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Remedies for Dry and Flaky Skin

Remedies for Dry and Flaky Skin Remedies for Dry and Flaky Skin

Although dry, flaky skin can appear anywhere on the body, it most commonly develops on the lower legs, arms and abdomen. Symptoms are usually only temporary and can vary from person to person. Dry skin has myriad of causes---from environmental factors such as the weather or harsh detergents, to medical conditions such as psoriasis. Fortunately, there are many remedies that can help to soothe symptoms.


According to the book "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies", oatmeal can help to treat dry skin. Be sure to use colloidal oatmeal, meaning it has been ground into a powder that will float in water. To use this method, add two cups of colloidal oatmeal to a bath of lukewarm water. Or, try using oatmeal in place of your soap. Simply wrap a cup of oatmeal in a washcloth or handkerchief, submerge it in water, and squeeze out any excess water. Wash with it as you would a normal washrag or bar of soap.


Use a thick moisturizer or cream to keep water from escaping the skin. Or, for very dry skin, use baby oil. Be sure to apply moisturizers while the skin is still damp. The Mayo Clinic recommends moisturizing immediately after a shower or bath. Doing this can help to trap water into the surface skin cells. As long as you don't mind the greasy texture, "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies" suggests using a vegetable oil, mineral oil or petroleum jelly to moisturize the skin. These pure lubricants are inexpensive and just as effective as commercial moisturizers.

Use a Humidifier

Hot air can exacerbate dry skin, making flaking worse. To combat this, run a portable humidifier throughout your home. Or, have one professionally attached to your furnace. A humidifier increases the moisture content in the air, soothing sensitive skin. Choose a variety that works for your budget and needs. Just be sure to clean it properly to prevent the spread of fungi or bacteria.

Fabric and Laundry Smarts

The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology suggests laundering all clothes in detergents that are perfume and dye free. Do not use fabric softener or dryer sheets---both can irritate sensitive skin and make dryness worse. Wear comfortable, natural fabrics--such as cotton and silk--that allow the skin to breathe, like cotton and silk.

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