4 Ways to Treat Dry Skin

Dry Skin — One Common Problem, 4 Expert Solutions.


  • 1.


    Cold weather and low humidity make dry skin even worse in the winter. After taking a quick shower or bath, pat your skin dry and immediately moisturize with a lotion containing dimethicone, cyclomethicone, collagen or shea butter, which will help seal in the product. Reapply at night.
    — Marsha Gordon, MD,
    Vice Chairman, Department of Dermatology, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York

  • 2.


    Diet is definitely part of the dry-skin equation. You want to stay hydrated, so women should aim for 72 ounces of fluid a day (from water and other beverages or water-based foods); men need 100 ounces. Watch your caffeine and alcohol intake, as both tend to be diuretics. Getting enough good fats is also important, so make sure to eat olive oil, nuts, seeds and fish.
    — Tara Gidus, RD, American Dietetic Association, Orlando, Florida

  • 3.

    Cosmetic Dermatologist

    Avoid hot showers and baths, which can exacerbate the problem. Replace drying soaps with a moisturizing liquid cleanser and gently rub it in with a washcloth or loofah. Try using a humidifier in your bedroom to add moisture to the air, and avoid rough fabrics that can scratch the skin, like wool.
    — Dee Anna Glaser, MD, Director of Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, Department of Dermatology, Saint Louis University

  • 4.


    If your dry skin is itchy and looks and feels worse on the inside of your elbows, the back of your neck or knees, or your cheeks or hands, you may actually have eczema. Moisturizers help, but see an allergist or dermatologist, as you may need topical steroids to control the rash. You may also have an allergy to lotions, foods or other irritants that make the problem worse.
    — Timothy J. Craig, DO, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Penn State University

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