Dry, itchy skin is an uncomfortable condition. Its solution, however, may be as close at hand as the kitchen cupboard. Certain foods can change dermal texture by treating the itch at its underlying cause: the loss of moisture and collagen from the outer skin layers.
Citrus is an excellent source of vitamin C, making it the perfect addition to any diet to relieve dry, itchy skin. This nutrient is particularly crucial for the production of collagen, the protein that gives skin a fuller, healthier look. It has also been shown to have anti-aging properties, and it is easy to incorporate this fruit into any meal of the day. Grab one in the morning to start the day off right, or use its juice for to add a tropical twist to any dish.
Though harder to find than the average citrus fruit, camu camu is highly beneficial for dry and itchy skin because it has the second-highest concentration of vitamin C of any food product. Each fruit contains an average of 20-50 times the amount of an orange. Specialized health food stores are the best bet for retrieving it.
When healthy, the skin produces a natural oil barrier between itself and outside irritants, protecting it from contact dehydration and irritation. Dry and itchy skin, however, is sometimes caused by a depletion of that barrier, and eating more omega-3 fatty acids can help restore it and reduce inflammation. Walnuts contain a great deal of omega-3s, so eating more of them can supplement this necessary nutrient.
Another important dietary element that combats dry, itchy skin is vitamin A, necessary for normal skin growth as well as mucus cell production. Sweet potato is chock-full of this nutrient, providing well over the recommended daily amount in just 3.5 ounces. Particularly easy to find in autumn months, its creamy texture works well with a wide array of other foods.
Especially for women going through menopause, it is likely that dry, itchy skin is caused by hormonal imbalance rather than nutrient deficiencies. For this reason, many recommend eating soy, as it is rich in phytoestrogens, which rebalance dipping estrogen levels and alleviate menopausal symptoms. Additionally, estrogen also plays a vital role in collagen production alongside vitamin C, and the combination of the two can work wonders.
It's unnecessary to spend money on creams and lotions to fight dry, itchy skin, when simple alterations to your grocery list can do all the work for you. Try out one or more of the foods listed about today, and discover how quickly smooth dermal texture can return.
For further information on how to deal with this menopausal symptom click here.
- Boyera, N. , Galey, I. & Bernard, B.A. (1998). Effect of vitamin C and its derivatives on collagen synthesis and cross-linking by normal human fibroblasts. International journal of cosmetic science, 20(3), 151-158. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18505499
- Evert, A. (2013). Vitamin A: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 6, 2013, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002400.htm
- Justi, K.C. , Visentainer, J.V. , Evelázio de Souza, N. & Matsushita, M. (2000). Nutritional composition and vitamin C stability in stored camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia) pulp. Archivos latinoamericanos de nutrición, 50(4), 405-408. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11464674
- McCusker, M., Grant-Kels, J.M. (2010). Healing fats of the skin: the structural and immunologic roles of the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Clinics in dermatology, 28(4), 440-451. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20620762
- Messina, M.J. (2002). Soy foods and soybean isoflavones and menopausal health. Nutrition in clinical care, 5(6), 272-282. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12557810