The kidneys are organs about the size of your fist, located on either side of the spine just below the rib cage. They filter the blood to flush out waste products at the rate of about 200 quarts per day. Although kidney disease is common - estimates suggest that about 8 million Americans are afflicted - it often goes unrecognized and untreated unless the symptoms are extreme and obviously related to the kidneys. For example, dry skin usually results in a trip to the drug store for a bottle of lotion rather than a call to your doctor to get your kidneys checked. However, if the skin problem is on the lower legs and is accompanied by slight redness, itching and puffiness or swelling, you could also have kidney problems.
What are the other symptoms to watch for? The list is long and indicates how important the removal of waste products is for proper bodily function, but here are a few of the main things to look for:
• puffiness and swelling, especially around the eyes or on the face, wrists, abdomen, thighs or ankles
• high blood pressure
• pain the middle of your back below the rib cage
• any change regarding urination or the characteristics of the urine
• poor appetite, vomiting, bad breath
• general malaise, headaches, insomnia or fatigue
Although the most common cause of dry skin and eczema is exposure to harsh chemicals and pollutants, they can also be caused by a number of internal problems. No matter what the cause, shielding lotion is an effective dry skin care and eczema treatment. However, if you also have any of the above symptoms, make sure you also see your doctor to check for kidney malfunction and other internal problems.