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Skin irritation


If you don’t remember the first time you dealt with skin irritation, ask whoever took care of you as a baby! They can probably remember treating your adorable cradle cap, diaper rash, or sunburns. Yep, skin irritations are a big part of our lives right from the start, affecting 1 in 3 people in the U.S. If you continue to experience skin irritation as an adult, what to do about it depends on a few things. Many skin irritations are accompanied by a rash, caused by things like poison ivy, hives, and athlete's foot. Some skin irritations are a nuisance, while others can be more serious. If something new is going on with your skin, it definitely doesn’t hurt to have a practitioner look at it. You might not be able to tell, but for someone who is an expert in skin conditions, the color, size, and shape of your skin irritation (and, possibly, rash) will tell them whether you might have eczema, lupus, or psoriasis. These are all chronic conditions that should be treated—and your skin is giving you the head’s-up! If you have a food or other type of allergy, you know that your allergy can trigger skin irritations, as can your emotional state. Stress, no surprise, does a number on your skin. Several studies have associated heightened stress levels with every kind of skin irritation out there, including oily, waxy patches on your scalp and itchy rashes on your hands. To help avoid all that, might we suggest a calming restorative yoga sesh? It’s fairly easy to prevent less serious skin irritations. Try to stay out of the sun during the middle of the day, when its rays are the most powerful, and make sure to wear SPF even when it’s cloudy outdoors! You can also try to avoid common irritants (like wool, lanolin, strong soaps, and detergents). And, even when you want to exfoliate, resist the urge to scrub your skin with rough sponges and towels, and bathe in lukewarm instead of hot water. (We know—that steamy hot shower feels great in the moment, but your skin will thank you for turning down the temp just a little.) There are many low-cost, natural ways to treat your skin irritations, like lotions (look for something containing tea tree oil), ointments (try a mixture of propolis and aloe), and supplements, such as vitamin D. While you’re mulling and researching your options, you can get some relief by running yourself a bath (not too hot!) and pouring some rice bran or colloidal oatmeal into the water instead of suds. We know, it might bring you back to when you had the chicken pox as a kid—but a nice soak in either of these ingredients can soothe your skin and (bonus!) help you really relax. Ahhh.

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