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Dry Skin and Itching


Description

As you age, your skin produces less of the natural oil that helps your skin keep its moisture. Dry indoor air can cause your skin to become dry. So can living in climates with low humidity. Indoor heating or air conditioning can dry out the air inside your home. Bathing too often may also dry your skin, especially if you use hot water for your baths or showers.

Prevention

Practice good skin hygiene to keep your skin healthy. Here are some tips if you notice your skin getting too dry:

  • Shower or bathe in lukewarm water. Don't shower too often—just when you're dirty or sweaty.
  • Avoid washing with soap during every bath. When soap is needed, use a gentle, nondrying product, such as Aveeno, Dove, or Neutrogena. Use soap only on the underarms, groin, and feet, and rinse immediately afterward.
  • Pat your skin dry after a bath or shower. Apply a moisturizer right away. Moisturizers include Aquaphor, Eucerin, and Purpose.
  • Apply moisturizer several times a day. Use moisturizer on your hands, especially if you must wear gloves often or if the air is dry where you live.
  • Consider using a humidifier if the air inside your home is very dry.
  • Use sunscreen to protect your skin when you are outside.
  • Protect your lips with lipstick or a lip balm, such as Chapstick.

Part of good skin hygiene is also making sure the skin between your fingers and toes doesn't get too dry or cracked. Take care of rashes or fungal infections, like athlete's foot. If they don't clear up with nonprescription medicines, see your doctor to prevent more serious skin problems.

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