Xerosis is the medical term for dry skin. We all have a natural oil coating over our skin produced by the oil glands. If this oil is removed, then the skin becomes dry which can lead to cracking. This cracking can then lead to inflammation.
Xerosis is usually a long-term problem that recurs often, especially in the wintertime when people are more susceptible.
What causes dry skin to occur?
There are several things that can lead to the development of xerosis. Long hot baths or showers can remove our natural oil supply. That’s why you definitely should not take more than one bath or shower per day. Even better, you should skip days as much as possible, although that’s not advised if you have to be around other people. 🙂
Using harsh soaps can cause xerosis as well as make your current condition worse. Cold winter weather also exacerbates dry skin because the amount of moisture contained in cold air is much less than the amount of moisture in warm air.
What are your xerosis treatment options?
All of the treatment protocols are intended to try to restore the natural oil to your skin. Many people have seen marked improvement with natural formulas such as Xtend-Life Age Defying Day Cream which can help moisturize the skin as well as reduce wrinkles and fine lines.
You should keep your skin lubricated. You can put bath oil on your freshly dried skin after a shower or bath or add it directly to the bath water in the tub. Just note that this might make your tub slippery, so use caution. If you use a bath oil in the tub, add about a teaspoon full to the bath water and soak for about 10-20 minutes. Do not use soap; you will get clean by soaking in the oil-water combination. Make sure you use lukewarm water, not hot. The hot water will dry out your skin, which will just make things worse.
When toweling off don’t rub hard. Blot the skin so there is still some water left on the skin. When applying bath oil directly to the skin, pour a small amount into your hands and then spread it onto your slightly damp skin immediately after blotting dry. A teaspoon full is enough for the average adult. If you prefer not to use a bath oil, you can apply a moisturizer to all of the skin such as Vaseline, Lubriderm, or Moisturel.
Alpha hydroxyacid lotions work very well for treating and preventing dry skin. Neostrata 15 AHA Body/Face Lotion is a very effective treatment when applied to moist skin after bathing.
As mentioned soap irritates and dries the skin, so it should not be used on your xerotic skin. When bathing limit the use of soap to your face, armpits, genital area, and feet. Use Cetaphil soap, Oil of Olay, Dove or Basis
If you like to swim during the winter months, you should not use soap when getting out of the pool. When you have finished swimming, rinse off the chlorine with cool to warm water. If this will be the only shower of the day then you may use Cetaphil Lotion or a mild soap to cleanse your skin. After the shower apply a bath oil or a moisturizer to all of the skin as above.
So there you have your xerosis treatment options. Dry skin is extremely common, and affects all of us at one point or another. Following these simple tips will help you retain your skin’s natural oils and prevent the condition from getting worse.