In addition to the prevention guidelines, the following home treatment suggestions may help make you comfortable if you have dry skin.
- For very dry hands, try this for a night: Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly, and wear thin cotton gloves to bed. (Dry feet may benefit from similar treatment.)
- If dry, brittle nails are a problem, use lotion on your nails as well.
Avoid scratching, which damages the skin. If itching is a problem, try the following:
- Keep the itchy area well moisturized. Dry skin may make itching worse.
- Try an oatmeal bath to help relieve
- Wrap 1 cup of oatmeal in a cotton cloth and boil as you would to cook it. Use this as a sponge and bathe in tepid water without soap.
- You may also try a commercial product, such as Aveeno Colloidal Oatmeal bath.
- Try a nonprescription 1% hydrocortisone cream for
small itchy areas.
- Use the cream very sparingly on the face or genitals.
- If itching is severe, your doctor may prescribe a stronger cream.
- If you are using this cream for larger areas like your arms or legs, you may want to mix some of this cream with a moisturizer before putting it on your skin.
- Try a nonprescription oral antihistamine. Examples include loratadine (such as Claritin), chlorpheniramine (such as Chlor-Trimeton), and diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl).
- Cut your nails short or wear gloves at night to prevent scratching.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing. Avoid scratchy fabrics next to your skin.