How to Treat Extreme Dry Skin
When your delicate skin lacks essential moisture to keep it healthy, cracking, peeling and itching can occur. Extremely dry skin is no picnic and treatment is required to restore texture and peace of mind. Most dry skin conditions are caused by environmental factors such as overexposure to wind, hot water and the sun. It is important to consult a dermatologist for this condition to rule out any underlying health complications such as genetic skin disorders or illness.
Bathe daily in warm water instead of hot water. Hot water causes skin to lose moisture by removing the skins essential oils. You should limit your bath time to 15 minutes while avoiding hot water and harsh soaps. A mild, hypoallergenic soap will help eliminate the risk of over-drying your skin.
Apply a thick moisturizer to your skin three to four times daily and after bathing, suggests FamilyDoctor.org. Thicker moisturizers are best for extremely dry skin since they prevent water loss and maintain the skin's moisture balance. Thick dry skin ointments and creams are also ideal for fighting dry skin symptoms.
Apply baby oil to your bath or directly to your skin. Bath oils and baby bath help treat dry skin, however you run a higher risk of slipping in your tub when adding them to your bath water. Practice extreme caution when doing this, or just add the oils directly to your skin after exiting the bathtub.
Apply an over-the-counter hydrocortisone steroid cream to relieve itching and inflammation of dry skin. Using a one percent hydrocortisone steroid cream for one week may help with dry skin symptoms, preventing further skin damage caused by excessive scratching. FamilyDoctor.org warns that these creams should not be used for more than one to two weeks without doctor approval.
Install a humidifier in your home. Portable humidifiers can be moved from room to room during the course of your day while humidifiers that are installed directly to your furnace, cover your entire home. The use of either type to moisten indoor air and provide dry skin relief. Humidifying your indoor air will help prevent moisture loss in the skin as well as replenish your skin's natural oil production.
Wear natural fiber clothing to allow your skin to breathe and prevent trapping sweat. Cotton and silk are two ideal fabrics that provide dry skin relief. Avoid clothes made from rayon and wool as these trap sweat. When sweat evaporates, it causes your skin to dry further.
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