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5 Ways to Manage Chronic Dry Skin

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Fight dry, sensitive skin in winter

Dry skin can come from a lot of things – cold weather, indoor heat, dry climates, traveling, or 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 every day.  
Moisturizing can help keep skin hydrated, making it less dry and itchy. 
•     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.
The best time to use your lotion, cream or ointment is immediately after bathing or washing hands/face to lock moisture into the skin.

2. Bland is better: Avoid scented products
Some skin care products are too harsh for dry, sensitive skin. Use fragrance-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. 
Sometimes, an eczema itch can be so bad, scratching will cause the skin to bleed and make the rash even worse, leading to more inflammation and itching. Therefore, it’s best to apply an anti-itch cortisone cream regularly to exposed skin before the itch has a chance to take over.

4. Change the way you bathe
Bathing strips natural, protective oils from the skin. Take lukewarm (not hot!) baths and showers, using mild soap or non-soap cleanser, and try not to stay in the water more than ten minutes. 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 infiltrate scales and plaques.
•    For eczema, adding oats, baking soda, or olive oil can relieve itchy skin.

5. Use a humidifier.
Humidifiers can help alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes, eczema, itchy skin, dry nasal passages, cracked lips and nosebleeds. 
•    In the case of eczema, humidifiers can help alleviate itching and inflammation.
•    For dry skin like psoriasis, which leaves red, dry patches and silver scales on the skin, a humidifier will keep the air moist and prevent dry skin before it starts.

©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2019

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