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Dermatologists’ Top Tips for Relieving Dry Skin

Severely dry skin often resembles regular, dry skin. However, what makes this condition more noticeable is the severity of the dryness and irritation, and how often it happens. To help heal dry skin and prevent its return, dermatologists recommend the following

Dermatologists’ Top Tips for Relieving Dry Skin

1. Prevent baths and showers from making dry skin worse: When the humidity drops for your skin feels dry, be sure to

  • Close the bathroom door.
  • Limit your time in the shower or bath to 5 or 10 minutes.
  • Use warm rather than hot water.
  • Wash with a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser.
  • Apply enough cleanser to remove dirt and oil, but avoid using so much that you see a thick lather.
  • Blot your skin gently dry with a towel.
  • Slather on the moisturizer immediately after drying your skin.

 2. Apply moisturizer immediately after washing: creams, Ointments, and lotions (moisturizers) work by trapping existing moisture in your skin. To trap this much-needed moisture, you need to apply a moisturizer in a few minutes of:

  • Drying off after a shower or bath
  • Washing your hands or face

3. Use an ointment or cream rather than a lotion: Ointments and creams are more dominant and less irritating than lotions. Look for cream & ointment that contains one or more of the following ingredients: 

  • Jojoba oil
  • Dimethicone
  • Glycerin
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Lanolin
  • Mineral oil
  • Petrolatum
  • Shea butter

4. Wear lip balm: Choose a lip balm that feels good on your lips. If your lips prick or tingle after applying lip balm, switch to one that doesn't cause this reaction.

5. Use only gentle, unscented skin care products: Some skin care products are too harmful for dry, sensitive skin. When your skin is dry, stop using Some Skin Care Products such as deodorant soaps that contain alcohol, fragrance, retinoids, or alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA). Avoiding these products will help your skin retain its natural oils.

6. Wear gloves: Our hands are often the first place we notice dry skin. You can reduce dry, raw skin by wearing gloves before you:

  • Go outdoors in winter
  • Perform tasks that require you to get your hands wet
  • Get chemicals, greases, and other substances on your hands

7. Choose non-irritating clothes and laundry detergent: When our skin is dry and raw even clothes and laundry detergent can be irritating. To avoid this, wear cotton or silk under your clothing made of wool and another material that can feel rough, and try using a laundry detergent labeled “hypoallergenic”.

8. Stay warm without cozying up to a fireplace or other heat source: Sitting in front of an open flame or another heat source can dry your skin.

9. Add moisture to the air. Plug in a humidifier: If you can check your home heating system, find out if you have a humidifier on the system—and whether it’s working.

When to see a dermatologist

Your skin should start to feel better quickly. If these changes do not bring relief, you may want to see a dermatologist. Very dry skin can require a prescription ointment or cream. Dry skin also can be a sign of a skin condition that needs treatment. Eudermiz dermatologist Dr. Sai Sandeepthi can examine your skin and explain what can help reduce your discomfort.

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