It’s that time of year again when all kinds of germs are at work and many of us sneeze, cough and feel sick. If you haven’t been hit by a cold or the flu yet this season, chances are you will be at one point or another! And if that turns out to be more than just a sniffle or two, there’s one particular symptom that can get quite annoying: dry skin. But why the hell does your skin get so dry when you’re sick? Let’s see exactly why this happens and how to fix it…
Dermatological and scientific explanations in detail.
When a person is sick, for example with the flu or a cold, it is not uncommon for them to have dry skin.
From a scientific point of view:
It is likely due to the body’s inflammatory response that can occur when the immune system is activated in response to an infection. This leads to increased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines which can contribute to the evaporation of moisture from the skin.
Additionally, certain medications used to treat conditions like these can also lead to dry skin, as they can interfere with the way the body retains water by altering hormones or inhibiting oil and sweat glands. . Similarly, when a person has a fever, their body is working hard to try to fight off the virus or bacteria causing their illness. Which means that some of its normal bodily functions may be compromised, which can also lead to dry skin.
From a dermatological point of view:
This may be due to changes in hydration levels and/or dehydration. There is an important distinction between dry skin and dehydrated skin. Dry skin is caused by a lack of natural production of sebum, the oily substance that helps protect and lubricate the skin. It can manifest as tightness, itching, flaking and even cracking of the skin.
On the other hand, dehydration is caused by a lack of water in the body. Healthy skin should be made up of around 30% water, which gives it good elasticity and suppleness. When we are dehydrated, our skin is deprived of this essential water content and can therefore become rough, irritated or even inflamed. This distinction between dry and dehydrated skin is important for correctly identifying your particular skin type. Knowing this information can help you choose the right type of skin care products, ones that are designed to provide optimal hydration or nutrition based on your particular needs.
How to take care of our dehydrated skin when we have a cold?
Drink plenty of fluids:
Skin dehydration is one of the most common side effects of the common cold, which is why drinking plenty of fluids can have a very positive effect on our skin. Not only does staying hydrated keep our bodies functioning at their best during times when we’re not feeling well, it also rehydrates our skin so it doesn’t become overly dry or irritated. Hydration helps absorb the nutrients needed to maintain a healthy complexion. Taking care of your skin isn’t a priority when you’re sick, but it’s an easy habit to start feeling better during recovery.
Drink electrolyte-rich beverages:
Energy drinks often contain essential minerals such as sodium, potassium and calcium, which help replenish electrolyte levels, which are lost when we sweat due to fever or other disease-related symptoms. .
Plus, coconut water is a low-sweet alternative to regular sports drinks, while balancing body electrolytes. If you don’t want the sugar rush of either option, there are always unsweetened alternatives readily available at health food stores and some grocery stores. Drinking these liquids helps ensure that our skin stays hydrated despite a cold.
Bet on soups and broths:
During this time, it is important to incorporate nutritious soups and broths into your diet. The heat from these fluids and the moisture they contain help rehydrate the body. Herbal broths like ginger and turmeric are especially beneficial for restoring the balance between dryness and moisture in the skin. Also, try incorporating hot tea or juicy fruits like grapefruit and oranges into your diet, which can provide more nutrients that will help replenish tired skin cells.
Don’t forget external hydration:
Although we tend to focus on treating colds from the inside out, it’s important to remember to take care of our skin as well. Consider incorporating natural ingredients such as aloe vera, vitamin E oil, or jojoba oil into your skincare routine. They will help nourish and restore the pH balance of your face so you can combat internal and external winter issues.
Don’t overdo it with hot showers or baths.
To take care of our skin when we have a cold, we must start by avoiding hot showers or baths, which can dehydrate already dry skin. Warm water and mild cleansers are best for moisturizing affected areas. Additionally, a humidifier in our bedroom at night can replace lost moisture in the air and reduce dryness during sleep. Products like after-shower lotion and face masks can also help keep our skin hydrated despite the drying effects of the condition.