Hi, I suffer dreadfully from dry skin, especially with the change in season - do you have any tips or advice? Thank you.

Thank you for your question. Dry skin can be annoying and even painful if not treated quickly. Traditional plant medicine can be used both as a treatment and also as prevention in order to stop your skin from drying out.

Often after too much sun, wind or cold exposure, skin condition can deteriorate, which shows up as scaly, dry and cracked skin. To prevent this we can work at building up our skin integrity and this can be done by using a rich plant-based oil at night, boosting nutrients to our skin as well as intensive treatment if it does cause injuries. Consider using St John's Wort oil, which is very hydrating and has an affinity with dry, cracked and comprised skin. The active constituents in St John's wort helps the skin after injury, such as in cases of burns, wounds and nerve lesions.

Nettle (Urtica dioica) is a great option to help the skin. It is high in minerals and also helps with skin recovery. It's mineral-rich because it has long roots that make it able to retain minerals from deep within the soils, and transfer them to the leaves, which is the part of the plant traditionally used in plant medicine. Nettle is a good choice for helping with eczema, skin irritations and itchy skin and rashes.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis) and Chickweed (Stellaria media) will also be helpful for skin irritations, as they are both soothing and calming, and also hold wound healing properties. Chickweed helps reduce any itchiness that may occur and is anti-inflammatory.

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Propolis used in skin treatments help with protection and act as a barrier for the skin in conditions that may cause damage. It is high in antioxidants and is also anti-inflammatory so aids in calming down inflamed skin. It helps to encourage tissue repair and regeneration as well as protecting the skin, hence why it makes a great barrier cream.

A great way to ensure you protect your skin could be to incorporate nettle into your daily regime via a hot water extract. Also, using a plant based cream incorporating the above herbs will help to reduce any issues or injuries. Nightly use of St John's Wort oil may also help with repair and prevention.

If your condition worsens or does not improve, please see your leading healthcare professional.

REFERENCES:

Hill, N., Stam, C., & Van Haselen, R. A. (1996). The efficacy of Prrrikweg® gel in the treatment of insect bites: a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Pharmacy World and Science, 18(1), 35-41.
Preethi, K. C., & Kuttan, R. (2009). Wound healing activity of flower extract of Calendula offlcinalis. Journal of basic and clinical physiology and pharmacology, 20(1), 73-80.
Oyebanji, B. O., Saba, A. B., & Oridupa, O. A. (2012). Anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of methanol extract of Stellaria media (L.) Vill leaf. African Journal of Biomedical Research, 15(1), 29-34.