Truth About Skin Lotions and Creams
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NarratorIf your skin feels as cracked and dry as the Sahara Desert…or as rough and wrinkled as an elephant's…you're likely searching for the truth about dry skin relief.
Dr. Jennifer BurgerIf they are doing nothing, the first thing they need to do is use the correct things in the shower and use the correct things after the shower.
NarratorThat means a short, lukewarm shower with a gentle cleansing bar – or better yet a liquid cleanser – with an appplication of moisturizer immediately following the shower.
Dr. Sumayah JamalI usually recommend that my patients use gentle face washes too and for my patients with dry skin, perhaps to only wash their face once a day and then in the evening to go over their skin with a non-alcohol toner
NarratorBut past that easy advice, there are lots of myths about the right way to sooth dry skin. Myth or fact—some moisturizers can dry out skin. Strange but true— common ingredients known as humectants like glycerin and alpha hydroxy acids work by absorbing moisture from the environment.
Dr. Jennifer BurgerIf you are in a very dry environment, it can actually draw moisture from deeper in your skin and that can actually dry you out.
Rutledge Forney, MDAnd if you are using glycerin soap, and your skin feels great when you are in New York City, but doesn't work in Arizona, that may be the reason why.
NarratorMyth or fact: petroleum jelly will clog your pores.
Dr. Jennifer BurgerIt's a myth, but some people do have problems with it, people who have trouble tend to sweat a lot and they don't do well with heavy occlusive products. Petroleum jelly is a very good occlusive barrier, and so in the sense that it will help with moisturizing skin, it does a very good job of helping to hold water into the skin.
NarratorSimilar occlusives like petrolatum and lanolin are another main class of ingredients and are used to seal in the skin's moisture. A third--emollients – help keep the skin smooth.
Myth or factyou should moisturize every day without fail.
Dr. Sumayah JamalI don't tell my patients with oily skin that they have to moisturize their skin for combination skin I recommend that people moisturize those areas that tend to get dry, like the cheeks. For people with dry skin, I definitely recommend regular and daily moisturizing.
NarratorMyth or fact: dry skin can sometimes be a sign of something more critical.
Dr. Sumayah JamalIf you have somebody with generalized itch and you treat them for dry skin and it does nothing to relieve the itch, then you might start thinking that there's something else more serious at work.
NarratorYour doctor can determine if it's more serious or a simple case of dry skin. For WebMD, I'm Rhonda Rowland.
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