Section 2

Part 4
Chapping, Cracking, Itching


SYMPTOMS—Red, dry, cracked hands.

CAUSES—The low humidity in the fall and winter dries and irritates the skin. The skin of older people has less natural oils. This prepares you for problems. But the other causes, listed below, you can do something about.

PREVENTION—If you find you have this problem, there are several things you can do, to prevent or lessen it.

• Water removes oils on the skin. But a special kind of water is especially devastating: soapy water. Dish water not only removes oil from the plates, but also from your hands. That is part of the reason why your hands are chapped and your arms are not! When you must wash your hands, try washing only the palms and not the backs—which, having thinner skin, tends to dry out more easily.

• Soak your hands in warm (not soapy) water for a few moments. As you do this, some of the water is absorbed by the dry skin. Then pat dry and gently rub a little vegetable oil on your hands.

• What you place on your skin is absorbed into your body, so beware of all the creams and lotions on the market. The makers of these products are not required, by the FDA, to include food grade ingredients; yet those lotions are absorbed into your system for the body to have to deal with.

• Massage a few drops of glycerine, combined with a few drops of lemon oil (both are available at pharmacies), into your hands at bedtime.

• Put oil on your hands at night, and then slip cotton gloves over them.

• Hot-air blowers tend to chap the hands; use a towel instead.

• Wear white cotton gloves while doing dry work. For harder work, use leather gloves. Regarding gloves, avoid vinyl ones, if you can; they makes the hands worse! The rubber traps the moisture and keeps the skin from breathing.

• Use a long-handled brush, when washing dishes.

ENCOURAGEMENT—Through Jesus, we can have access to God and be accepted by Him. Take God's promises as your own; plead them before Him as His own Words, and you will receive fullness of joy.


SYMPTOMS—Chapped and cracked lips.

CAUSES—Low humidity, sunlight, wind, and lack of oil on the lips. Here are several other factors you can control:


• Avoid licking your lips; it dries them out. Occasionally place a little vegetable oil on your lips.

• Drink enough water.

• Rub your finger alongside of your nose and then on your lips; that puts natural oils back in them.

• Finish your meal with a small amount of lecithin (which your brain, nerves, and blood vessels need anyway). When you do this, be sure and leave a small amount of it on your lips.

• Vitamin B2 and brewer's yeast both help cracked lips.

• Toothpaste dries the lips; instead use a toothbrush and baking soda.

ENCOURAGEMENT—May we come into the audience chamber, reach up the hand of faith, and cast our helpless souls upon the One mighty to save. He can help us fulfill His beautiful plan for our lives.


SYMPTOMS—The skin is overly dry, and there can be a tendency to chafing.

CAUSES—There is both a water loss and an oil loss in the skin. This may seem to be a matter of little concern. But it can be a sign of a more serious problem: essential fatty acid deficiency that can result in cardiovascular disease (stroke, heart attack, etc.)

If you are supplementing with vitamin A, in amounts over 100,000 units daily, dry skin may be the first warning of overdose.


• The solution is not superficial creams, but obtaining enough unsaturated fatty acids in the diet. These would be the uncooked vegetable oils, such as wheat germ oil, flaxseed oil, sesame seed oil, corn oil, and soy oil. The oil should be fairly fresh; never use rancid oil, for it destroys the vitamin E in that meal. Take additional vitamin E supplementation (800-1,200 units a day).

• If you are not taking supplemental vitamin A, begin taking a moderate amount (not over 50,000 units a day). Carrot juice will also help.

• For the chafing, wear cotton clothes; not synthetics. Australian wool (the wool which does not scratch) is also good. Wash new inner clothing before you wear it. This softens the fabric. Do not wear coarse cloth next to the skin.

• Cut out all greases and other saturated fatty acids; and, in their place put a tablespoon of a good oil (wheat germ oil, flaxseed oil, almond oil, sesame oil, and corn oil) on your food after it is cooked.

• Drink an adequate amount of water. If necessary, gently rub a small amount of oil over your body after the bath. Avoid commercial lotions and saturated fats (greases). These are all absorbed by your body.

• For your shower, rinse off every day with lukewarm water, and use as little soap as possible. Do not use hot water.

• Pour 2 cups of oatmeal, ground to a fine powder, into a bathtub of warm water. Tie some oatmeal in a washcloth and, then, use it as a washcloth. Oatmeal is extremely soothing to the body.

• Use soap which has cocoa butter, coconut oil, or another vegetable oil. They do not clean as well, but are more soothing to the skin.

• Keep the house warmer, and it will not be as dry. Use a humidifier to put moisture back into the house.

• For itchy skin, add vinegar to the bath water, and take 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil daily. Helpful herbs include yarrow, violet, and marjoram. Dry brush massage your skin, to tone it up.

ENCOURAGEMENT—We shall never know, until we reach heaven, what Christ went through to enable us to overcome sin here on earth and live with Him forever. Thank God for His inexpressible Gift.


SCABIES (The Itch)

SYMPTOMS—An itching in a body part, which tends to continue, then let up, then continue again. Almost never occurring above the neck, it is most commonly found in hands, finger webs, wrists, elbows, underarms, waist, and feet. In men, it may also occur in the scrotum and penis; in women, the nipples are most often affected.

CAUSE—Scabies is an infectious skin disease caused by an almost microscopic mite, called Sarcoptes scabiei. Although he is a little fellow, you know he is there.

Scabies is found on all social levels. Contact, even by a handshake, is all that is needed to acquire it. It can also be transmitted through clothing and bed linen. It is more common in older adolescents and young people, and in girls rather than boys. People can also get it from touching dogs, other animals, or their bedding. It is a special problem in institutions, such as nursing homes, etc.

Scabies can only be accurately diagnosed by taking skin scrapings and viewing them under a microscope. If one person in a family has them, it is generally well to treat everyone. Children under 15 are often the first to contract them.


• Mix flowers of sulphur with petrolatum (petroleum jelly). Sulphur is a poison, so do not swallow it! In addition, it will stain clothing and does not smell good. But it will work to kill the scabies mites. For children, use a 5% sulphur (5% sulphur and 95% petrolatum) mixture; for adults, a 10% mixture. Take a warm, soaking bath before applying the mixture. Apply it for 3-5 nights before retiring. Cover from neck to toes. Have someone else apply it to you, so everything is covered.

• During this period, launder your clothes frequently, using hot water. The mite cannot survive temperatures above 120o F. for more than 5 minutes.

• To reduce the itching sensation soak in a cool bath, starch bath or oatmeal bath (see directions under Dry, Itching Skin); mix calcium gluconate with a little oil and apply to the area.

• Eat foods high in zinc, such as soybeans, sunflower seeds, whole-grain products, yeast, wheat bran, and blackstrap.

• Avoid processed, fried, and junk foods. Use no sugar, chocolate, soft drinks, alcohol, or tobacco.

ENCOURAGEMENT—God's love is revealed in all His dealings with His earthly children. He loved us, or He would not have paid such an expensive price to redeem us from sin. Thank Him every day.

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