Many men and women suffer from dry skin and its maladies. When your skin lacks moisture, it can become itchy and scaly, making you uncomfortable. The best way to prevent dry skin is to understand what causes it in the first place.
Conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis are some of the most common causes of dry skin. Atopic dermatitis is the clinical term for eczema. This condition causes dry and flaking skin over various areas of the body. Eczema usually affects the skin on the cheeks, foreheads, the inside of the arms, the back of the knees and the elbows.
Mild eczema can usually be treated by using a moisturizer specially formulated for excessive dry skin. Doctors recommend creams like Eucerin, Aquaphor or Aveeno Naturals. Avoid hot showers, which can dry the skin. Apply a liberal amount of moisturizer while your skin is still moist.
For moderate to severe eczema, you may need to use a hydrocortizone cream or an antibacterial ointment like Bacitracin. If your skin oozes fluid, becomes hard, turns red or is excessively itchy, you may have severe atopic dermatitis. A doctor may prescribe a steroid cream to treat the problem.
Skin is usually drier in the winter when there is less moisture in the air. This can lead to excessive dryness, itchy and irritated skin.
Keep your skin protected in winter weather. Cover any exposed areas with a moisturizer, and make sure to keep bare skin from being exposed to the elements. Protect your cheeks, lips and nose from chapping with an oil based lubricant or jelly.
Home heating and cooling sources such as central air conditioning, wood burning stoves and space heaters can reduce the levels of humidity in the home and cause skin dryness. These can lead to itchy skin and dryness, which can progress to more serious conditions if left untreated.
Consider purchasing a humidifier for your home. This will increase the humidity in your home, which may help to reduce dry skin flare ups.
Soaps and detergents
People with sensitive skin are particularly susceptible to skin dryness caused by harsh detergents and soaps. These chemicals can cause the skin to dry out, lose moisture and become cracked.
Switch to a milder detergent or soap to prevent skin irritation. Detergents that are formulated for babies, such as Dreft and Ivory snow, are free of fragrances and dyes which irritate the skin. Clean yourself in dye-free and fragrance-free soap such as Dove. As a general rule, if it smells good, it's not good for people with sensitive skin.
Keep your skin radiant, moisturized and healthy year-round. By avoiding irritants and stopping skin irritations before they start, you'll have the flawless skin you deserve.