Water and dry eyes / skin

Picture a dry, scaly, cracking desert. Then, picture what water can do to moisten the land. Skin, for some, can be a dry terrain as well.

Many factors can cause dry eyes and skin, however, one of the most overlooked solutions is drinking water. Dehydration is becoming more and more of a contributor to health issues today, with studies finding that everything from allergies to chronic fatigue may be linked to something we all have plenty of "drinking water." Dryness included.

Dehydrated Skin

Drinking plenty of water "not soda, juice, or other beverages" can help ease the discomfort of dry eyes and skin. Experts say that we need up to eight glasses a day of water, and if other factors exist, like living in a hot, dry environment, taking antihistamines, exercising, or drinking alcohol, our need for water increases. For people with skin conditions, experts recommend up to two quarts of water every day. As a matter of fact, when you ingest water it does not go straight to the skin. It goes through the intestines, gets absorbed by your bloodstream, and is filtered by your kidneys. Then it hydrates cells. When it comes to moisturizing skin there is not much left, this is why it is important to always be sipping on water throughout the day.

Exercising and hot weather makes us sweat; it’s our body’s way of keeping our internal temperature down, so we must increase our water intake during these situations. Diet can play a role in strengthening your skin’s ability to maintain moisture too. Eating foods high in essential fatty acids found in walnuts, flaxseed, salmon, and olive oil can help the skin stay hydrated.

In some cases, however, water also can actually cause dry eyes and skin. Chlorine is added to most drinking water supplies to kill bacteria and other potentially harmful agents that seep into lakes, rivers, streams or groundwater. However, chlorine, and other chemicals in your water, the very chemical there to help in one area, could be causing problems for you every time you shower or relax in a hot bath.

Anyone who has ever gotten green hair or burning eyes from a swimming pool knows the effects chlorine can have on our bodies. The amounts of chlorine in drinking water are much lower, but it can still have the same, although milder effects, when we shower with it, including dry eyes and skin.

Showering with hard water, water that contains higher levels of calcium magnesium, and other minerals that naturally exist in water can contribute to dry eyes and skin. These elements often will react with soap and shampoo to leave a dry residue on your skin and scalp. This can make the skin itchy, and leave people uncomfortable all day. The methods below can help you maintain a more hydrating skincare routine.

  • Keep showers short – Spending longer time in the shower can cause the skin to dry.
  • Use warm water - Hot water removes natural oils from the skin more quickly than warm water does. The more natural oils removed, the drier the skin will be.
  • Close the bathroom door – This keeps in the humidity which can beneficial for your skin.
  • Apply moisturizer within 3 minutes of getting out of the bath or shower. Moisturizer does not add moisture to the skin; in fact, it traps existing water in the skin.
  • Use a mild cleanser – Fragrance in soaps and products containing alcohol strip natural oils from the skin which dries the skin. Look for a mild, fragrance-free cleanser

Some people suffer from very painful or uncomfortable skin conditions such as eczema. Removing the chemicals from the water they use to bathe and shower can help cut down on their symptoms. Sometimes the chlorine and minerals in water can be even more irritating to people who have diseases of the skin.

Equipping your home with a reverse osmosis filter can remove chlorine and all sorts of other contaminants from your drinking water, leaving you with pure water. It eliminates the minerals that naturally exist in water. Removing these elements from your water can help tremendously to cut down on the discomfort of dry eyes and skin. Shower filters or whole house filters can also remove chlorine and help prevent dry skin. Having access to clean, purified water, can benefit your whole family in many ways. If changes do not occur, make an appointment to see your dermatologist. The reactions may be due to medication, dieting, or other unknown factors that a dermatologist can help you examine and explain what can help alleviate the dry irritation.

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