How do I Choose the Best Dry Skin Ointment?

Erin J. Hill

You can go about choosing the best dry skin ointment for you by figuring out the cause of your dry skin and picking a product that is designed for that particular condition. To do this, speak with your doctor or dermatologist or begin testing various lotions and ointments to find the one that works best. If you do not find anything appropriate in your local stores, you may need a prescription ointment.

Before choosing a particular brand of ointment, someone with dry skin should determine which condition they have.
Before choosing a particular brand of ointment, someone with dry skin should determine which condition they have.

There are various causes of dry skin, so there is no one-size-fits-all for dry skin ointment. In most cases, symptoms of dry skin are temporary and may be caused by low humidity in the air or using a particular soap or body wash. For this, almost any type of over the counter lotion would be appropriate for healing your skin. If you have sensitive skin that becomes very dry during winter months or when being indoors most of the time, you may need an over the counter medicated lotion.

Some people with extremely dry skin may need a prescription lotion.
Some people with extremely dry skin may need a prescription lotion.

Certain conditions can also cause dry skin along with rashes and scaly or leathery patches. Eczema and psoriasis are two examples. There is dry skin ointment available in most drugstores for these conditions, so you may wish to try those first since they are usually less expensive than prescription options. Use as directed on the label, and give each type a week or two to begin working before you decide it’s not right for you. If dryness or itching becomes very severe, you may need to a see a dermatologist to get a stronger medicated ointment.

When trying different dry skin ointment varieties, be sure to pay special attention to your skin. If it becomes soft and itching subsides, then continue using the product you are using. Redness, burning, itching, scaling, or peeling are all signs of a potential allergic reaction. If you notice any of these symptoms, discontinue use of the ointment and contact your doctor.

The dry skin ointment you choose may also be decided by your own personal preferences. Fragrance, texture, and price are all things you should consider. Some may need thicker lotions to cling to the skin, while others feel that these are too oily. The scent you choose is really up to you. If you have sensitive skin, using an option with no added fragrances may be a good idea.

Finally, if you are on a budget, there are plenty of lower-priced lotions available. Mild to moderate dry skin will likely respond to almost any ointment, so feel free to buy inexpensive brands. If you require a more specialized or heavy-duty ointment, there are generally generic brands available for less cost than name brands. These are typically just as good in quality and are often made by the same manufacturers as most pricey brands.

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Discussion Comments


If extremely dry skin is caused by allergies, then over-the-counter allergy ointments such as corticosteroids may be helpful. Of course these cannot be used for the long term. It’s important to find the cause of the allergy and eliminate that. But steroid ointments can provide relief from excessive dryness for the short term.


@fBoyle-- I don’t have psoriasis but I have very dry skin, especially in the winter. My skin cracks, bleeds and peels so I think I know what you’re going through. I’ve tried many different dry skin creams, salves and ointments as well. I think the one that works best is lanolin. You can get ointments with lanolin or 100% pure lanolin. I recommend the latter since it’s more potent and natural.

The great part about lanolin is that it not only moisturizes, but it also creates a barrier on your skin and protects it. It prevents moisture from leaving the skin. This is the ingredient that come from sheep and it’s the reason why sheep can sit under the rain without getting soaked. Their fur is full of lanolin and helps keep the water out.

I’m also allergic to many ingredients in regular ointments, but I have not had any negative reactions to lanolin. I highly recommend it to you, give it a try. Also, have you tried prescription ointments? If OTC products are not working for you, then it’s probably time to try prescription treatments. Talk to your doctor about it.


I suffer from psoriasis and I’ve tried many different skin ointments for it. I make sure to use all natural, pure ointments for dry skin that contain natural oils and moisturizers. I can’t say that none of them worked. They do help and reduce my dryness and scales. But I haven’t found an ointment that can give me relief for more than an hour or two hours. My skin absorbs all the moisturizers, but a few hours later, it feels like I haven’t used anything. Again my skin is dry, irritate, flaky and red.

Does anyone here have psoriasis? Have you found an ointment that works?

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