Monday, January 16, 2012

Tips to Reduce Skin Dryness

Tips to Reduce Skin Dryness Photo Credit Michael Hitoshi/Digital Vision/Getty Images Dry skin is a common ailment that occurs when the skin is unable to hold enough moisture to keep it smooth and soft. The more moisture that is lost from the skin, the rougher, dryer and even itchier the skin can become. Dry skin can emerge from a variety of factors ranging from the aging process to weather. Regardless of its cause, several different tips can help reduce the dryness.

Moisturizers, such as lotions and creams, can be applied directly to areas of skin that are consistently dry. Moisturizers employ products like occlusive emollients and humectants to draw moisture to the skin and create a protective barrier on top of the skin to slow the evaporation of moisture from the layers of the dermis.

Certain harsh soaps can remove the protective layers of lipids from your skin, as well as draw moisture out of the skin and leave it dry. To help prevent these things from occurring, choose mild hand and body soaps. Choose deodorants that state on the packaging that they help prevent dryness, as deodorants are a common culprit when it comes to dry skin, suggests the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.

Refraining from taking baths and sticking to short showers can also help reduce problems with dry skin. Prolonged direct contact with water removes oil from your skin. As such, suggests limiting your showers to less than 15 minutes to keep your skin from drying out.

When dry skin is related to the level of humidity decreasing during times of the year like winter, a humidifier may be used to help increase the humidity and reduce skin dryness. Humidifiers introduce moisture into the air, which can then be absorbed by the skin.

In cases of severely dry skin, your doctor may prescribe an over-the-counter cream to help heal dry skin, such as one containing the active ingredients actic acid or urea or a mixture of both. Dry skin may cause irritation as well in the form of itching, at which point your doctor may also suggest a lotion containing hydrocortisone to help treat the dryness while reducing itching at the same time.

Article reviewed by Lauren Fritsky Last updated on: Jun 14, 2011

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