Your skin finds it more difficult to retain moisture as you get older. Harsh soaps, cold, heat, sun exposure, and frequent bathing all take toll on your skin. Epidermal cells that used to be plump will shrivel that can leave itchy, rough, and scaly patches on your legs, arms, back, and other parts of your body.
Humidifiers Can Replace Loss of Moisture That Causes Itchy and Dry Skin
Itchy and dry skin can happen to everyone any time. However, this is most rampant during winter season why indoor heating, harsh winds, and low humidity can deplete the natural moisture layers of the skin. Once the outer layer of the skin dries out, this loses its protective function that allows greater water loss, leaving the skin prone to numerous environmental factors.
During normal conditions, the outer layer of the skin has 10% to 30% water content. Water content in skin comes from the atmosphere, underlying skin layers, and sweat. The natural oils of the skin serve as moisturizers that help seal in water.
Your skin turns dry once the outer layer loses water much quicker than it can replace it and the water content of the outer layer falls under 10%.
There are lots of things that can make the skin dry, including sun exposure, frequent bathing, harsh soaps, cold, heat, and low levels of humidity. In the most severe cases, the lack of moisture of the skin can lead to bleeding or cracks.
How to Manage Dry Skin
The common methods you can try to manage dry skin include using creams and lotions for moisturizing, applying lip balm, avoiding excessively hot baths or showers, and drinking lots of water. However, for better management of dry skin, it is recommended to control the levels of humidity inside your home.
To maintain supple and soft skin, you need to keep moisture in and just adding moisture to your skin won’t get you that far. Once the air turns dry and cold, your skin finds it harder to hold onto moisture. If the dry turns dry enough, your skin’s moisture can evaporate.
Rooms heated by furnace can have around 10% of moisture. However, a humidifier can keep moisture circulating that can help your skin keep its natural moisture.
Generally speaking, the ideal level of humidity in your home should be around 30% and 50%. Humidity within this range will help you control allergy and asthma symptoms, minimize risks of catching colds, relieve congestion, and control dry skin.
But, people with exceptionally dry skin might want to increase their home’s humidity level to 45% and 50%. However, before this is done, it would be best to talk to your dermatologist and/or doctor first.
You can use a hygrometer to measure the levels of humidity in your house. This device that measures the moisture amount in the air looks like a thermometer. Most humidifiers today come with built-in hygrometers or also known as humidistats that maintain humidity in the preset range.
How to Find the Right Humidifier for Dry Skin
You can get a portable humidifier and use this in your living room, den or office as this will help add sufficient amount of moisture that can prevent your skin from turning dry. Sleeping in your bedroom with the humidifier turned on and the door closed will also make it possible for you to enjoy a more comfortable sleep while giving your skin its much needed moisture levels. If you want to increase humidity levels all over your home, you can buy a humidifier that can be attached directly to the furnace so that all rooms can receive enough moisture.
Even though it is likely that winter air is the most drying and with winter being the perfect time for you to turn on your humidifier, the humidity can also become lower because of your central air conditioning. This is why you might still need to your run your humidifier even during summer months.
A humidifier will not just help you maintain proper health of your skin as it also helps decrease the risks of spread of germs and help relieve some sinus conditions, sore throats, and colds. Adding some humidity to the surrounding air can also prevent splitting on your wood furniture, peeling of wallpaper, while it lowers the possibility of static shots.
How to Use Your Humidifier Properly
Similar to air conditioners, heaters, and furnaces, it is not always necessary to turn on your humidifier the entire year. During spring and fall seasons, most homes manage to retain acceptable humidity level. Levels of humidity only tend to plummet once the temperatures drop. But, as mentioned earlier, your central air conditioning may lower relative humidity, requiring you to run the humidifier even during summer months.
How to Care for Your Humidifier
Even though a humidifier can help improve your home’s humidity level, there are times when these appliances can also pose some health issues. To make the most out of your humidifier, it is a must to perform proper and regular cleaning to get rid of threats of bacteria and mold. Change the water every day. Don’t allow water to be left stagnant in the tank. Filters should also be changed regularly. Cleaning the humidifier should be done every 3 days using 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. You can get this from pharmacies and stores that sell humidifiers.
Other Ways to Treat Your Dry Skin
There are instances when running your humidifier might not be enough to improve your dry skin no matter how often you turn it on. If ever you still notice your skin getting too flaky and dry, you can switch to a high quality moisturizer, minimize the time you spend in the shower, and cleanse using a gentler soap. Hot water can leach the moisture content of your skin so make sure you bathe using slightly warm water.