Dermatologists’ expert tips for relieving dry skin

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Dry skin can be more than just a minor annoyance—it can cause discomfort, itchiness, and even affect your confidence. Whether you’re battling the elements or dealing with internal factors, finding effective ways to relieve and prevent dry skin is essential for maintaining a healthy complexion. We’ve tapped into the expertise of dermatologists to bring you a comprehensive guide on how to tackle dry skin head-on. Read on to discover expert insights that can help you achieve healthy, hydrated skin.

What is the main cause of dry skin? 

Dry skin can be caused by a variety of factors. The primary cause is often a lack of proper moisture retention in the outermost layer of the skin. This can result from environmental factors such as cold weather, low humidity, excessive sun exposure, and harsh winds. Additionally, frequent hot showers, harsh soaps, and certain medical conditions can contribute to dry skin.

How to prevent dry skin

Preventing dry skin involves a combination of external care and internal habits. By adopting a proactive approach, you can maintain your skin’s natural moisture barrier and enjoy a hydrated and healthy complexion.

External Prevention:

  • Use a gentle, hydrating cleanser that doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils.
  • Take shorter, lukewarm showers instead of hot baths.
  • Pat your skin dry gently after bathing; avoid rubbing vigorously.
  • Apply a rich moisturizer immediately after bathing to lock in moisture.
  • Protect your skin from harsh weather conditions by wearing appropriate clothing, hats, and sunscreen.

Internal Prevention:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day.
  • Include foods rich in healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, and fatty fish, in your diet to support skin health.
  • Consume foods high in antioxidants, like fruits and vegetables, to promote skin cell repair and overall skin health.

How do you fix dry skin?

Relieving dry skin involves a combination of external treatments, lifestyle adjustments, and, in some cases, professional guidance. 

Here are steps you can take to address and alleviate dry skin effectively:

  • Look for moisturizers with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, and shea butter.
  • Use mild exfoliants to remove dead skin cells, allowing moisturizers to penetrate better.
  • Consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your living spaces.

When to see a dermatologist

Dry skin is a common issue that can often be managed with over-the-counter moisturizers and lifestyle adjustments. However, there are instances when seeking the expertise of a dermatologist becomes crucial to address the underlying causes and ensure optimal skin health. 

 It’s advisable to see a dermatologist if:

  • Your dry skin is persistent and doesn’t improve with OTC treatments.
  • You experience severe itching, redness, inflammation, or discomfort.
  • Dryness is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, such as skin cracks, bleeding, or infection.
  • You have a history of skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis that may require specialized treatment.

Proper care and attention to your skin can go a long way in preventing and alleviating dry skin. By following these expert tips and seeking professional advice when needed, you can achieve smoother, healthier, and more comfortable skin. Remember, consistency is key in maintaining optimal skin hydration.

630 Naperville welcomed guest Dr. Juliana Basko-Plluska, a Board-Certified Dermatologist and Owner of Basko Dermatology