms, foods rich in vitamins and proteins like fish, egg, colorful vegetables, seeds, and nuts can help you recover from dry skin. Making a diet plan based on your deficiencies and needs would be the best choice.

Climate

Our skin becomes dry and irritated when we stay in central heating and low humidity environment for a long time. Especially in the winter season, skin often becomes dry. On the cold winter days, dryness increases, and humidity level becomes low in the environment. Winter weather decreases your skin’s ability to hold moisture by 25%.

Indoor heating machinery also drops the humidity level inside the house. In a dry environment, your oils and waters evaporate from the skin more frequently. This makes your skin dry and leads to cracked skin.

Sun’s Heat

Ultraviolet rays of the sun dry out the exposed parts of your body and hinder the supply of natural oils in the skin. Sun-exposed parts of the skin gradually lose the ability to hold the moisture and can make the skin appear dry. Even the younger people can also experience it. Staying in direct UV rays of the sun for a long time, your skin may become dry permanently.

Frequent Washing

Washing your body frequently can also make your skin appear dry. Using chemical-based products to wash the body removes the essential oils and water from the skin and makes it dry. Taking long and hot showers using soaps, shampoos, and body washing liquids frequently can strip your skin of its natural oils, followed by skin dryness, bleeding, infections, or cracked skin.

Being Dehydrated

You might not feel thirst on the cold days, as you are thirsty and sweaty on the hot summer days. However, your body needs the same amount of water in the winter as in the summer. You may have heard that our body is made of 70 percent water, keeping your body cells healthy and hydrated. So, not drinking enough water dries your skin and can even lead to cracked skin.

Eczema

Eczema (also called Atopic Dermatitis) is a medical condition that causes dry, red, and itchy skin, leading to cracked skin. Often, scratching will make the rash worse. Eczema occurs because that your skin becomes less able to protect you against irritants and allergens. Then often occurs in childhood, but it may continue and worsen in adulthood if not treated. This is a long-lasting disease if not treated in the early period. Due to Eczema, gene variation occurs, which affects the skin’s protective layers.
There is no cure for Eczema, but self-care measures and proper treatment can reduce itching, redness, and inflammation.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a process of the increased speed of the formation of the cells on the skin. However, the patches caused by Psoriasis may appear anywhere on the skin. Still, the most well-known places where extremely dry skin patches appear are the scalp and joints. Normally, the skin cells completely grow and fall off in a month. But, the skin of the people with Psoriasis does this in a week or even less than this. Still, sometimes the children and older than 30 also develop the symptoms of Psoriasis

Diabetic Neuropathy

Diabetic patients may have to face cracked heels of their feet. High blood sugar can cause nerve damage throughout the body. Diabetic neuropathy most often damages the nerves in your feet and legs. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), more than half of diabetic patients have neuropathy. Diabetic Neuropathy damages the nerves that supply the internal organs.

Diabetic Neuropathy causes numbness in your legs and reduces your skin’s ability to feel temperature degrees and pain.Most types of Diabetic Neuropathy get worse over time. It can also lead to visual disturbances. The beginning step of the treatment process is to manage the blood sugar level, blood pressure, and cholesterol in a certain range.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is contagious and can spread via contaminated floors and clothing. Symptoms of the Athlete’s foot include the itchy white patches between your toes. Red, sore and flaky patches on your feet may crack and bleed. Your feet may be infected by touching a person’s infected skin and walking barefoot on the floor where someone with an athlete’s foot has walked. According to Harvard’s research institute, Media Pedis can take several weeks to months to improve. .

Chapped Lips

Normally, chapped lips occur in the winter season, but they can occur in any season. Chapped lips occur due to the use of allergic products that make your lips dry, followed by lip cracks. Dry weather, too much time exposed to the sun, biting your lips, and not drinking enough water are the most prominent causes of chapped lips. Symptoms of chapped lips include dryness, sores, swelling, cracks, and bleedings on the lips. In winter, moisturizing your lips while in the summer, limiting the sun’s exposure time can help prevent lips from being chapped (cracked).

Keratolysis Exfoliativa

Peeling of the skin around the palms and soles is known as Keratolysis Exfoliativa. Keratolysis Exfoliativa normally appears in warm water and is especially found in people with sweaty palms. The skin of the people suffering from Keratolysis Exfoliativa normally loses its top layer, which can cause dryness followed by cracked skin. People with Keratolysis Exfoliativa should avoid a lot of exposure to the Sun and excess use of Chemicals. It can also be the disorder of Dry skin, Athlete’s foot, Allergic reactions, and fungal or bacterial infections. It can also lead to permanent dry skin, dead skin cells, and cracked skin.

Home Treatment

Moisturizing Ointment Or Cream

Moisturizing the skin is the most important step in keeping your skin hydrated and gaining the lost moisture back again. When the skin is dry, it can be cracked and may also cause burning, irritation, and pain. Not using moisturizers if your skin is already cracked would lead to further more damage. Moisturizers help you to get back the moisture and elasticity of the skin. There are plenty of moisturizers available in the market. You can choose what matches your skin type. Always moisturize your skin before ever going to the open environment where the UV rays can attack your skin.
Moisturizers having more than 15 SPF can contribute better to make your skin appear good and healthy. Applying the moisturizers in the correct ways is the biggest challenge. Whenever you use the moisturizer, massage gently instead of rubbing; rubbing your skin with high friction may cause more damage. Choose moisturizing ointment with more vitamins and natural ingredients to help your cracked skin improve more frequently. You can use the products with the following ingredients:

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is made up of fatty acids, which can reduce dryness and help your skin to get the moisture back. It helps to protect your skin from environmental dirt and UV rays. Coconut oil promotes smoothness and softness on the top layer of the skin and reduces the risk of aging. Applying coconut oil alongside other beauty products has no side effects though it helps to retain the moisture.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is well-known for moisturizing and hydrating your skin. It may also help reduce skin redness and wrinkles. Olive oil is also used in some soaps and face washes, and other beauty products. Always use the olive oil extracted from the best quality organic olives, containing a huge amount of vitamins. Use only a few drops of olive oil and massage gently. Using plenty of oil may have the opposite effect on the skin.

Honey

Honey is proved to be possessing healing, moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties. Antioxidant, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties of the honey open the pores of your skin and reduce dryness. Honey is also used in some skin-care beauty products like shampoos, body washes, and lotions. Honey exfoliates your skin and treats the itchy and red skin. You can use honey alongside other natural ingredients like Avocado, Lemon, and Apple cider.

Aloe Vera

This is the common plant found in the house. Aloe Vera is known to be an over-the-counter (OTC) gel having healing and medicinal properties. This is proved for the treatments of sunburns, wounds, skin aging, and infections. Aloe Vera gel has inflammatory and cooling properties. Hence, it is the most effective remedy for sunburn and burnt skin. Aloe Vera reduces the risk of your skin is cracked. Aloe Vera gel almost meets all your moisturizing needs. It opens your pores and hydrates your skin. Unlike other chemical-based market products, aloe Vera gel has no serious side effects on the skin, even if used for a long time. It is a very source of Vitamin C & E, which helps your skin be young and glowing. Aloe Vera is also the best treatment for the ECZEMA & PSORIASIS (Diseases tend to dry and crack)

Petroleum Jelly

Petroleum Jelly (commonly known as Vaseline) is the most inexpensive skin-care product. However, it is the best and most accepted skin-care product. Petroleum Jelly is an accidental discovery of the waxy paste that helps the skin retain moisture and keep your skin hydrated. Suppose you are suffering from ECZEMA and PSORIASIS. In that case, your skin may become dry and cracked and let the bacteria in the body. It also prevents peeling. When the skin is extremely dry, it peels, while Petroleum Jelly can be the best cure for the peeling. It eases inflammation and reduces the itch and irritation. As an oil-based lubricant, Petroleum Jelly gives moisture to your skin and keeps it safe from dryness

Read about What other symptoms might occur with cracked skin?

Topical Hydrocortisone Cream

Hydrocortisone Topical is a cream usually used as an anti-inflammatory medication to treat the skin’s redness, itching, and swelling. The helps to treat ECZEMA & PSORIASIS (Diseases that cause dry and cracked skin). Hydrocortisone contains the steroid (Corticosteroid), which helps to treat various skin conditions. It ranges from 0.1% (1mg of hydrocortisone in each gram) to 2.5% (25mg of hydrocortisone). It comes as an ointment, cream, spray, liquid solution, and lotion for use on the skin. Hydrocortisone should only be used if prescribed by your doctor. Tell your doctor if the symptoms are not improved within 2 weeks. If you obtained it without discussing it with the doctor, stop using it if it is not going better in 7 days.
Apply a small amount of Topical Hydrocortisone cream, spray, lotion, or solution on the affected area of the skin and massage it gently. Do not use any bandage to wrap the affected area after applying Topical hydrocortisone. Excessive use of Topical hydrocortisone may cause itching, burning, redness, which can even lead to dry and cracked skin. Some of these side effects can be serious; discuss with your doctor immediately if any of these symptoms get severe.

Liquid Bandage

A liquid Bandage is composed of few chemicals that create a polymeric layer that binds to the skin used to treat minor cuts and sores. Liquid bandage speeds up the process of wound healing by keeping the moisture maintained. The liquid bandage can be applied easily and quickly. A liquid bandage reduces the chance of bacterial or fungal infection on the wound, so you don’t have to worry about the shower or bath. Liquid bandage lasts for 5 to 10 days. Most of the wounds get filled in this period, but you can apply it again if needed. Apply the liquid bandage on the top of the skin. But, before applying it, don’t forget to clean the hands and the wound with a neat and clean towel. Apply the liquid bandage and hold the wound with your hand till the bandage sticks to your skin.

Exfoliation

Exfoliation is the process of the removal of dead cells. On its own, your body completes this process in 30 days. Exfoliation is the most recommended remedy for people who have symptoms of ECZEMA or PSORIASIS. But for the people who have serious skin conditions like Rosacea, should avoid exfoliation without discussing it with their doctor. There are two methods to exfoliate your skin: Mechanical and Physical exfoliation. You can exfoliate the skin daily or if you have dry or oily skin. Avoid exfoliation if you have cuts and sores or if you have already applied any other product.

Antifungal Medication

Dry and cracked skin can be attacked by the fungus leading to a fungal infection. Itching, irritation, redness, swelling, and scaly skin might be the cause of fungal infection. Fungal infections can appear anywhere on the skin. Special types of fungal infections are Athlete’s foot, ringworm, yeast infections, and jock itch. Fungi are mostly found in warm and moist environments. We have already discussed the athlete’s foot above in this same article, and others are also related to it.
The preventive step is to keep your affected area of the skin clean. Your doctor might prescribe you anti-fungal medicines to treat fungal infections, which may be creams, over-the-counter injections, or oral medicines. Doctors may also recommend anti-fungal shampoos if you have an infection on the scalp while on the hands and feet; there are soaps, creams, and lotions available in the market.

Complications

People with dry and cracked skin are more prone to fungal and bacterial infections. If your skin is not getting better within a few days and the itching, redness, and inflammation increase, you should discuss it with your doctor to avoid any serious skin disorder. People with ECZEMA, PSORIASIS, or DIABETES must see a doctor if facing any skin condition. Most people with diabetes have a weak nervous system and low blood supply in their legs which slows down the healing of the cracks of the skin.

When To See Doctor?

Suppose the moisturizers and other home remedies don’t work at all. In that case, you should stop using all the products and see the doctor immediately. If you have severe itching, more irritated and bleeding, discuss with your doctor about these conditions. The skin, which gets more complicated initially, followed by the fever, excessively red, inflamed, and pain, should be treated in the clinic. Tell your doctor if you are a regular swimmer in chlorinated pools so that they can give you preventive creams. Especially if you have the ECZEMA or PSORIASIS and the remedies are not functioning properly, you should consider contacting the doctor.

Conclusion

Dry and cracked skin is not a matter of stress every time. It is common in the winter season and mostly gets better in a few days. But, some people living in extremely dry, cold, or hot temperatures or have any allergic conditions may need to go either with the home remedies or don’t work then discuss it with the doctor.
To prevent cracked skin, you should avoid using harsh shampoos and soaps, and any other things to which you are allergic. Always moisturize your skin (Especially if your skin has started to be dry or cracked) after washing. You can consider using the above-mentioned remedies to cure or treat dry or pre-cracked skin. People with conditions that lead to severe skin problems may need the proper medical attention.

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