Illness, stress, poor diet and lack of sleep quickly show up as a loss of vitality and sometimes damage in your skin. Exposure to the changes in weather as well as exposure to central air-conditioning and heating can also strip your skin of its natural and protective moisture. These factors can age your skin, cause a loss of natural elasticity and leave your skin more vulnerable to injury. Most common skin damage can be healed, however, through consistent home care.
Adjust your diet. Doctors at Craig Hospital advise their patients to eat a diet of lean proteins, carbohydrates and foods that provide the mineral zinc as well as vitamins A and C. These food choices will provide your body with the building blocks it needs to promote healing, replenish elasticity and restore skin strength.
Use sunscreen consistently. Overexposure to the sun can cause more damage to already damaged skin and may also prolong healing or cause hyperpigmentation scarring. Protect your skin by using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher every day; reapply as directed by the manufacturer.
Drink lots of water. The body’s water needs increase when it’s in repair mode. According to the doctors at Craig Hospital, a body healing from a wound or open sore can use up to a liter of water a day. Because of this increased use, you need to drink even more than the standard 8 cups of water each day.
Apply aloe vera gel to your damaged skin. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that aloe vera gel has natural anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to help burn patients heal approximately nine days sooner than patients who did not use aloe vera gel. You can apply the gel directly to your skin from the plant or you can purchase aloe vera gel from most drugstores. Avoid applying aloe vera gel to an open wound.
Use silicone gel or sheets to help with healing. Silicone gel or silicone sheets can be applied to damaged skin after a wound has closed to help reduce scarring and hyperpigmentation. For large areas—such as damaged skin on the torso, arms or legs—you should apply silicone sheets with surgical tape. The silicone sheeting should remain covering the area for as many hours of the day as possible. Some manufacturers recommend at least 23 hours continually. Silicone gel can be applied one to two times daily.