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Dry Skin

Updated on May 21, 2009

I have had problems with dry skin my entire life, so I work pretty hard to make sure my skin looks healthy instead of dry and flaky. You definitely shouldn’t be embarrassed by dry skin because it is something that a lot of people have to deal with. Because dry skin can be uncomfortable, it is good to treat and prevent it.

What Causes Dry Skin?

Dry skin can be caused by regular sun exposure, tanning (including tanning beds), dehydration, swimming, and harsh, drying products (like alcohol based hand sanitizers).

Normal skin will feel soft because of its water content. When your skin is dry, it is not retaining enough water. This can lead to cracking and flaking of the skin which can be very uncomfortable, and even painful. Dry skin affects people of all ages and is quite common.

What Prevents Dry Skin?

The best ways to prevent dry skin:

  • Exfoliate and moisturize on a regular basis.
  • When bathing, use warm water instead of hot water.
  • Shower off as soon as possible after exercising or playing sports. If you shower at a gym, bring a mild soap with you because the gym soap could be too strong for your skin.
  • After bathing, pat your skin dry and apply moisturizer to maintain the moisture in your skin.
  • Guard your skin while outdoors by wearing protective clothing or using a sunscreens that contains a moisturizer.
  • If the air inside your home (or any indoor place you spend prolonged amounts of time), use a humidifier to raise the humidity level – I’ve even placed a pot of water in front of my heater vent during winter months.
  • Ty not overuse your antiperspirants, perfumes, and scented body sprays. These products can dry out your skin.
  • Use moisturizers throughout the day.

What Kind of Moisturizer?

Make sure the moisturizer you use containts glycerine, urea, sorbitol, lactic acid, pyroglutamic acid, alpha hydroxyl acids, or lactate salts.

What Eliminates Dry Skin?

You can fight those dry skin flakes by exfoliating your skin once or twice a week, but be sure not to over-exfoliate which can harm your skin. You can use a physical exfoliant or a chemical exfoliant. Physical exfoliations involve facial scrubs and buffer pads—exfoliating beads are a great gentle choice. Chemical exfoliations use alpha and beta hydroxyl acids. These acids loosen and get rid of dead cells on your skin.

After exfoliating, be sure to apply a light moisturizer that will not clog your pores.

You can also try some of the methods that help prevent dry skin.

When to Call the Doctor?

If none of the at home tips from above help improve your dry skin, you should call your doctor. As well, contact the doctor if your skin itches excessively or begins to crack, bleed, swell, or becomes painful.

Summer Skin Tip

If you use a gel to moisturize, keep it in the fridge before using. This will nicely cool and soothe your skin on those hot summer days.

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    • RiaMorrison profile image

      Ria Bridges 7 years ago from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

      Aloe also does wonders for keeping skin moisteurized, and is something you can get access to just by getting an aloe plant and squeezing the juicy leaves. I tend to use aloe extract a lot for dry skin and sunburned areas.

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 7 years ago

      Excellent article on dry skin...I struggle with that all the time...Thanks for the suggestions!

    • C.S.Alexis profile image

      C.S.Alexis 7 years ago from NW Indiana

      this is always a problem for me by the end of winter. thanks for sharing some pointers.

    • WebWriteGirl profile image

      WebWriteGirl 7 years ago

      Excellent article on dry skin. I like using organic apricot oil.

    • Guardian1 profile image

      Guardian1 7 years ago

      I struggle with dry skin year round. Thanks for the great advice.

    • profile image

      Opinion Duck 7 years ago

      Allergies also cause dry skin, and only treating the allergy can remove the dry skin. All potions and lotions for skin, only give fleeting temporary relief, if they work at all.

    • profile image

      Sequoiahealth 7 years ago

      Don't forget that skin grows from the inside out. If you want healthy, soft skin then essential fatty acids and adequate water intake are the trick. Udo Erasmus has a great oil called Udo's Blend and plain, filtered (No RO) water with no additives is the best choice.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

      I get this problem in the winter. The frigid cold takes its toll on my skin. Then summer hits and the mosquitos take over.

    • spirituality profile image

      spirituality 7 years ago from The Netherlands

      I hadn't thought to put my skin cream in the fridge :) good tip :)

    • skicaresecrets profile image

      skicaresecrets 7 years ago from UK

      We all need to read more concisely written and to the point articles like yours. I like it that you provided subheadings to pace the reading experience. Unlike other hubs whose authors dwell on themselves, or extend paragraphs with clichés, yours forward your point and you walk away, so to speak. This makes your tips all the more memorable. I'm into skin care myself, which is why I found your hub.

    • profile image

      Skin care 7 years ago

      my skin is dry.

    • profile image

      Skin care 7 years ago

      i have dry skin.

    • ChRiiStiOn profile image

      ChRiiStiOn 7 years ago from Cape Cod Mass

      u dont have dry skin but ill be sure to pass the word along! (=

    • ChRiiStiOn profile image

      ChRiiStiOn 7 years ago from Cape Cod Mass

      *I* dont..

    • Monica in Florida profile image

      Monica in Florida 7 years ago

      If you have dry skin it can also be a medical condition. Poor circulation will cause dry skin. Some medications will also cause your skin to become dry. You have given some really great tips here. I would add drink plenty of water and get in some exercise that increase circulation.

    • Kenny MG profile image

      Kenny MG 7 years ago from A Child of the Universe

      This information is timely, thanks for highlighting the dry skin problem, it affects my son earlier in life and I tried different medication which worked sometimes.

    • profile image

      MrsMoe 7 years ago

      Stacie, here's another tip. After showering, BEFORE toweling dry, rub Neutrogena Sesame oil all over your body, then towel dry. It's not greasy and has the most wonderful LIGHT aroma. You can buy the Equate version in Walmart which works just as well.

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 7 years ago

      A great hub, my skin gets dry during the winter months, I use a little of my wifes skin cream, works pretty good and smells wonderful.

      Robert Ballard

    • Patti Ann profile image

      Patti Ann 7 years ago from Florida

      Excellent - my skin always gets dry when the heat is running. Happy new year to you!!

    • profile image

      kims3003 7 years ago

      Great article. Many of my friends deal with this problem. I'll be sure to show them this!

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      I was born with dry skin. Thanks for the info.

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 7 years ago from UK

      I passed this on to my wife :-)

    • profile image

      tew1972 7 years ago

      Good article. I also use Neutrogena Sesame oil after showering but I also use Solaro Armour's Soothing Balm. One of the best moisturizers I have found that works for dry skin. Great for use after shaving or waxing too - gets rid of the irritation and redness.

    • fits4life profile image

      Cherri Brown-Jett 6 years ago from Richmond

      Great hub. Its very detailed. Many will benefit from this hub for years to come.

    • manthy profile image

      Mark 6 years ago from Alabama,USA

      I am just now struggling with dry skin, am I will be 40 my Bday... Thanks for the info I think it is a very helpful hub

      God Bless

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Good tips. Nice detail.

    • daravuthz profile image

      daravuthz 6 years ago from Cambodia

      I am always in search of this kind of articles. Thanks for your great article. keep continue

    • faith03 profile image

      faith03 6 years ago

      Great tips on how to treat dry skin! Great hub!

    • AskAshlie3433 profile image

      AskAshlie3433 6 years ago from WEST VIRGINIA

      Some good info. I have problems with dry skin. Voted USEFUL. Have a good one.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

      Dry skin has been a big issue for me this bitter cold winter. thanks for the great tips on treating dry skin! :) Katie

    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 6 years ago

      I have bad dry skin too. Aveeno lotion is the only lotion I use for it and it usually helps for the most part.

    • sharmanlow profile image

      sharmanlow 6 years ago

      drinking lots of water gives my skin the glow!

    • breathing profile image

      Sajib 5 years ago from Bangladesh

      This is a very useful hub...They will like this most who have dry skin.

    • profile image

      Maria 3 years ago

      I watend to spend a minute to thank you for this.

    • profile image

      Gio 3 years ago

      Slam dunkin like Shaquille O'Neal, if he wrote inrtmfaoive articles.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 3 years ago

      My skin is so dry right now - all becasue of this cold and dry air!

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