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7 Tips to Soothe Your Dry, Itchy Skin

Dry Skin Fix # 5: Oats

If exposure to a household cleaning product has left your skin rough and itchy, simply open your kitchen cabinet for a proven dry skin treatment: oatmeal. Oats have been used to treat dry skin for centuries. But only recently have researchers discovered what eases the itch: chemicals called avenanthramides that fight inflammation and redness.

To maximize the grain’s itch-fighting power, take an oatmeal bath. Grind either quick or old-fashioned oatmeal in a blender or food processor and slowly sprinkle it into the tub as the water runs. Then soak for at least 15 minutes.

Dry Skin Fix # 6: A Mite-Free Zone

As gross as it may sound, one common household skin irritant lives and breathes in most homes. A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology reported that exposure to microscopic dust mites promotes inflamed, irritated skin.

To prevent mite-related itch, regularly vacuum floors and carpets and wash your bedding in water that is 130 degrees F or hotter at least once a week.

Dry Skin Fix # 7: Hydrating Hand Sanitizer

You can’t check out at a convenience store or walk into a doctor’s office without seeing a dispenser of hand sanitizer these days. And many families also keep sanitizer dispensers all over the house for quick and easy hand cleansing.

With the threat of H1N1 and other illnesses, hand sanitizer is surely a good thing, both inside your home and out. What’s not so good is the drying effect these alcohol-based sanitizers have on your hands. To keep your hands smooth, look for hydrating versions that are dermatologist-recommended.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on October 12, 2013

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