The 411 on Dry Skin
Do you have dry, itchy, flaky skin? You’re not alone. Dry skin is a common skin disorder affecting people of all ages.
There are many factors that may contribute to dry skin – including your age, certain medications and pre-existing skin conditions. But perhaps the most common cause of dry skin is environmental factors. For example, during the cold, winter months, people tend to stay indoors, where warmth generated from the fireplace and/or furnace and relatively low humidity can really dry out your skin.
So, what’s the solution? There are lots of options. You can start by decreasing the amount of time you spend in the shower or bath and by making sure you use warm, not hot, water. While a long, hot shower may feel good, it can strip the natural oils from your skin and make dry skin worse.
You’ll also want to avoid anti-bacterial cleansers or skin care products containing alcohol. As soon as you are done in the shower or bath, remember to put on moisturizing lotion immediately to lock in moisture while your skin is still damp. You can also re-apply moisturizers throughout the day to your hands or other areas of skin that may become particularly dry.
Dry skin may also see relief with some additional changes, such as adding a humidifier to your home to increase moisture in the air. You can also protect your skin by bundling up as much as possible when you are outside to limit you skin’s exposure to cold, dry air.
If your dry skin doesn’t clear up, you’ll want to consult with your doctor. He or she may be able to prescribe a medication to put on your skin or refer you to a dermatologist who will make sure your skin condition isn’t a sign of a more serious health problem.