Dry Skin (Xerosis)

Dry skin is a very common condition especially in the winter, when there is very little humidity in the air.  When the air is dry, the moisture from your skin evaporates easily, which can leave you with dry, and sometimes itchy, skin.  Dry skin can then trigger and worsen atopic dermatitis and seborrheic dermatitis, two conditions that can also lead to itching.

To avoid dry skin, it is best to have a humidifier in your home.  Try to avoid very hot, long showers and antibacterial soaps that strip the oils out of your skin.  Instead, take somewhat shorter, lukewarm showers.  Then, within 3 or 4 minutes of getting out of the shower, pat dry and apply a moisturizer.  This will trap the moisture from the shower in your skin, helping it to stay moist.

Moisturizers come in lotions, which rub in easily and evaporate quickly, and creams, which are greasier and tend to last longer.  Creams are preferred over lotions for very dry skin because they keep your skin moist over a longer period of time.

Lubrex Lotion, Cetaphil Lotion, Oilatum cream, Physiogel cream/Lotions are sold on pharmacy stores.  It is not with the other moisturizers, but is in the first aid aisle with the calamine lotion and hydrocortisone. It is an excellent job of hydrating the skin.
 For dry skin on the face, be sure you are using a facial lotion that is “non-comedogenic”.  Body creams and lotions as well as Vaseline are wonderful for the body, but they can block pores and cause acne when used on the face.  “Non-comedogenic” means that the facial lotion is not acne-forming.

For best results, take a short shower or bath in lukewarm water daily, and moisturize directly afterwards as well as one other time throughout the day.

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