How Can I Deal with Itchy Dry Skin?

Dan Cavallari

Itchy dry skin occurs when oils and natural, fatty substances known as lipids are essentially stripped from the skin, leading to a feeling of dryness, flaking, or itchiness. To address this issue, you should first begin to think about what might be causing the itchy dry skin. Taking long, hot showers can strip the skin of lipids, as can abrasive clothing, harsh soaps and cleaning products, or just dry air. Altering some of your common behaviors may provide some relief from this problem, as can addressing the problem by properly using skin moisturizers.

Severe dry skin can stem from drying skin care products, hot water, or lack of humidity in the air.
Severe dry skin can stem from drying skin care products, hot water, or lack of humidity in the air.

It is likely that you have already tried moisturizers for your itchy dry skin, but you may not have tried the best moisturizer for you. Best doesn't always mean expensive; in fact, sometimes the cheaper moisturizers are far better for you. The moisturizer should be thick and oily, and it should contain no alcohol or perfumes that can exacerbate itchy dry skin symptoms. It is also important to apply the moisturizer at the right time: many people apply moisturizer throughout the day when the skin becomes dry, but the best time to apply the moisturizer is right after a shower when the skin is still damp. You should towel dry, then apply the moisturizer to trap in the moisture that is still on the skin.

Petroleum jelly is good to use on itchy dry skin.
Petroleum jelly is good to use on itchy dry skin.

Soaps often strip the body of essential oils, so it is not uncommon for someone to feel dried out right after a shower. Scrubbing the body with harsh soaps is often not necessary, as many parts of the body do not get very dirty throughout the day. Cleaning the face, feet, armpits, and groin is often enough, while the rest of the body can simply be doused with plain water rather than soapy water. This will prevent oils from getting stripped from large swaths of the body, thereby leading to itchy dry skin.

Removing feet calluses may help treat itchy dry feet.
Removing feet calluses may help treat itchy dry feet.

Dry air often leads to itchy dry skin, and combating this can be difficult. During the winter, heaters often dry out the air in a home, leading your skin to dry out. Using a humidifier can help add moisture to the air, thereby avoiding the drying out of your skin. Wearing hats and gloves when you go outside can also help prevent dry air from drying out the skin, and wearing high socks can prevent that dry air from going up pant legs and drying out your legs.

Using a humidifier can help prevent your skin from drying out.
Using a humidifier can help prevent your skin from drying out.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: