What causes dry skin?
Dry skin is a problem for many people, especially in cool weather when the air is dry. Dry air causes the skin to lose moisture and then chap and crack. These chapped, cracked areas may become irritated and itchy. The dry skin rash sometimes forms round patches that resemble ringworm.
Water: NO HOT WATER. Hot water dries the skin because it evaporates faster taking with it the moisture of the skin. Use lukewarm or cool water to shower.
Soap: Stay away from anything actually called “soap” which may be most drying. Use cleansers such as Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser (liquid) or Dove (bar) or CeraVé.*
Moisturizer: Use cream rather than moisturizer.* Creams have a lower water content and therefore produce more moisturization.* I recommend Cetaphil Cream or Eucerin Cream or CeraVé.*
- Shower/bathe once a day.
- Only use cleanser on your face, hands, feet, armpits and groin.*
- DO NOT use cleanser on the areas of your body with dry skin, water only.*
- After rinsing, lightly towel off.
- Apply medication and/or moisturizer within 45 seconds of exiting the shower.* This traps the moisture in before it can evaporate.* Apply your medication (e.g. steroids) first, and then apply moisturizer to all other areas. Excess can be wiped off with your bathtowel or a tissue.
Dry skin is usually a long-term problem that recurs often, especially in winter. When you notice your skin getting dry, resume your lubricating routine, and carefully avoid the use of soap.* If the itchy dry skin rash returns, use the lubricating routine and the prescription cortisone cream or ointment.*
If your dry skin persists or you notice patches or severe skin cracking, schedule an appointment with Dr. Rubinstein. Medical insurance may cover the cost of your consultation as well as treatment.
*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.
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