Top 10 Tips for Dry Itchy Skin
Dry skin--xerosis--is a common condition that can be prevented. During the winter months, dry skin is more prevalent because of the dryer air. Persons with medical conditions like diabetes, thyroid conditions or malnutrition may be more susceptible to dry skin. Dry skin can itch, cause embarrassment, and progress into a more serious condition, such as an infection, if it cracks. If you have dry skin, you should consider prevention and treatment measures.
Drink Enough Fluids
If you do not drink enough fluids, your body cannot hydrate its largest organ, the skin. You should drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day. You should avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages, which can dehydrate your system.
Take Short, Tepid Baths
Taking short showers or baths helps prevent dry skin. Hot water tends to make skin drier by depleting natural oils, so you should use warm or tepid water.
After taking a bath, you should moisturize. Avoid moisturizers with alcohol or ingredients that cause irritation. You can moisturize particularly dry areas several times a day. The American Skin Association reports that cream moisturizers protect skin, preserve skin lipids and limit dehydration.
Maintain Room Humidity
During the dry months or in dry climates, you should use a humidifier in the home. Climate and weather can affect your skin condition, but supplementing the air with humidity can result in more hydrated skin.
Wear Non-irritating Clothing
Different fabrics like wool or synthetics may cause problems for sensitive or dry skin. Irritating fabrics can cause itching or a rash. Opt for cotton or other fabric that does not irritate the skin.
Use Mild Soap and Detergent
Use a mild soap to wash your skin. Some antibacterial soaps tend to make skin drier. It is also important to know what laundry detergent you are sensitive to. If you find that you are sensitive to a particular soap, change to one designed for sensitive skin.
Scratching does not help dry skin. Sometimes, it can make it worse and even lead to infection. Avoid scratching as much as possible.
Cover Your Skin
Use a hat, gloves, coat and scarf during the winter and in extreme weather. Covering up helps your skin retain natural moisture.
Avoid Skin Irritants
If you use harsh chemicals and soaps to clean the house or wash dishes, you might want to prevent contact with these irritants by using non-latex gloves. A barrier can prevent irritation that can cause dry skin.
Consult a Doctor
You should seek help from your doctor if the dry skin progresses and does not get better. You should also make sure that the problem is not from another medical condition, such as an allergy or other more serious skin condition. If dry skin worsens, if there is a potential for infection, or if skin becomes inflamed and very itchy, you should get evaluated by your doctor. Medications are available by prescription for conditions related to dry skin.
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Dry skin--xerosis--is a common condition that can be prevented. During the winter months, dry skin i...