Dry skin is commonly referred to as xerosis, which is a form of endogeneous eczema (the skin is not red). It is very common and tends to occur when absolute humidity levels are low such as in the winter in temperate countries. It is also a complaint of people living in tropical climates migrating to dryer (and colder) countries. It is also more frequent in older age: skin barrier changes facilitate the loss of water through the skin.
- Wash the body and face if possible with water. Avoid soaps which are irritant, if used neutral pH ones are favoured.
- On the body ointment (conditioner) may be applied on the body instead of soap and then be washed off. The greasy texture of the ointment moisturizes the body and reconstitutes the skin barrier. However it is sometimes difficult to accept cosmetically by some patients.
- Use a humidifying machine in the winter or if necessary.
-there is no limit to the number of times to apply a moisturiser. Use it liberally.
-the best time to apply a moisturizer is after the shower:
-dry the body by patting with the towel. Do not scrub.
-apply the moisturizer within two minutes after exiting the shower. Studies show that the moisture in the skin doesn’t remain for long after that.
Types of moisturizers (emollients):
-glycolic acid, lactic acid…. Use as first line treatment on the face and second line treatment on the body (if urea cream is not effective or intolerable du to irritation).
- 5% concentration on the face as a second line treatment on the face if the above treatment is not effective (if irritation occurs, revert to the above and add hydrocortisone 1%).
- 7.5-10% concentration on the body as a first line treatment on the body.
-if the lips are dry/cracked, the usage of a lip balm is recommendable.
In case of redness, if infection is excluded, the usage of hydrocortisone 1% cream/ointment once or twice daily may be useful.
This advice is for informational purposes only and does not replace therapeutic judgement done by a skin doctor.
Source of information: here