The skin is the largest organ of our body and while it might looks as if it is just sitting there making us look good, it is actually a very busy organ! Amongst its many functions is its role in regulating body temperature and fluid balance, Vitamin D synthesis and being a physical barrier against potentially infectious agents. Without our skin, we won’t be feeling it in our fingers or our toes!  Keeping our skin in tip top condition is thus very important!

Many things can affect the integrity of our skin. One of this is its moisture level. Dry skin is more prone to irritation which can cause inflammation and worse, the sometimes maddening need to scratch which further damages the skin. Our cold and windy winters, hot and dry summers, use of air-conditioners and heaters make dry skin a common problem for us in Australia. Other factors are use of harsh soaps and smoking, some medications and medical conditions (eg diabetes), a poor diet and not drinking enough water. 


If you suffer from dry skin, there are a few very basic things you can do for your skin:

  1. Avoid harsh soaps and use soap-free washes
  2. Reduce use of hot water – while the idea of a long, hot bath is appealing in winter, your skin may suffer

  3. Moisturise regularly and if not possible, at least once or twice a day and best after shower or bath to seal in the moisture

  4. Drink plenty of water and reduce dehydrating “agents” such as alcohol
  5. Limit exposure to excessive sun and wind which cause the most damage to skin, including photo-ageing and those dreaded wrinkles!

If you are prone to eczema (an inflammatory skin condition made worse by dry skin), try to also avoid common irritants such as soaps, perfumed products, certain fabric (wool) etc. The need to moisturize is even greater. Using the right products the right way helps you get the most benefit out of them so you could really love the skin you are in!

Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin 

(Gwyneth Paltrow)

The best wrinkle is the one you never get

(Unknown author)

I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes …

(c) Medicines Information Pty Ltd

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