What Causes Dry Skin?
Dry skin is a problem for many people, especially in cool weather when the air is dry. Dry air causes the skin to lose moisture, chap and crack. These chapped, cracked areas may become irritated and itchy.
To treat dry skin, use a synthetic detergent soap such as Dove, Oil of Olay, Cetaphil, Purpose, Basis or others. For moisturizers, avoid lotions that cab be drying; utilize creams or ointments. Plain petroleum jelly is one of the better moisturizers, although some people feel it’s too greasy. For bathing, use lukewarm or cool water only (hot water may feel good, however it ultimately dries out the skin, making the itch worse). Follow these directions:
- Shower/bathe a maximum of once per day.
- Only use soap on your face, hands, feet, armpits, groin and genital areas.
- Do not use soap on the areas of your body with dry skin
- After rinsing, lightly towel off
- Apply medication and/or moisturizer within 45 seconds of exiting the shower. This traps the moisture in before it can evaporate. (Apply your medication first, then apply moisturizer to all other areas.)
Long Term Control
Dry skin is usually a long-term problem that recurs often, especially in the winter months. When you notice your skin becoming dry, resume the above cleansing and lubricating routine. If the dry itchy skin returns, utilize the lubricating routine and consult your dermatologist. A prescription cream/ointment may be needed to control your symptoms or you may have something other than dry skin.