Chapped skin is a common problem especially in the winter. Most people who suffer from cracked skin usually get it in palms, lips and other areas that are exposed to the weather, but cracked heels and elbows are also a common problem.
Chapped skin can result from exposure to cold or windy weather, or even too much sun, from washing your skin too often and using harsh and drying soaps, from handling chemicals (for example at work) or having your hands constantly in water (for example, if your work involves washing dishes all day but you are not using protective gloves). Chapped skin can also be a sign that your diet lacks some vitamins and essential fatty acids.
How to Treat Chapped Skin
To heal chapped skin you’ll need to treat it externally and internally. Make sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet that gives you enough nutrients. Include some quality vegetable oils in your diet (olive oil, hemp oil, flaxseed oil) and make sure you get enough vitamins A, B and C by eating green leafy vegetables, whole grains, fruits and legumes. Evening primrose oil is sometimes used as an alternative remedy for cracked skin and vitamin B supplement is often recommended, especially if you suffer from chapped lips.
To heal chapped skin, visit your nearest natural health store and get a rich nourishing cream that contains cocoa butter, shea butter, hemp oil and/or calendula oil or extract. Apply it at least once a day.
How to Prevent Cracked Skin
To prevent extreme drying of the skin, moisturize often and well. When bathing or showering, use warm water instead of hot water, and don’t stay in the bath or shower too long. Don’t use harsh soaps that dry the skin; there are many natural soaps and shower creams that nourish the skin, or choose commercial shower soaps that contain added moisturizing oils. Always moisturize your body and your face after showering or bathing.
Chapped Lips Home Remedies
Chapped lips are very common during the winter. To prevent cracked lips, protect your lips well with a quality lip balm before going out in cold weather. If your lips are already getting dry and cracked, try natural lip balms that are created especially for chapped lips and contain natural oils and butters: shea butter, cocoa butter and quality vegetable oils. These lip balms nourish the lips while also protecting them.
Try not to lick your lips; it may bring short-term relieve but because saliva evaporates fast, your lips will soon feel even drier. As with chapped skin, make sure your diet contains enough B and C vitamins and essential fatty acids, and stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids.
Mayo Clinic: Chapped Lips: What’s the best remedy?