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What are some ways to prevent dryness and cracks on the skin?

ANSWER

To prevent dryness and cracks, put a layer of moisturizer on your skin every day. You can choose from three types:

  • Ointments like petroleum jelly are thick, and they hold water into the skin. They also provide a barrier to keep out things that might irritate your skin. The downside is they can feel greasy.
  • Creams are also thick, and they're less greasy than ointments. They do sometimes contain preservatives and other ingredients that can make your skin react if you're sensitive to them.
  • Lotions don't protect skin as well as ointments and creams because they're thinner and they contain a lot of water. Once that water evaporates, your skin will dry out again.

SOURCES:

National Eczema Association: "Basics of Moisturizing," "Hand Eczema," "Moisturizers," "Moisturizing," "Neurodermatitis," "Protect Your Hands at Home," "Symptoms."

National Eczema Society: "Atopic Eczema," "Emollients," "Topical Steroids."

UpToDate: "Patient Information: Atopic dermatitis (eczema) (Beyond the Basics)."

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on June 04, 2018

SOURCES:

National Eczema Association: "Basics of Moisturizing," "Hand Eczema," "Moisturizers," "Moisturizing," "Neurodermatitis," "Protect Your Hands at Home," "Symptoms."

National Eczema Society: "Atopic Eczema," "Emollients," "Topical Steroids."

UpToDate: "Patient Information: Atopic dermatitis (eczema) (Beyond the Basics)."

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on June 04, 2018

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What should someone do when trying out a new moisturizer?

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