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The Best Daily Practices for Extremely Dry Skin

The Best Daily Practices for Extremely Dry Skin

Dry skin, often just a minor annoyance that causes flaking or itchiness, can sometimes develop into painful cracks, warns the University of Wisconsin Health Services. Several changes to your everyday lifestyle can help you treat, heal and prevent dry skin. Keep in mind that this condition may sometimes be the side effect of topical or oral medications. If you're on a drug and experience such side effects, talk to your doctor.

Bathe Less

Bathing and showering strips your skin of essential oils that help protect and moisturize it. The Mayo Clinic recommends showering or bathing for 15 minutes or less. When you do wash yourself, the clinic advises the use of warm water instead of hot water, as the latter will further dry out your skin. When you dry yourself, pat your skin dry instead of rubbing it.

Drink More Water

If you don't drink enough fluids, your entire body becomes dehydrated and may exhibit dry skin. Princeton University recommends drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water every day. Stay away from diuretics, or drinks that further dehydrate your body, like coffee and other caffeinated beverages.

Moisturize Regularly

Smear on moisturizer immediately after you get out of the shower or the bathtub, recommends the University of Wisconsin Health Services. The moisturizer helps seal your skin's surface, trapping the water from your bath or shower in your skin cells for longer-lasting hydration. The heavier and creamier the moisturizer, the better it is for dry skin. Stay away from lightweight moisturizers, such as silicone-based serums.

Turn on a Humidifier

Dry air around you sucks the moisture out of your skin, exacerbating dry skin conditions. To combat this, the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests turning on a humidifier. These devices evaporate water and inject the humidity into the room.

Change Your Clothes

Some kinds of clothes can irritate or make dry skin worse. The Mayo Clinic recommends choosing clothing that's made out of natural fibers, such as silk or cotton, and staying away from wool. When you toss your clothing into the washing machine, the clinic also suggests using a laundry detergent that's made without fragrances or dyes.

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