The Skinny on Dry Skin

Toni Hurst Health Guide
  • Sometimes I feel like a prune.  Everything seems to be drying up and wrinkling. The skin on my upper chest and back constantly itches. Honestly, I have a back scratcher in a desk drawer at home and one at work. My scalp has started itching. No amount of hand cream helps my hands. I feel like I have the creepy-crawlies. What's going on?

     

    I asked my dermatologist. He said one word: Menopause. The lack of estrogen, to be precise.

     

    Seems all those hormones that sent us into puberty and gave us oily skin and pimples are now going away, and leaving us with skin that is thinning and dry.

     

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    His advice was a little out of the ordinary. First, he said to eat more oily fish, like salmon and sardines. Salmon: okay. Sardines: not-so-much. He said walnuts, eggs and flax seed provide essential fatty acids too.  Check. I like all three.

     

    He said to use Dove soap--nothing fancier than that--to wash my face. And to stop using those deodorant soaps that I lather all over every day. In fact, he said showering every day is a big part of the problem, that I should shower every other day, and that my skin and scalp would be much happier.

     

    But how would I wake up? My morning shower is how I face the day. Old habits die hard, but here I am at 10 p.m. typing this and just about every square inch of my skin itches. So I may try to skip a shower on the weekends.

     

    Anybody else out there try skipping showers and have their skin feel better? It makes sense; just not sure our culture is ready for that. It sure would save a lot of water.

     

    I slather on Neutrogena's Sesame Oil every morning after I shower and my skin literally soaks it up, like a dry sponge. I always think that it'll get on my clothes but from the time I put it on to when I walk into my closet and get dressed, it's been absorbed. Even my fingernails are dry, and my dermatologist said that's caused by the lack of estrogen too.

     

    (sigh). I hate this.  

     

Published On: March 10, 2009