Dry Skin-Self Care

Dry skin occurs when your skin loses too much oil and moisture.  It is a common complaint and can occur at any age.

Symptoms of dry skin include:

  • Scaling, flaking or peeling skin.
  • Skin that feels rough
  • Skin tightness, especially after bathing.
  • Itching
  • Crack in the skin that may bleed and even become infected.

Dry skin can be caused by:

  • Cold, dry Winter air.
  • Warm heating systems that remove moisture from the air.
  • Hot dry climactic temperature conditions.
  • Taking long hot baths or showers frequently, especially if using cleaning products that remove moisture from the skin.
  • Washing your hands very often can dry the skin on the hands.
  • With increasing age, the skin becomes thinner and naturally produces less and less oil.
  • Skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

There is plenty that you can do to help your skin

  • Moisturise your skin with an ointment cream or lotion as often as needed. Ideally, apply moisturise while the skin is still damp eg after a shower or bath.
  • Avoid skin care products that contain alcohol, colours or fragrances as these may irritate the skin.
  • Use soap sparingly. Products that form ‘suds’ on your skin are likely to be drying out your skin.  Try to use these only on you face and hands and avoid using them on the body if possible.
  • When shaving, try to shave after your bath or shower when the skin is soft.
  • Avoid using products that irritate the skin and avoid scrubbing the skin.
  • Wear soft comfortable clothing next to your skin. Always aim for natural fabrics such as cotton or silk but avoid fabric that may itch or irritate such as wool.
  • Try to bath or shower no more than once per day and keep your baths and showers short. Use warm-not hot-water.

If self help techniques aren’t working or if you are worried about your skin, always consult your doctor.