Dry skin is a very common problem with symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Winter is especially drying due to wind, cold air and indoor heating systems. Dry skin can affect any part of the body, as the only significant oil glands we have are on the “T-zone” of the central face, armpits and groin. Arms and legs are most frequently affected. The most common symptom is itching, which can be mildly annoying to severely intense, often disturbing sleep. Symptoms of any other skin condition are often worsened by dry skin. Here are some things you can do to help your skin:
■Decrease the frequency of showering. Decrease the length/duration of the shower to five minutes. Turn down the temperature of the shower water.
■ Use a mild bar soap. Any liquid soap is more drying to your skin than a bar of the same soap. Shower gels, glycerin soap and deodorant soap are the harshest for dry skin.
■ Always use moisturizing lotion after bathing, while skin is still damp but not drippy wet. The drier your skin is, the heavier your moisturizer should be.
■ A cool-mist vaporizer in the bedroom may add moisture to the air and your skin during the winter when the heat is on.
— Source: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign