Adjustments in a Drier Climate

We’ve been in Arizona for six weeks now and Fiona seems to be having a challenge adjusting to the drier climate. I checked one day last week and the humidity in our old home town of Roseville California was 80% whereas here in Mesa it was 18%. That’s a huge difference! You should see what happens to our hair when we brush it – talk about static electricity!

My skin has been much drier and sometimes when at night as I’m trying to drift off to sleep my back itches like crazy due to the dryness. I’ve been trying to drink a lot more water and have used more hand lotion than I usually do.

However this last week Fiona broke out in strange small bumps all over – sort of like goose bumps. Her nose started itching like crazy, she has purple bags under her eyes and today her face started itching like crazy and developed red blotches and her skin is obviously very dry. I know what chicken pox, measles, and other rashes look like and this was completely different.

So I did some research online and found that she seems to be having some sort of reaction, sort of an allergic reaction, to this climate. So I started thinking about how to treat allergies with an antihistamine and knew I’d rather try something natural than an over-the-counter medication. And since I’ve used essential oils for years, I wondered if one of the oils I already had would be useful.

I found that Lavender is a natural antihistamine and I happen to have some Lavender essential oil. I sometimes put a drop or two of lavender in a bath and I plan to do that later for Fiona. In the meantime I got out the bottle of lavender and told her I thought it would help. Usually she doesn’t like the smell of the lavender oil; it’s too strong she says. This time I held the open bottle up to her nose and she inhaled deeply and said it smelled good. That’s a sure sign that her body needed it.

I rubbed some lavender oil into some lotion and rubbed it on her. Since it can be taken orally as well, I put a couple of drops in her apple juice and she gulped that down. In no time at all she said she didn’t itch anymore.

Since we’ll be back in Arizona for another two to three weeks at the end of March, I’d better keep the lavender on hand.

Have you ever suffered ill effects from a drier climate? I’d love to hear your stories and how you adjusted!


  1. Cooool!

    Having moved from Vancouver where the humidity can be 100% to a desert in the BC Okanagan, I can relate. What I found is the first couple of weeks I’m full of water and it feels like my cells are boiling. They are so full of water that I am hot and uncomfortable. Eventually, I dry out and the heat doesn’t feel so bad. However, I am “blessed” (depends where I live!) with oily skin so the dry is usually a bonus. With a little lotion I can maintain homeostasis.

    In a different vein, but similar, once I moved to this dry climate my young neighbour who was about 14 years old at the time developed a rash all over her body. You can imagine! A teenage girl with rash on face, hands never mind the itching. The doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Several successively stronger ointments failed to provide much relief and did nothing to heal the situation. After a couple of weeks it subsided and then disappeared.

    The following Spring, same thing. Now her parents were, obviously, suspecting allergies. Even the allergist failed to find the culprit. More ointments. A shot of cortisone. Antihistamines provided some relief – but it was severe. In frustration the family consulted a naturopath – they had been critics of witch doctors and natural medicine to this point.

    Immediately, poison ivy was indicated. A homeopathic remedy was administered and recommended at the beginning of Spring for next year. AND, a suggestion that her parents find the poison ivy and burn it. We lived side by side across from a vacant field of wild grasses (with a spectacular view of the lake!) that had – as it turned out – a thriving patch of poison ivy. Fortunately, my son and his young buddies had missed it in their rambles and wars in the field. A work party pulled it up, dug up the area and put the soil (and seeds) into garbage bags and burned the leaves and stems.

    To this day, after the second year of the homeopathic tincture she has never been sensitive to poison ivy like that again.

    Delighted the lavender worked for Fiona!

  2. I think the lavender has been helping me sleep better the past few nights, too.

    Being exposed to “alternative” healing when I was very young has been a benefit. Traditional medicine has value, but I’m saddened so many write off chiropractors, aromatherapy, and just plain common sense as “playing doctor.”

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