Dry Skin

Dry skin is common, particularly during the winter months. Symptoms of dry skin include flaking, itching, or cracking. Most dry skin problems can be easily eliminated by keeping your skin properly hydrated using the measures below.

Showering

Only the oily parts of the body require soap on a daily basis in order to stay clean. These oily areas include the face, armpits, and genital area. The rest of your body (arms, legs, and torso) gets dried out easily if soap is used daily. Simply allowing water to run over your skin in the shower is all that is necessary to clean those parts of your body.

Also, using harsh, anti-bacterial soaps strips the skin of its natural moisture and contributes to dry skin. Choose a gentle cleanser instead that is designed for sensitive skin. Keep showers under five minutes, and use warm instead of hot water. Also, don't scrub your skin with a washcloth or loofah, as hot water and scrubbing will dry the skin out even more.

Moisturizers

After showering, quickly pat dry and apply a moisturizing cream while your skin is still damp. Studies show that most of the water in your skin evaporates within 3 minutes after showering unless a moisturizing cream is applied to lock in the moisture. If your skin starts feeling tight and dry after a shower, you missed your time window to apply your moisturizer. Lastly, moisturizing creams are oil-based and moisturize the skin better than moisturizing lotions (which are water-based and evaporate more easily from the skin).

If your cracked, itchy, or dry skin doesn't improve with the simple measures above, then it's time to schedule an appointment because a prescription cream may be recommended.