How to Clear Dry Skin
If your skin looks red and powdery, flaky or cracked, you may have dry skin, or xerosis. Dry skin is a medical condition that may be caused by cold temperatures outside. Using a heater or furnace inside the house may make dry skin even worse, because the heat zaps the humidity out of the air, says University of Maryland Medical Center Medical Director Linda J. Vorvick, M.D. Dry skin is not usually the cause of a serious medical condition and can be treated at home if it's OK with your doctor.
Cleanse your skin by taking quick showers or baths in cool water, suggests Dr. Vorvick. Hot, long showers can deplete skin of its natural moisture, creating dry, cracked and uncomfortable skin. Bathing in cool water will help the skin retain more moisture.
Lather up with mild soap in the shower. Instead of using a harsh detergent or soap, choose a mild soap formulated for sensitive skin that contains oil or fat to help add moisture.
Slather your body with an over-the-counter moisturizer immediately after bathing and while the skin is still slightly wet. Avoid moisturizers that contain alcohol. Instead, stick to a moisturizer that is greasy and very thick, because it will stay on the skin's surface for a longer period of time.
Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. As you rehydrate your body, cells that need water are replenished. Drinking more water ensures that your skin cells are adequately hydrated.
Dress yourself in breathable fabrics. Put your wool clothing in the closet until your dry skin subsides. If you have dry skin, wearing itchy fabrics like wool will agitate the skin and make itchiness and dryness worse. Instead, wear natural, breathable fabrics such as clothing made of 100 percent cotton.
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