10 simple ways to treat dry skin
Here are 10 simple ways to help heal and soothe dry skin and prevent recurrences:
- Limit baths and showers
- Use lukewarm water to bathe or shower instead of hot water
- Limit time in the shower to 5 to 10 minutes
- Avoid bathing more than one time a day
- Wash the face with a gentle, mild, and fragrance-free cleanser
- Avoid using harsh soaps and shampoos
- Pat dry the facial skin soon after the shower
- Moisturize the skin
- Apply a moisturizer immediately after bathing or many times a day
- This may help trap the moisture of the skin, keeping it moist and lubricated
- Use a hydrating ointment or cream
- Always use gentle and mild skincare products
- Avoid using harsh, chemical-based soaps or products that can irritate the skin
- Use a lip balm that contains petroleum jelly on the dry chapped lips
- Keep the skin covered
- Try to cover as much as possible by using a scarf or a hat to prevent further drying of the skin
- Choose skin-friendly clothing
- Wear cotton or natural fabrics that do not irritate the skin
- Use essential oils
- Keep the body hydrated with plenty of water
- Boosting water intake helps prevent dehydration effects on the skin
- Consume fresh fruits
- Some skin healing fruits and vegetables include papaya, pineapple, and pumpkin
- A mask made from these fruits is often helpful in some cases
- Oatmeal bath
- Grind the oatmeal and sprinkle it in the tub, soak for 10 to 15 minutes
- Oatmeal contains a chemical called avenanthramides that is proven to fight inflammation and redness
What is dry skin?
Dry skin is not a serious condition and is often caused by extreme weather (hot or cold), low humidity in the air, and prolonged hot water baths.
Dryness of the face can be a cause of concern cosmetically (a parched and scaly skin makes a person look older or darker), causes an uncomfortable feeling, increases sensitivity, and makes one susceptible to other skin conditions. It even makes it difficult to put on makeup.
5 potential causes of dry skin
Dry skin occurs when the skin lacks water or oil content. This could be a temporary effect caused by seasonal variation, traveling, or prolonged sun exposure.
- Though it can affect anyone, dryness of the skin increases as people age
- People older than 50 years are more prone to developing dry skin
- Prolonged hot water baths and showers can cause dryness of the skin
- The use of harsh, chemical-based soaps, shampoos, and other skincare products can adversely affect the skin
- Swimming in chlorinated pools very often
- Environmental factors
- Weather: Winters may cause excessive dryness of the skin.
- Extreme heat: Residing in locations where space heaters or wood-burning stoves are used may reduce the humidity in the air, leading to skin dryness.
- Living in dry, cold, and low-humid areas
- Certain skincare products, such as antiacne medications
- Occupational hazard
- Swimming instructors, hairstylists, pool cleaners, and domestic helpers are often affected because of their job requirements
- Other skin conditions
5 symptoms of dry skin
When to see a doctor
A person should consult a dermatologist (skin specialist) if they:
- Develop extremely dry, itchy, flaky, cracked, or bleeding skin
- See no improvement in dryness despite all efforts taken
- Think redness is increasing
- Believe the affected area is spreading
- Have intense itching that hinders sleep
Dryness of skin is harmless in most cases. However, if left untreated, it can lead to:
- Atopic dermatitis: Patchy, dry, and itchy skin.
- Infections: Cracks may allow the entry of bacteria, causing other infections.
- Ichthyosis: A genetic skin disorder characterized by dry and scaly skin.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
American Academy of Dermatology. Dermatologist’s Top Tips for Relieving Dry Skin. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/dry/dermatologists-tips-relieve-dry-skin
WebMD. Dry Skin. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/dry-skin
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