HOW TO CARE FOR DRY SKIN
Dry skin can be very frustrating for many. These are simple measures you can do to help alleviate your symptoms.
Atopic dermatitis is often referred to as eczema. Eczema is a condition in which the skin becomes dry, irritated, inflamed or red at various times. The disease usually improves and, in some cases, completely disappears. Marked itching is a hallmark of this condition, particularly at nighttime. Atopic eczema is caused by multiple factors. It is known to be influenced by stress, weather changes, harsh cleansers, skin irritants, and very rarely foods. Simple attention to proper daily bathing, cleansing and moisturizing plus the avoidance of irritants that can trigger an occurrence will help you achieve relief. In addition to the appropriate use of any medications prescribed by Village Dermatology, a daily routine of bathing with a non-soap cleanser and moisturizing has been shown to greatly reduce dryness as well as the itching and redness often found with atopic dermatitis.
Please follow the following tips:
1. Use a mild soap cleanser such as Dove, Cerave, Cetaphil, or Vanicream.
2. While bathing, avoid scrubbing your skin with washcloths, sponges, or brushes.
3. Limit your bath to no more than 5-10 minutes once per day in lukewarm, NOT hot, water.
4. Immediately pat (do no rub) your skin until it is partially dry after bathing or showering. While your skin is still damp, apply a recommended moisturizer. If your skinis inflamed apply the prescription medicine first, then the moisturizer. Applying it immediately after a bath increases absorption of the medicine and moisturizer 10-fold.
5. Reapply the moisturizer as needed during the day, preferably after washing your hands or wetting the skin.
A number of things can trigger or worsen atopic dermatitis such as skin products, weather and stress. Here are some further tips to prevent eczema:
- Keep the temperature in your home cool. If the air is dry, use a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air. It is particularly important to keep your bedroom cool as most people, especially children, tend to itch the most at night.
- Remove environmental allergens from your home, such as dust and pet hair.
- Reduce sweating by keeping cool.
- Eliminate cigarette smoke from the environment.
- Wear cotton clothing and avoid wool.
- Avoid emotional stress as much as possible. Stress is a notorious aggravator of eczema.
- Avoid irritating activities and substances such as frequent hand washing, harsh detergents, soaps, and perfumes.
- Avoid bubble baths.
- Use a laundry detergent made for sensitive skin. We recommend All-Free, Cheer-free, or Tide-free. Avoid dryer sheets completely.
- 1Keep fingernails cut short. Gloves may be helpful at nighttime to prevent scratching during sleep.
- Research has revealed that food allergies are rarely the cause of atopic eczema.
- Creams are preferred over lotions as lotions are too thin. Ointments such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline) and aquaphor are best, but are probably most practical for bedtime. Recommended moisturizers: Cerave, Cetaphil, Vanicream, Aveeno Eczema Therapy.
Make an appointment to see us if these measures are not helping, as we may need to prescribe something else for you or test you for other conditions.
Learn more about eczema: