Caring for your skin and skin irritation remedies

Caring for your skin

Your skin has many important functions in keeping you healthy, quite apart of course from the fact that your appearance depends a great deal on its condition. Its main purpose is to act as a protective covering against the entry of germs and irritating substances into the body. In many cases skin irritations are caused from contact with a particular substance, such as strong or highly perfumed soap, washing powder and liquid, cheaper costume jewellery, cats, dogs, powder paints and cement. Diet and stress can also aggravate skin complaints.


The skin also has numerous other benefits in that it also helps the kidneys in removing waste products from the blood and is also an important organ in the heat regulation of the body.


Causes of skin disorders

There are many causes of skin disorders, and this article touches on some of the more common skin irritations that occur, and some common remedies that you can try as well. But back to the causes of skin disorders – some are rashes that accompany diseases, such as chicken pox and measles. These usually disappear as soon as the disease is cured. Rashes may also result from poor nutrition. Some skin disorders are caused by tiny animals that live in or on the skin, such as lice or mites. Other disorders, such as acne, boils, and impetigo are due to infections by bacteria. Some, such as ringworm and tinea are caused by small plants called fungi. Some like hives are caused by allergies, while the causes of some skin /disorders are not known.
Diseases of the skin are at times very resistant to treatment with many forms of dermatitis and acne being particularly so. It is wise when a skin disease appears to be other than a simple transient rash, or an easily recognisable minor condition to seek medical advice.


Skin irritations and foods to avoid

Sometimes the food we eat can cause certain reactions on the skin surface, and it’s important to ensure you watch what you eat. Avoid cow’s milk – goat’s milk is an excellent substitute – and refined, processed foods. Take plenty of wholemeal flour products, sprouts (especially mung beans and alfafa), fresh fruit and vegetables, dried beans, lentils, soya beans, nuts, yeast, B vitamins, honey and sunflower and sesame seeds.
The only effective way to feed the skin is to eat sensible well balanced meals. Vitamin A, found especially in milk, butter and liver and coloured vegetables all have a healthy effect on the skin.


Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has long since been known for its restorative properties, and is brilliant for healing minor skin issues. For general skin irritations, apply aloe vera to the affected area, and drink aloe vera tea three times daily. Aloe vera is also great for sunburnt skin. You can apply the juice of an aloe vera leaf straight onto the affected area for temporary relief as well.


Calendula Lotion

Calendula lotion can be used as a soothing balm – put two tablespoons of dried calendula petals (available from most health food stores) and five tablespoons of glycerine in a small ceramic bowl in a saucepan of boiling water. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Discard used petals and store the lotion in a sterilised, air tight glass bottle. Apply generously to the affected area as needed.


Tea Tree Lotion

Tea tree lotion (which is the most common way to purchase the oil) will give soothing relief to dry skin, cracked heels, sunburn and other skin irritations (including shaving rash, nappy rash and chafe). A few drops of jojoba oil applied directly to the affected area will also give relief and help to moisturise the skin.


Some alternative skin irritation remedies

For skin that is already chapped make up the following oil and massage over the affected area. Blend 10 drops each of rose and chamomile, and five drops each of lemon and lavender with 30ml of almond oil. Store in an amber colored glass bottle away from direct heat or sunlight, and use within two months.
Chapped and sore lips can be eased by applying a mixture of two drops each of chamomile and geranium oils mixed with two teaspoons of aloe vera juice. And for cold sores, put one drop of either tea tree or chamomile oil on a cotton bud and apply it directly to the sore as soon as it is suspected. Repeat every day.
Cucumber is very soothing for inflamed and sore skin. Apply slices as needed directly on the affected area, or grate and massage the mixture well into the skin. If you have had too much sun and haven’t taken adequate protection and are now suffering from sunburn, it is important to drink plenty of fluids but to ease the stinging and pain of sunburn, cucumbers are brilliant for this. For sunbrunt skin, you want to lay thin slices of the cucumber over the area for a little while until the stinging subsides.

Psoriasis can be eased by rubbing a few drops of jojoba oil (pronounced ho ho ba, and available from health food stores and pharmacies) into the affected area as needed.


Hi, I'm Claire, the Editor-in-Chief at Refresh Your Health online magazine - the largest UK based online magazine dedicated to healthy living, skincare and beauty.