Cracked Skin In Summers: Here's What You Should Do For Smooth And Healthy Skin
Cracked skin can usually appear when the skin barrier is compromised. It's a symptom of dry and irritated skin, but there are many possible causes especially the change in the temperature.
Skincare tips: Keep your skin moisturised to avoid cracking
- Wash the skin with a fragrance-free cleanser
- Always wear smooth, breathable fabrics
- Apply moisturizer on the affected areas
Feet, hands, and lips are more prone to cracking as compared to other parts. Any rashes, cuts or marks on the cracked skin typically occur when a person's skin is dry or irritated. Dry and cracked skin can be itchy, flaking and bleed. You may feel unpleasant sensations when applying any product to cracked skin. The skin also feels more sensitive to water temperature and household cleaning products.
There are high chances that a cracked skin can appear on any part of the body, but it is especially noticeable on exposed areas. It is the most common skin problem that people face during summers. Severe hand and wrist dryness from over-washing is a condition that causes the appearance of cracked skin. To prevent it's appearance, it requires using moisturizer every time the hands are washed. In some cases, cracked skin can also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. In some people, cracked skin condition may occur due to a skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis, or because the skin came into contact with an irritating substance. In smooth and hydrated skin, natural oils present in the skin layer, preventing the skin from drying out by retaining moisture. But if the skin doesn't contain enough oil then it loses moisture and makes it dry out and shrink, which leads it to cracking.
Ways to treat cracked skin this summer
There are many ways that you can treat your cracked skin at home if the condition isn't too severe. You may try one of these self-care treatments to get rid of cracked skin:
- Moisturising ointment or cream - Since dry skin can cause cracked skin and in most of the cases can worsen it, it's important to keep your skin well hydrated. Apply moisturiser frequently on the affected areas.
- Use skincare products that contain ingredients such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter.
- Avoid washing hands with hot water. Taking hot baths and showers can worsen dry or cracked skin conditions.
- Use topical hydrocortisone cream that can be a good option for cracked skin that has red patches or itching. It contains corticosteroids, which reduce any kind of irritation and swelling.
- Exfoliate your skin regularly. Gentle exfoliation helps to remove dead, dry cells from the surface of the skin. This remedy is the most effective that is recommended for cracked feet and heels.
- You can also take antifungal medication, if you think you have athlete's foot like terbinafine (Lamisil), and use it on the affected area on the feet.
- Wash the cracked skin with a small quantity of a gentle fragrance-free cleanser.
- Certain fabrics can irritate dry skin. Always wear smooth, breathable fabrics, such as cotton or silk, and to avoid textured materials, such as wool. Using any kind of hypoallergenic detergents and fabric softeners may also help to reduce irritation caused by cracked skin.
- A liquid skin bandage can be a good option to treat deeper cracked skin. This OTC treatment holds the cracked skin together, which encourages healing of the skin. Most liquid bandages available involve applying the liquid with a small brush. The liquid will dry and seal the skin.
- Petroleum jelly treats cracks by sealing and protecting the skin. It has the ability to lock the skin in moisture, which helps to heal the cracked skin.
(Dr. Ajay Rana is a Dermatologist and Aesthetic Physician at ILAMED)
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