Many people suffer from dry skin. During the winter, the dry, cold air saps whatever moisture was in the skin, out, cracking the skin and making it itchy and red. During the summer, the sun gives the skin a healthy tan while at the same time removing moisture. Basic cleanliness and cleaning around the home can leave hands dry and cracked.
While most people don't need to see a doctor for their dry skin, the itchiness, tightness, and discomfort it causes can drive one to distraction. The Mayo Clinic recommends that those who can't get their dry skin to clear up with normal remedies or "have large areas of scaling or peeling skin" should seek help from a doctor. For everyone else, one of these 10 home remedies may be the answer you're looking for.
1. Avoid long, hot showers. Although the heat feels so good, WebMD points out that the hot water removes your body's natural oils. Rather than enjoying a steaming, hot shower, try a warm shower for no more than 10 minutes.
2. Avoid harsh soaps. Fragrant-free, antibacterial-free, alcohol-free soaps are the best. WebMD also recommends using cleansers that have ceramides as they help hold in the body's moisture.
3. Moisturize while damp. Dr. Dee Anna Glaser says in Prevention that putting on the moisturizer while you're still damp helps lock in moisture.
4. Apply milk. According to Dr. Susan C. Taylor from Prevention, applying a cloth or piece of gauze soaked in cold milk to extremely dry patches of skin for five minutes can help remove itch and inflammation. If the problem is more widespread than just a patch, Dr. Dane in Reader's Digest recommends taking a milk bath. Add one to three gallons of milk to lukewarm water and soak for 15 minutes. Be sure to rinse off well when finished.
5. Humidify. WebMD recommends keeping indoor humidity at 50 percent. If you live in a drier climate, using a humidifier to put moisture back into the air is a good idea.
6. Moisturize. Use a good moisturizer after bathing and throughout the day. Prevention recommends petroleum jelly, mineral oil, creams, and lotions containing shea butter, stearic acid, or glycerin.
7. Smart shaving. WebMD recommends always shaving with a shaving cream or gel and in the direction the hair grows. Avoid using a dull razor as you have to push harder, scraping off your body's natural oils.
8. Sweeten your skin. Women's Health Magazine says that raw honey will draw in moisture from the air. It recommends applying one teaspoon of raw honey on the dry area and letting it sit for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off.
9. Moisturize with the "overnight cure." If you're feeling really dry, Dr. Glaser of Prevention recommends taking a warm bath before bed and covering yourself in Crisco. Put on your pajamas and sleep, allowing the oil to soak into your skin.
10. Seal in the moisture. For areas that are really chapped, like elbows and heels, Dr. Glaser also recommends putting petroleum jelly or Crisco on just those spots and sealing it in with socks or a long-sleeved shirt.
Too many just accept having dry skin and have given up trying to battle it. With so many easy things to try at home, well-moisturized skin doesn't have to stay outside your grasp.
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