Dry skin can be a challenge at any time of year, even as spring and summer increase the humidity in the air. As the largest organ of the body, the skin should be well cared for and protected.
If dry skin is neglected, it can become red, flaky and itchy. Dry skin patches can develop into a more serious inflammation called dermatitis; and once the protective skin is disrupted by dermatitis, the skin is more susceptible to bacterial, yeast or fungal infections and allergic reactions on the skin.
You can carry out a preventive skin care regimen that will help you avoid dry, cracked and uncomfortable skin. Here are some easy and effective tips to help keep your skin happy and healthy:
* Keep bathing or showering to 10 minutes, using warm – not hot – water. Hot water can dry out your skin by allowing moisture to escape, while breaking down the lipid barriers.
* Use mild soaps or soap-free cleansers. Many soaps strip important lipids and oils from the outermost layer of skin and can often contain ingredients that are that are damaging to the skin.
* Avoid excessive handwashing or excessive use of hand sanitizers. Alcohol-based sanitizer in particular can be very tough on skin due to the fact that it dissolves oil, which can leave the skin feeling dry, chapped and irritable.
* Moisturize thoroughly after bathing or handwashing, while skin is wet, with an ointment, cream or lotion. Moisturizers work best when they’re applied to skin that is wet or damp. They help to seal in the moisture and keep the skin looking and feeling healthy.
“There are a good number of effective skincare products on the market to help consumers combat dry skin, such as Lac-Hydrin Five, a reasonably priced, gentle, alpha-hydroxy lotion which restores moisture to the skin by hydrating the skin’s natural barrier,” says dermatologist Avery S. Kuflik, MD.
In dry summer climates, humidifiers are useful devices to have at home because they increase moisture levels in the air, which helps the skin. They also promote a variety of other health benefits.
“While Lac-Hydrin Five is scientifically based and therapeutically effective, those suffering from chronic, severe skin conditions – such as eczema – should seek the advice of their doctor about appropriate therapeutic options,” adds Ashish Anvekar, MD, vice president Brand Division, North America, Ranbaxy Laboratories Inc.