5 Ways to Manage Chronic Dry Skin
Dry skin can come from a lot of things – cold weather, indoor heat, dry climates, traveling, even skin conditions like eczema, rosacea or psoriasis.
While all of these skin conditions can be uncomfortable, painful or annoying to live with, there’s no need to be embarrassed. You’re not alone! Did you know 7 million Americans have psoriasis, 14 million have rosacea, and 35 million have chronic eczema?
Here are five tips to tackle that chronic dry skin – and come out shining!
#1 Moisturize with an over-the-counter cream, ointment, bath oil or gel, everyday.
It can help to reduce water loss from the skin and keep it hydrated, making it less dry and itchy. Best used immediately right after bathing or washing face/hands to lock in moisture in the skin.
• For oily or acne-prone skin, switch to a lighter, water-based lotion.
• For badly affected dry skin like dermatitis, ointments work well.
• For mild to moderate eczema, creams or lotions are effective.
#2 Avoid using anything scented, bland is better.
Some skin care products are too harsh for dry, sensitive skin. Using fragrance-free, scent-free or mild products help keep skin tone and complexion clear, and reduce any redness or irritation.
• For psoriasis, avoid dyes and perfumes as they inflame skin. Choose products labeled as "sensitive skin”.
• For eczema, triggers can either be an irritant like a soap, detergent or shampoo; or an allergen like seasonal pollens, dust or dandruff.
#3 Fight the itch-scratch cycle. Apply an anti-itch, cortisone cream to exposed areas.
Feeling stressed, anxious or depressed? Your skin shouldn’t be the scapegoat.
• For eczema, since it’s generally known for its intense itch, it’s best to apply immediately. Sometimes, if the itch is so bad, skin can bleed and make the rash even worse, leading to more inflammation and itching.
#4 Bathe faster, in warm water and with lots of moisturizer!
Bathing strips natural, protective grease from the skin. Take lukewarm (not hot!) baths and showers, using mild soap or non-soap cleanser. After bathing, gently pat skin dry with a soft towel – do not rub.
• For psoriasis, adding epsom salt, mineral oil, milk, or olive oil to baths can soothe the itching and infiltrate scales and plaques.
• For eczema, adding oats, baking soda, or olive oil can relieve itchy skin.
#5 Hydrate all over, use a humidifier.
Humidifiers can also help alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes, eczema, itchy skin, dry nasal passages, cracked lips and nosebleeds due to dry air, allergies or asthma.
• In the case of eczema, humidifiers can prevent itching and inflammation symptoms all together.
• For dry skin like psoriasis, which leaves red, scaly patches and silver scales on the skin, a humidifier will keep the air in the home or office moist and prevent dry skin before it starts.
©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2015