10 Home Remedies & Treatments for Eczema and Dry, Itchy and Sensitive Skin
Ever had dry, itchy or sensitive skin? Me too! It’s frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. Dry skin can be itchy and very bothersome so it’s helpful to know how you can better cope with it. Dry skin can potentially also make other skin conditions worse. It’s common and can occur at any age.
The technical name for dry skin is xerosis or xeroderma. Typically, it occurs on its own but can also be associated with other medical problems, so if you are concerned about your dry skin, make sure to discuss it with your physician.
The following are 10 different tips and tricks that may help you out. You may find that it takes more than one to get your skin where you want it to be. It may also take time, so give it an honest effort before you move on.
1. Alter your shower habits.
Take a lukewarm shower instead of a really hot shower. The reason hot showers are harmful is they remove the natural, protective oils more quickly. Shower once a day if possible and limit time to 5-10 minutes. Keep the bathroom door closed to trap in the moisture.
2. Use gentle, skin sensitive soaps & skin care products.
When showering, use a gentle, skin sensitive soap. Examples include dove, caress, lever and cetaphil. Avoid harsher soaps that are more likely to strip the oils from your skin. Also pick unscented products as these can dry and irritate your skin.
3. Use soap only on the oil gland areas
When showering, only use soap in the oil glands areas of the body. This includes the face, armpits, groin, hands and feet. Let the soapy water run over the other areas of your body. If you’re using exfoliating products, do not use them every day.
4. Pat yourself down with your towel, then apply moisturizer
After showering, don’t completely dry yourself off but pat yourself down. Then, while your skin is still somewhat wet, apply your moisturizer. This will help trap in some of the water in your skin and really go a long way. Moisturizers come in creams, ointments, lotions, and oils.
Although trial and error can be helpful, typically ointments or creams are going to work better. Look for moisturizers that contain urea, lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, lanolin, mineral oil or petrolatum, these can can help retain water.
5. Use a shaving cream or gel
If you have to shave, use a shaving cream or gel. This will help soften the skin and minimize irritation. It’s also best to shave after showering as this is when the hair is softest and most responsive to shaving. Also make sure to change razor blades every week or so, as dull blades can be very irritating to skin.
6. Change your laundry habits.
Use free and clear types of detergents that are labeled ‘hypoallergenic’. You can also use double rinse cycles and avoid the use of fabric softeners. Also wearing cotton or silk clothing over wool and other rough materials may be helpful.
7. Rinse the chlorine off.
If you swim, rinse the chlorine off after you are done, then take a lukewarm shower and moisturize as described above.
8. Try cool cloths.
Try applying cool cloths to itchy skin. This may help reduce irritation and itching sensation.
9. Get a humidifier
Consider using a humidifier in your home if you think the air is dry. This is especially true during winter months where most home heating systems are likely to dry out the air.
10. Use petrol-based lip balm.
For chapped lips, use a petrol based product. Look for the ingredients ‘petrolatum’, petroleum jelly or mineral oil.