Dry Skin/Seborrhea

  • My skin is SO dry, especially here in the desert. What can I do to help?

    Bathing: Take brief lukewarm showers instead of baths. Do not shower more than once a day. Hot water, long showers and baths rid the skin of its natural protective oils. If you must take a bath, a lukewarm tub-bath is acceptable, particularly if you put bath oil in the water. Remember, a quick cool shower, without soap, is preferable to a long hot soapy one.

    Cleansing: Deodorant soaps and detergents remove the natural skin- protective oils, leaving the skin dry and irritated. Clear water alone will remove accumulated dust, sweat and grime. If cleansing is necessary, use a mild moisturizing or glycerin soap. Use soap only in the odor-bearing areas, such as under the arms and in the groin area.
    Soap must be thoroughly rinsed from these areas as this too can cause irritation. Finally, avoid scrubbing with a washcloth or loofah; this will remove the natural protective oils and irritate the skin.

    Lubrication: Immediately after towel drying, while the skin is still damp, apply moisturizers. Ideally, moisturizers should be applied twice daily. If a rash is present, a topical non-steroid anti-inflammatory cream or cortisone preparation is used before the moisturizing cream or lotion. Generally speaking, the thicker the moisturizer, the more effective it is for severely dry skin. Moisturizing creams or lotions are preferred over oils. Lastly, avoid moisturizers with strong perfume smells, as this can be a source of irritation for many people.

    Additional tips:

    • ·Avoid bubble baths
    • ·Do not allow the furnace or car heater to blow directly onto your skin. The hot, dry air can make your condition worse.
    • ·If you live in a dry climate, consider a humidifier or vaporizer in the bedroom. If you have baseboard heating, try a large pan of water next to your bed.
    • ·Avoid applications of alcohol, astringents, drying lotions or powders. They can be overly drying.
    • ·Avoid hot tubs or spas. The hot chlorinated water will strip every bit of natural oil from your skin. It may be soothing at the time, but can make the symptoms worse later.

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