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Q: Coffee is -really- drying out my hands and feet - why and what to do about it ? ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: Coffee is -really- drying out my hands and feet - why and what to do about it ?
Category: Health
Asked by: jlducote-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 25 Aug 2006 23:12 PDT
Expires: 24 Sep 2006 23:12 PDT
Question ID: 759663
I notice that whenever I drink coffee, my hands and feet will both
become very very dry, and my skin will sometimes crack / split.

1) Whats going on ? Why does this happen ? 

2) Is this indicative of a bigger health problem ?

3) Is this harmful to my health ?

2) Someone suggested that drinking a large glass of water with a
teaspoon of salt will help to alleviate this problem. Will this help ?
Is this the optimum protocol ?

3) What other methods / techniques exist to help alleviate my condition ?
Subject: Re: Coffee is -really- drying out my hands and feet - why and what to do about i
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 26 Aug 2006 00:52 PDT
Hello Jlducote,

   Because coffee has mild diuretic properties, if you are ?drying
out? when drinking coffee, you are probably not getting enough fluids
in your system to begin with. If you were drinking adequate amounts of
water, several cups of coffee would not dehydrate you enough to cause
cracked skin.

  The diuretic properties of coffee may act differently on each
person. Recent studies show that coffee is not as dehydrating as
previously thought. If your water is heavily chlorinated, the very
water you use to make the coffee may be contributing to your dry skin.

?Armstrong?s analysis of the scientific literature that was focused on
moderate amounts of caffeine (equivalent to one to four cups of coffee
a day) indicates:
?	When consuming a caffeinated beverage, the body retains some of the fluid.
?	Moderate caffeine consumption causes a mild diuresis very similar to
that of water (water, when consumed in large volume, increases urine
?	A person who regularly consumes caffeine has a higher tolerance to
the diuretic effect.
?	There is no evidence that consumption of caffeinated beverages
causes a fluid-electrolyte imbalance that is detrimental to health or
exercise performance.

    Or, could it be you drink coffee when it is cold? Maybe it is
coincidental that you are drinking coffee in cold, dry weather, when
your skin is prone to dry out and crack.

  In any case, if your skin is cracking, it may or may not be the
coffee. Try a few weeks with no caffeinated drinks of any kind:

?Try to limit drinking too many caffeinated beverages such as sodas,
tea and coffee. Drinking caffeinated beverages depletes the body of
fluids, which will require drinking even more water.?

   The symptoms of inadequate water intake often has no symptoms until
you are already dehydrated. ?Thirst is not usually the first symptom
or the only symptom of dehydration. Other symptoms of dehydration
?	Fatigue
?	Headache
?	Dry Mouth
?	Dizziness
?	Weakness
?	Rapid Heartbeat
?	Dry, Flushed Skin
?	Muscle cramps, and myofascial pain.

?Recently I have encountered a number of adult patients complaining of
headaches who reported drinking less water than they should. To make
it worse the majority of their fluid replacement involves the
consumption of coffee. As an example, a 59 year-old male claimed to
drink about 24 ounces of water per day. This was a big man weighing
210 pounds. Normally, I would suggest a man of this size to drink at
least 80 ounces of water. He mentioned that most of his water came
from drinking coffee. I cringed and wondered what prevented him from
suffering with kidney stones. He then stated that he has been
experiencing pain in his kidneys. Now I am wondering whether people
suffer headaches from too much caffeine or too little water?

I suggested to the patient that he drink more water. He was advised
that he should reduce his coffee intake and implement a life style
change that would include drinking 100 ounces of water per day.?

   Drink 8 glasses of water a day, and eat plenty of fruits and
vegetables. (Fruits and veggies are high in water content). You don?t
need to add any salt to the water, when mildly dehydrated, especially
if you eat a balanced diet. Excess salt can raise your blood pressure.
?A balanced diet that includes foods rich in essential body salts (potassium and
sodium), such as avocado, bananas, cheese, salted crisps and marmite,
can also help to maintain the electrolyte balance in your body.?

   ?Our bodies require a certain amount of fluid intake on a daily
basis to function; the minimum is about equal to four 8 ounce glasses
(one liter or one quart). Requirements vary with activity and age, but
most active persons need two to three times this basic amount. Basic
fluid intake serves to replace the fluids which are required to
perform our normal bodily functions. If we take in less or lose more
fluid than is needed, the end result is dehydration.?

Finally, besides eating a healthy diet, and plenty of water and water
rich foods, use a good emollient hand cream on your hands and feet.
Rub it in after each shower, and every hand wash.

This answer may be of interest to you:

Good luck!

If any part of my answer is unclear, please request an Answer
Clarification, and allow me to respond, before you rate this answer.
Regards, Crabcakes

Search Terms
Caffeine + diuretic properties
Coffee + dry skin
Caffeine + dry skin

Request for Answer Clarification by jlducote-ga on 26 Aug 2006 14:42 PDT

Umm.. a few things:

1) The reports appear to be ambiguous / conflicting. At first the
report says that it was most likely caused by the mild diuretic
properties of the caffeiene in the coffee. However, later on in the
response it was stated that it was not as diurectic as previously

2) I had listed several questions ( 5 I think ) and I feel this
responce only addressed first of the five.


Clarification of Answer by crabcakes-ga on 26 Aug 2006 15:47 PDT
Hello Justin,

   Thank you for your clarification, and I'm sorry you are not
completely satistisfied. Questions 2-5, numbered by you as 1,2,3,2,3,
as stated are

2) Is this indicative of a bigger health problem ?

3) Is this harmful to my health ?

4) Someone suggested that drinking a large glass of water with a
teaspoon of salt will help to alleviate this problem. Will this help ?
Is this the optimum protocol ?

5) What other methods / techniques exist to help alleviate my condition ?

# 2 - No. This is not indicative of a larger problem, unless you have
a co-existing condition; diabetes, leukemia, etc. or on some very
strong medication that is causing your skin to dry out, such as
Accutane. I addressed the coffee aspect only. As far as caffeine being
dangerous to your health, not in moderation. Even the diuretic
properties of caffeine are not dangerous to a person who also drinks
plenty of water and/or eats water containing foods such as fruits and

#3 Being dehydrated is harmful to your health! Being mildly dehydrated
is rapidly alleviated by a glass of water or two. Severe dehydration,
as discussed in my answer is dangerous to health, and can lead to
death! BY recommending you drink 8 glasses of water a day, you avoid
any health problems due to insufficient water intake.

#4- As state din my answer, you do not need to add salt to your water,
as too much salt can raise your blood pressure. Just drinking 8
glasses of unsalted water, and in your case, probably un-chlorinated
water will take care of the problem.

#5- As mentioned in my answer, is drink enough water and use a good
emollient lotion or cream on your hands and feet. Air conditioning and
heat contributes to the drying out of our skin.

I also recommended you refrain from caffeinated drinks for several
weeks to see if this helps you. If not, it is not likely that caffeine
is causing your dry skin.

As far as the ambiguity in the studies of caffeinated drinks... this
is common in most things medical. Coffee has been "proven" to cause
heart attacks, "proven" NOT to cause heart attacks, etc. There are
numerous studies on caffeine, some of which are contradictory. In the
end, you need to evaluate how it effects YOU as anindividual.

"Nearly 20,000 scientific studies to date have been conducted on
coffee or caffeine." "Coffee is a good dietary source of potassium.
That makes coffee a good choice as a diuretic; potassium loss is an
undesirable side effect of most diuretics."!-(First-in-a-Series)&id=232716

Another thought... have you investigated your coffee filters, or how
your coffee is made? Some decaffeinated coffees use a chemical process
to remove the caffeine, and coffee filters are exposed to all sorts of
chemicals in the bleaching and processing of the paper.

I hope this clarification is useful to you. Please reuest another
clarification if I have again omitted anything you want to know.

Sincerely, Crabcakes

You may also be interested in reading this link:
Subject: Re: Coffee is -really- drying out my hands and feet - why and what to do about it ?
From: probonopublico-ga on 26 Aug 2006 00:09 PDT
Why don't you stop drinking coffee?
Subject: Re: Coffee is -really- drying out my hands and feet - why and what to do about it ?
From: mgnairtvm-ga on 31 Aug 2006 17:24 PDT
I have read somewhere that diabetic patients have dry skin in their
hands and feet. But in one article on Coffee states that there is a
reduction of diabetic mellitus patients among coffee consumers.
"Many studies have been performed on the relationship between coffee
consumption and many medical conditions, ranging from diabetes and
cardiovascular disease to cancer and cirrhosis. Studies are
contradictory as to whether coffee has any specific health benefits,
and similarly results are conflicting with respect to negative effects
of coffee consumption. In addition, it is often unclear whether these
risks or benefits are linked to caffeine or whether they are to be
attributed to other chemical substances found in coffee (and whether
decaffeinated coffee carries the same benefits or risks).
One fairly consistent finding has been the reduction of diabetes
mellitus type 2 in coffee consumers, an association which cannot be
explained by the caffeine content alone and indeed may be stronger in
decaffeinated coffee.
Recently coffee was found to reduce the chances of developing
cirrhosis of the liver: the consumption of 1 cup a day was found to
reduce the chances by 20%, 4 cups a day reduced by 80%"
I suggest that you should checkup your fasting blood sugar and post
prandial blood sugar(2 hours after breakfast) if you come in the
following categories.
Causes of Diabetes.
(1) Hereditory factors.(parents, brothers & sisters having diabetes.)
(2) Overweight & belly stomach.
(3) Over 45 years of age.
(4) Ethnic community more suceptible for diabetes.
(5) Women who had gestational diabetes and those who had delivered a
baby having a weight more than 4 Kg.
(6) High Blood Pressure.(above 140/90 mm Hg)
(7) Persons having high triglycerides level.
(8) Persons having high cholesterol in the blood.

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