Dry skin affects men of any age and can occur in any area on the body. Dry skin on the face and under a beard are common, and a large proportion of men will suffer from dry skin in their groin and around their genitals. It's not something widely discussed but it's much more prevalent than people assume.
There are a few causes of dry skin explained by our nutritionists in this article, including skin issues after having Covid-19.
What triggers dry skin?
There are a number of causes of dry skin to be aware of, from diet and stress to particular conditions.
Stress plays havoc with our skin. It impairs the function of the outer layer reducing its moisture-retaining properties, and causing cracking, itching and dryness. Stress also affects the skin's ability to heal itself.
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Alcohol is dehydrating and it pulls water from the skin, leaving it under-functioning and itching. Limit alcohol and drink plenty of water between each alcoholic drink.
Our skin and our gut are connected via the 'Gut-Skin-Axis', and what we eat has the biggest impact on the health of our skin. Most processed foods have added salt which dehydrates the skin. Magnesium is an important electrolyte required by the skin, helping water to get into cells and controlling the skin's hydration, and processed foods contain insufficient magnesium.
Learn more in 'A nutritionists secret to glowing skin'.
Omega 3 is needed for flexibility and moisturization of skin, and a deficiency in omega 3 can cause dryness and itching of the skin. Diets low in healthy omega 3 fatty acids will lead to poor skin, so try to consume lots of foods rich in omega 3 including walnuts, chia, flax and algae oil daily, or take a high quality omega 3 supplement.
Support with skin conditions
Wearing appropriate clothing and underwear
Wearing the right underwear leads to less chafing and allows for better airflow, sweat relief and support for men's genitals and skin. Opting for JustWears men's underwear offers sustainable MicroModal Air material, five times softer than cotton, and has a sweat-busting design that stops skin irritation in the groin area. It also includes an innovative Palace for your phallus® pouch design, perfect for reducing skin irritation when working out.
Hear from a customer below:
"I have chronic epididymitis and so expect to have pain in my testicular area for the long haul. Unfortunately all that is really advised by medical professionals is to buy supportive underwear and take over the counter pain medication to ease the pain. After much searching, trying a couple of other brands that were awful and then coming across JustWears by chance I now wouldn't buy from anywhere else. The underwear does certainly help."
Nutritionist support for Psoriasis
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease resulting in red, itchy, scaly skin. Psoriasis can be genetic, triggered by poor gut health and worsened by gluten and dairy. As gut health is so important for your skin, we recommend taking Gut Works. Some people use sunbeds for psoriasis but this isn't recommended - too much exposure to UVA light can actually trigger psoriasis. It is much better to get out in the sun for 15 minutes each day.
Nutritionist support for Eczema
Eczema is a common condition and there are many types, including 'discoid eczema' which causes skin swelling, cracking and itching in circular patches.
Eczema is linked to allergies and high histamine levels which stem from poor gut health and microbiome levels. You may be interested in the natural enzyme drink Jin Jin. There are ways to improve eczema without hydrocortisone creams.
How to treat dry skin
There three basic first steps to improve the moisture levels and health of your skin.
Drinking enough water is essential for skin hydration. Drink 2 litres of water each day, and more if needed. Avoid fizzy drinks and caffeinated drinks because they can actually dehydrate you.
Use a good natural moisturiser designed for dry skin. Anything you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body, so avoid synthetic creams with nasty additives or chemicals.
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3. Eat well
Eating a healthy balanced diet is essential because so many nutrients are needed for healthy skin. Aim to consume between 7-9 portions of vegetables and fruits daily and a good helping of healthy fats from foods such as avocados, nuts, seeds and olives.
Nutrients and vitamins for dry skin
There are a few really important nutrients and vitamins to gain in your diet or through supplements to improve the health of your skin and avoid dry, itchy skin.
Antioxidants protect the skin from oxidative damage caused by the sun and environmental factors including pollution. Antioxidants protect the collagen which is responsible for the skin’s elasticity, helping to prevent cracking. Good sources of antioxidants in your diet include fruits, vegetables, grapeseed extract, bilberry extract and green tea extract - or through Skin Saviour, a unique formula to nourish your skin from within and fuel your collagen production.
Gut health is essential for skin health and any imbalances in your gut health will reflect on your skin. Fibre feeds the probiotics (which are good bacteria) in your gut which then produce short chain fatty acids. These short chain fatty acids are then absorbed by your body and provide moisturization to the skin. Inulin - known as a prebiotic - is an excellent source of fibre to feed probiotics. Learn more in 'What are probiotics'.
Learn about the best foods to support your gut and skin health.
Vitamins C & E
Vitamins C and E play a vital role in the health of your skin. Vitamin C is needed for collagen production, and Vitamin E is needed to protect healthy skin fats from sun and other environmental damage.
Omega 3 fats are incorporated into the skin cell membranes and provide flexibility and moisturisation. Deficiency causes cracking, flaking and itching. Omega 3 fats are also anti-inflammatory and useful for conditions including eczema and psoriasis.
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