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What Are Treatments for Dry, Itchy Skin?

What Are Treatments for Dry, Itchy Skin?

Dry skin, known medically as xerosis, is not usually serious and, in most cases, doesn't require a doctor's care. Dry skin may be caused by dry weather, harsh soaps, sun exposure and psoriasis. In rare cases, dry skin may be caused by a thyroid disorder, so contact your doctor if you have any additional symptoms. Otherwise, you can treat dry skin at home.


Apply moisturizer at least once a day to help cure dry skin. Slather a thick, greasy moisturizer onto the dry areas of your skin immediately after bathing, and to lock in the most moisture, pat skin dry only barely so it is still a little bit wet. The Mayo Clinic recommends using an oil, such as baby oil, to moisturize extremely dry skin, because it will stay put on the skin and keep more moisture in than traditional moisturizers will. If you have sensitive skin, choose a moisturizer that has no fragrances.

New Bathing Habits

Bathing in very hot or scalding water may make dry, itchy skin feel good while you are in the shower, but it will dry skin out in the long run. Instead, bathe in lukewarm or cool water to help maintain the moisture in your skin cells. Wash your body with a mild soap with oils and fats added, suggests the Mayo Clinic. Do not use soaps that contain strong fragrances or harsh detergents, because these soaps may dry out skin even more. If your skin feels dry and tight after getting out of the shower, choose a different soap with added moisturizers.


Running a humidifier at night will help replenish your skin's moisture overnight, reports the Mayo Clinic. A humidifier is filled with water and releases water vapor into the air, which is absorbed into the skin. A humidifier may cause the spread of fungus and bacteria into the air if it isn't cleaned properly. Do not leave water sitting in the humidifier when it is not in use, and clean out the tank with a vinegar solution several times a week.

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