How to take care of super dry skin

Dry skin and itching

What is dry skin?

Dry skin can happen at any age. Dry skin can cause skin irritations such as dry, flaky skin, scaly, or rough patches.

Dry skin can be caused by many factors. Dry skin can be caused by a decrease in the natural oils that your skin produces as you age. Your skin can become dry from indoor drying. Living in low humidity environments can also cause dry skin. Your home can be dried out by air conditioning or indoor heating. If you take too many baths, your skin can become dry.

Care for dry skin:

If you have dry skin, the following home treatments may be able to make you feel more comfortable.

  • You should look for a moisturizer with a high-quality ingredient list
  • This type of moisturizer is great for dry skin.
  • At night, apply a thin layer petroleum jelly and then go to bed wearing thin cotton gloves.

    This treatment is great for dry hands. This treatment may be beneficial for dry feet.

  • Use lotion to treat dry or brittle nails.
  • Take good care of your nails by trimming and smoothing your toenails and fingernails.

    You can accidentally scratch your skin with long or sharp nails.

  • Avoid scratching.

    The skin is damaged by scratching. Try these remedies if itching is a problem:

    • Make sure to moisturize the area. Itching may worsen if the skin is dry.
    • To your bath, add a few tablespoons of oatmeal (ground into a powder). You can also try Aveeno, an oatmeal bath product.
    • For small itchy patches, you can try a non-prescription 1% Hydrocortisone cream.
      • Apply the cream sparingly to the skin and genitals.
      • Your doctor might recommend a stronger cream if it is very severe.
      • You may mix this cream with a moisturizer if you plan to use the cream on larger areas such as your legs or arms.
    • Ask your doctor if an antihistamine can be prescribed to reduce itching and make the patient feel sleepy. Take precautions when using medicines. Follow all instructions.
    • To prevent scratches, cut your nails or wear gloves at night.
    • Comfortable, loose clothing is best. Avoid wearing scratchy materials next to your skin.

What can you do to prevent it?

Practice good skin hygiene to keep your skin healthy. Here are some tips.

  • Use warm or lukewarm water to shower or bathe.

    Showering too often is a bad idea. Only shower when you are dirty or sweaty or not more than once per day. You should wash your skin gently, not scrubbing.

  • Instead of using soap, use a mild cleanser for your skin.

    A skin cleanser can help protect your skin's natural moisture barrier. 

  • After a shower or bath, dry your skin.

    Apply moisturizer immediately while your skin is still damp. 

  • Use moisturizer multiple times per day.

    Moisturizers, such as skin creams or ointments (petroleum jelly), are better than lotions.

  • If the air is extremely dry, you might consider a humidifier.
  • Protect your lips using a lip balm made with petroleum jelly or mineral oils.

Good skin hygiene includes making sure your feet and hands don't become too dry. You should take care of any fungal infections or rashes, such as athlete's feet. To prevent further skin problems, consult your doctor if they persist.

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