Dry skin can produce itching, which may interfere with sleep and other daily activities. Repeated rubbing and scratching can produce areas of thickened and rough skin which can then crack and become painful.
Here are some things that you can do to help avoid dry skin.
1. MOISTURISE – DRY SKIN IS THIRSTY SKIN.
Moisturisers play a pivotal role in any management plan for dry skin conditions. Understanding the skin barrier and how to protect it, is a major step forward in controlling dry skin and eczema.
Because eczema skin is very dry skin, it has a defective barrier function. It is therefore unable to retain moisture and block irritants and allergens such as dust, grass and wool fibres. This results in eczema patches which can be red, scaley, flaky, weepy and itchy. Deep moisturisers help to maintain and repair the skin barrier and can be used at the first sign of symptoms to help control dry skin and relieve eczema.
Note: If you are prone to allergies, always patch test all skin care products on a small area of unaffected skin first.
Key features to look for when choosing a Moisturiser:
Choose a product that is fragrance-free. Fragrances may irritate the skin.
Ointments do not contain water and therefore tend to be thick and deeply moisturising. They also act as a barrier to help protect the skin from drying out. They are ideal for moisturising very dry, flaky and thickened skin. Because ointments are very thick, only a very small amount is needed per application to deeply moisturise the skin. When applying to a large area of skin, spray the skin first with a fine mist of water and then apply the ointment. The fine spray of water will help the ointment to spread over large areas of skin more easily.
2. MOISTURISE AFTER BATHING
Apply a moisturiser ideally after bathing or showering while your skin is still damp and while the water remains trapped in your skin to help lock in moisture.
3. MOISTURISE LIPS
Use chapstick or lip balm to moisturise and protect the lips from drying out. Cold winds and indoor heating can be very drying to the lips aswell.
4. MOISTURISE HANDS REGULARLY.
The skin on your hands is thinner than on most parts of the body and has fewer oil glands. That means it’s harder to keep your hands moist, especially in cold, dry weather. This can lead to itchiness and cracking. Wear winter gloves when you go outside. Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes, or if your hands are exposed to harsh chemicals.
5. DRINK ENOUGH WATER
Be sure to drink enough water during the day. This will help to prevent dry skin.
6. BATHE IN LUKE WARM WATER INSTEAD OF HOT
Use luke warm water instead of hot in the shower or bath to avoid drying out your skin.
7. USE A HUMIDIFIER
Central heating systems blast hot dry air throughout our homes and offices which can dry out our skin. Humidifiers produce and disperse moisture into the air, which helps prevent your skin from drying out.
* Good skin care is a key part of gaining control of your eczema.