Dry and flaky skin can cause a lot of itching and is essentially a condition that is brought on by a lack of moisture in the outermost layer of the ski, which is the epidermis. Keratin which is the main protein contained in the tissues of the epidermis requires moisture to keep it pliant and supple. It is when this moisture evaporates that you are faced with the condition that is called dry and itchy skin. There is a misconception that the lack of oils in the skin that make it dry, but some simple changes in life style would convince you that it is the moisture that needs to be kept in to rid you of the affliction of dry itchy skin.
So what are these simple changes in lifestyle?
In the winters, do not keep the thermostat up too high. Lower the thermostat by a couple of degrees even if it means that you have to wear light woolens. The skin will appreciate this.
Try installing a few humidifiers in the house, especially in rooms where you spend a lot of time, even if it is for just sleeping. Alternatively leave a kettle of water constantly boiling on a low flame.
Bring in some plants from the garden and install them in all the rooms, ensuring however that these plants are constantly watered.
Take a bath instead of just a shower. Let the bath be filled with lukewarm water and soak in it for a few minutes. Do this at least two or three times a week and see the difference it makes to your dry itchy skin.
See that the soaps you use contain lanolin, cocoa butter or cold cream and avoid other soaps that contain lye and can really irritate your dry and itchy skin.
Use a moisturizer that contains alpha hydroxyl acids. These are known as humectants and will keep the water in the skin. Also always see that you pat your skin dry and refrain from rubbing it as this could further irritate a already dry skin.
Eat food that has omega-3 fatty acids and omega 6. You can find this in nuts and seeds and various oils like soybean and sunflower. You can also get these from fish oil and flax seeds.
Do make an effort to go out into the sun and let the Vitamin D help to improve your blood circulation.
If your laundry detergent contains harsh cleansers, the residue left in the clothes can cause irritation to the skin that it comes into contact with.
See that you use shampoos or gels that are free from sodium lauryl sulfates. Soaps that are based on vegetable oils are better than those that are based on petroleum derivatives.
See that you avoid any food that you are allergic to, as this could aggravate the dry and itchy skin condition.
Treat any fungal infection with tea tree oil, as it is much stronger than carbolic acid, which is normally used, and also non toxic to the skin. Treat bug bites on dry and itchy skin with a couple of drops of lavender and see the soothing effect that it has.