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5 Ways to Banish Dry Skin

by kelly / October, 9 2019 01:30

Education blog series.

Photo of a road on a cold grey fall day with leaves on the ground

Ever scratch a quick itch only to see is a flood of white flakes on your clothes? The culprit: dry skin. It’s not pleasant to deal with and can be embarrassing at times. So let’s figure out how best to avoid this situation especially during those cold winter months when we’re extra susceptible to dry skin.

Below are tips and info from the Mayo Clinic, American Academy of Dermatology and Harvard Medical School.

What Causes Dry Skin

Dry skin occurs when the skin doesn’t retain sufficient moisture. This can stem from a number of factors:

  • Climate – our skin tends to be driest when the weather gets cold and the humidity drops. Although the season may matter less if you live in desert regions
  • Heat – central heating, space heaters, fireplaces, etc. can all lower humidity in the air and dry up our skin
  • Hot baths and showers – taking long hot showers or baths will dry out our skin. Also frequent swimming in heavily chlorinated pools will do the same
  • Harsh Soaps and detergents – harsh soaps and detergents can strip the moisture from our skin as many of them were formulated to remove oil
  • Other skin conditions - people with certain skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis are more prone to dry skin

How to Prevent Dry Skin

Now that you know the factors – take these steps to prevent dry skin.

  1. Moisturize – rehydrate your skin and keep water from escaping it. A good time to seal in moisture is after a shower or bath. During this time a moisturizer can plug the spaces between your skin cells and lock in moisture while your skin is still damp
  2. Use a humidifier – a humidifier adds moisture back in to the air. Harvard recommends setting humidifiers at the 60% level
  3. Limit time in baths and showers – the Mayo Clinic suggests keeping baths and showers to 10 minutes or less. And remember try to stay away from making your baths and showers too hot or bathing more than once a day. Also, if you can, avoid bath sponges, scrub brushes, and washcloths that scrape and damage. If you don't want to give them up use a light touch and the same goes when toweling dry (pat and blot versus rubbing yourself dry)
  4. Stay away from harsh soaps or detergents – skip products that can dry your skin out and opt for gentle cleansers and fragrance free detergents. Also try and avoid fabric softeners
  5. Cover up – cover your skin from cold and windy weather. Choose soft fabrics vs. rough fabrics that might irritate the skin. If you need to immerse your hands in water or come in contact with harsh cleaners (i.e.: when cleaning dishes), wear rubber gloves

Of course if your dry skin persists of you have a particular skin condition always seek out advice from your doctor or dermatologist.

Moisturizing Skin Care Tips

Hopefully with this info and these tips you can avoid the dreaded white flakes. And for even more moisturizing skin care tips check out our Skin Care or Education blog series.

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