Dry skin can be uncomfortable, and it can also manifest in the form of scaly, reddened patches which some people find unsightly. In some cases, dry skin is only treatable through prescription medication under the care of a doctor, as is the case with extreme conditions like psoriasis. However, dry skin can also be treated and cared for at home, and establishing a good skin care regimen will ensure that your skin stays supple and healthy throughout your life.
People generally have dry skin because their sebaceous glands do not produce enough oil. Dry skin can also be caused by exposure to extreme weather, excessive sun, improper hydration, and the use of alcohol and some drugs. Some of these conditions can be addressed, while others, such as an inability to produce enough oil, cannot be cured. If you know that you have dry skin, start by avoiding temperature extremes, and also use moisturizing sunscreen on your body when you go out to avoid skin damage.
Hot water can be very drying, so bathe in lukewarm to cool water, and try to minimize the amount of time you spend in the bath. While bathing, use gentle cleansers, preferably soaps specially formulated for dry skin. When you get out of the bath, pat dry rather than rubbing with a towel, so that some moisture has been left behind. Follow immediately with body oils or moisturizer while your pores are still open.
For very dry skin, skin care oils can relieve symptoms while keeping your skin moist and supple. Ingredients like vitamin E will also nourish the skin, making it more healthy in the long term. If body oils do not appeal, use a moisturizer designed for dry skin, and avoid moisturizers with alcohol or heavy scents. Reapply periodically throughout the day, and use a special facial moisturizer to keep your face in good shape. Dry lips often accompany dry skin as well, so make sure to carry lip cream.
Use of a humidifier in your home can help keep your skin in good condition, and you should try to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to keep your body well hydrated. Proper hydration will benefit more than just your skin, and it is an excellent habit to establish. You may also want to periodically use moisturizing masks on your face, and if you have a bathtub, soaking in bath oils and milk can be luxurious and great for your dry skin.