Dry Skin

Despite being coated by its own natural oil called sebum, skin depends on the air's humidity to provide moisture that it can absorb. During winter, dry warm air used for indoor heating can cause the skin to become dehydrated.

Dry skin can also side-effects of prescribed medications, such as tretinoin creams and isotretinoin pills used in treating acne.

Symptoms of Dry Skin

The symptoms of dry skin include:

  • Cracking and flaking
  • Itching
  • Redness of the skin

Dry skin can lead to secondary infection, characterized by pain, redness, warmth, tenderness of the skin.

Who Gets Dry Skin?

Although anyone can develop occasional dry skin, chronic dry skin usually affects:

  • Seniors
    Aging causes decreased production of sebum, thus causing the skin to be more prone to drying.

  • People who wash their hands many times in one day
    Washing hands rinse away the skin's natural oil.

  • Those who live in dry, arid areas or those who use forced air heating indoors during the winter months

Prevention of Dry Skin

You can prevent dry skin by:

  • Using warm water instead of hot for bathing
  • Using moisturizing soap
  • Using moisturizers, petroleum jelly or alpha-hydroxy acid lotions after washing or bathing
  • Using humidifiers to add moisture to indoor air
  • Wearing gloves outdoors during the winter

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