Dry Skin Precautions

02 March 2017

Our skin is our body’s protection against the elements, chemicals, and harmful ultraviolet rays, but requires maintenance. Oil glands form a layer of oil that helps retard the evaporation of water out of the skin, and keeps it soft and pliable. However, daily bathing, frequent washing, forced air heating in the winter, cold, dry winds, and other moisture removing influences can lead to drying, chapping, and itchy skin. Over dry skin is not as good a barrier to infection, chemicals or trauma. There are ways to combat this adverse effect to the skin.

DON’T use harsh drying soaps. Detergents, dishwashing soaps, and deodorant soaps can be very drying, stripping away the natural oils protecting your skin. Using gentle soaps and cleansers remove only the excess oil, leaving the skin with some barrier against drying.

Recommended products: Dove, Cetaphil, Cerave, Aveeno, Vanicream, Oil of Olay, and Neutrogena.

DO Bathe in warm water- not hot- for 5-10 minutes once a day. Wash with a gentle cleanser such as those listed above.

DO stay well hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider.

DO moisturize all your skin from neck to toes after bathing. Patrolatum or mineral oil based products work best to preserve moisture in the skin.

Recommended products: Cetaphil Cream, Cerave Cream, Vanicream, Lubriderm, or Eucerin. Any product that comes in a jar (not a pump) is going to be the thicker cream and will be better for your skin.

Category: Expert Answers

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