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Tips for Dry Flaky Skin on My Face

Tips for Dry Flaky Skin on My Face

Dry skin, or xerosis, may develop in response to improper skin care or may be a chronic problem. It is typically worse during the winter and often causes flaking and itching. While it is rarely a sign of a serious medical problem, it can be uncomfortable and make the skin appear dull and old. Treat dry, flaky skin with proper skin care techniques, frequent moisturizing and lifestyle changes.

Use Lukewarm Water

Hot water is extremely drying to the skin. It removes the skin's natural oils that work to hold moisture in and protect the skin from environmental damage, according to the University of Iowa. Wash your face with a mild, fragrance-free soap and lukewarm water, and avoid taking long baths or showers. Skip the soap completely unless your facial skin is very dirty. Pat your skin dry, as rubbing can make dryness and flakiness worse.

Exfoliate Regularly

Exfoliating removes accumulated dead skin cells from your face, which helps open up pores and prevent flaking. Exfoliate one or twice each week with a fine-grained product to treat mild flaking and dryness. If you experience redness or irritation after exfoliating, try a different product or exfoliate less often.

Moisturize Daily

Moisturizing is essential to treating and preventing dry, flaky skin. Moisturize after every washing, before bed and throughout the day as needed. The University of Iowa recommends using an oil-based moisturizing ointment within three minutes of bathing to treat severely dry skin. Oil-based products are more likely to clog pores and trigger acne breakouts, however, and should therefore be avoided by anyone with acne-prone skin.

Humidify Your Home

Dry, flaky skin is more common during the winter months when outdoor humidity levels drop, and central heating and air-conditioning systems contribute to low humidity levels indoors. By increasing the humidity level inside your home, you can combat dry skin during the winter months. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology recommends running a humidifier inside your home and office to increase moisture levels to 45 percent.

Stay Out of the Sun

In addition to increasing your risk of developing skin cancer, sun exposure dries out your skin and contributes to premature aging. Avoid prolonged sun exposure as much as possible, wear sun-protective clothing when outdoors and apply sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater to your face and ears every time you leave the house.

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