Dry Skin (Xerosis)

Dry Skin (or Xerosis) can be a significant problem for many people. This is especially true during the cool parts of the year or during times when temperatures fluctuate.

Dry Skin can cause itching and irritation, and if it is bad enough, it can predispose some people to skin infections. For these and other reasons, it is a good idea to pay attention to the moisturization of your skin.

To keep moisture better “locked in”, take less frequent and/or shorter showers, and do not use excessively hot water. You should use a moisturizing and gentle soap such as Cetaphil, White Dove, Aveeno, Neutrogena or Oil of Olay.

Immediately after bathing, always apply a good moisturizer generously to the areas of your skin that tend to get dry. Do this while your skin is still damp – it absorbs moisturizer much better while damp/wet. You may repeat application again at bedtime and at any other convenient time during the day as often as you wish.

There are many moisturizers on the market. Our favorite prescription product is Lac-Hydrin (or its generic equivalents). OTC product lines that are especially good include Cetaphil, CeraVe, Aveeno, Curel, Plain Vaseline Petroleum Jelly and Eucerin. Cream versions of those products tend to work better overall for dry skin, especially on the body, arms and legs. Lotion variations may be more appropriate for the face. Avoid moisturizers that contain fragrance as many sensitive skinned and dry patients are made worse with fragrance exposure over time.

Ask your Dermatology provider for more detailed information if you struggle with dry skin. Click here to download this information about dry skin in PDF format.