Taking Care of Dry Skin
Cold, winter weather can make your skin dry, chapped or even cracked. Here are some easy steps you can take to keep your skin soft and prevent severe dryness:
- Avoid wool clothing unless you wear other garments between the wool and your skin.
- Wash your clothes in a mild detergent that is fragrance-free.
- When bathing, wash your groin area, buttocks and arm pits with mild soap. Simply rinse the rest of your body with water.
- Keep baths or showers short, and use water that is warm, not hot.
- Brush the water off your skin instead of drying it completely with a towel.
- Apply moisturizing lotion after washing or bathing to seal in moisture.
- Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day.
If you have severe or persistent dry skin, have your physician take a look. He or she will probably ask you the following questions:
- When did your dry skin develop? Has your skin always been dry?
- Is all of the skin dry, or is it only in a specific location?
- Is there anything that seems to make your dry skin worse?
- What have you done to try to make it better? How well did it work?
- Do you have any other symptoms?
In addition to cold weather, there are other conditions that can cause dry, itchy skin. These include side effects from medication, an overactive or underactive thyroid, asthma, allergies and psoriasis, just to name a few. Therefore, it is important to notify your physician if you experience severe or persistent dry skin.