PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

How does moisturizing help dry skin?

ANSWER

If you have dry skin, you should moisturize daily. Do it right after you shower, bathe, or wash your hands, while your skin is still damp. If you can tolerate the greasy feeling, choose a moisturizer that is thick, heavy, and gooey. Skin care experts say ointments (called emollients), such as petroleum jelly, are best. They help seal the skin and prevent water loss. But their greasy feel may be a turn-off for some people.

Creams are the next best bet.

Lotions are not quite as effective but often feel far better than creams and ointments on your skin. These products are mainly water-based, and the water quickly evaporates when applied to the skin.

The moisturizer should be free of dyes, fragrances, and other possible irritants. Make sure the label says the product is hypoallergenic. This means the moisturizer is less likely to cause an allergic reaction, which can make you itch more.

If a skin cream or ointment isn't handy, check your kitchen cupboard for a quick fix. Cooking oils and shortening can work just as well as commercial moisturizers and are likely to be less expensive.

Frequent hand washing can often lead to dry skin. Place a tube of hand moisturizer (ointment or cream) next to the sink so it is within reach each time you wash your hands.

From: Itching From Dry Skin WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: "Dry Skin and Keratosis Pilaris."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Skin Problems: Dry, Itchy Skin." 

Eczema and Sensitive Skin Education: "Guide to Bathing & Moisturizing for Eczema and Sensitive Skin."

National Psoriasis Foundation: "Topical Treatments for Psoriasis."

American Cancer Society: "Skin Dryness."

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on June 8, 2017

SOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology: "Dry Skin and Keratosis Pilaris."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Skin Problems: Dry, Itchy Skin." 

Eczema and Sensitive Skin Education: "Guide to Bathing & Moisturizing for Eczema and Sensitive Skin."

National Psoriasis Foundation: "Topical Treatments for Psoriasis."

American Cancer Society: "Skin Dryness."

Reviewed by Debra Jaliman on June 8, 2017

NEXT QUESTION:

How does taking shorter showers help dry skin?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.