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Dry Skin

Dry skin itches. People of all ages can develop dry skin, especially during the dry winter months. Younger people with atopic dermatitis are often affected as they are born with skin which is prone to drying out. The rash of atopic dermatitis is sometimes called eczema and it may run in a family with asthma and/or hayfever. Whatever the cause of your dry skin, the following recommendations are for you.

Believe it or not, water is the most common cause of dry skin. The reason for this is that dry skin occurs when the skin lacks critical oils. Frequent water contact removes these valuable oils from your skin’s surface. Standard lotions are next to useless when the skin is very dry because they are mostly water. The best way to rejuvenate the skin is to reapply the oils immediately after water contact. This will do more to improve your skin problem than you can imagine!

The following is a list of guidelines that you should try to incorporate into your everyday life. The best way to prevent future outbreaks is to turn these guidelines into lifelong habits.

  1. Use a mild soap or gentle cleanser such as Vanicream gentle cleanser, Dove for sensitive skin or Cetaphil. Avoid drying or irritating soaps and most deodorant soaps. Soap contains surfactants which dry out your skin.
  2. Do not make the water exceedingly hot. Pat yourself dry, don’t rub.
  3. Moisturizing your skin is the best thing you can ever do for it! The moisturizer must be greasy in order to adequately protect your particularly sensitive skin. If it pours, it’s worthless to you. It must be thick and feel greasy. I know this may not appeal to some people, but it will help your skin tremendously.

Here is a list of preferred moisturizers: Vanicream, Cetaphil, Cerave, Aquaphor, Vaseline (or any petroleum jelly).    Natural products:  Coconut oil or sunflower seed oil.

Remember, you don’t have to put a lot on, especially in those areas that you don’t want to look greasy (face and hands). Just apply enough to remove the dryness and make your skin feel soft and smooth. Of course, in areas that you don’t care about greasy look, or when you’re not going out, the greasier the better!

Always apply the moisturizer within about 3 minutes of bath or shower, while your skin still has a little water on it. This will seal in the moisture and help the valuable oils penetrate into the skin. You may apply the moisturizer at other times in addition to this.

  1. If you have atopic dermatitis or eczema, apply the steroid ointment prescribed by your dermatologist twice a day to any red, scaly areas. Apply this before the moisturizer, if used together. Elidel or protopic are non-steroid alternative antiinflamatory creams that can be applied on the face and neck without worry that it will thin the skin.
  2. Finally, no scratching, rubbing, or picking please!

Call Teton Dermatology at 307-734-1800 to schedule an appointment to have your dry skin evaluated and to establish a treatment plan tailored specifically for you.

Call Teton Dermatology at 307-734-1800 to schedule an appointment to have your dry skin evaluated and to establish a treatment plan tailored specifically for you.