Dry Skin FAQ
Why do I always get dry skin in the winter?
The main reason that people have problems with dry skin during the winter is that moisture is lost faster when the air is dry and cold. Moisture is lost at a faster rate in these environments. We also tend to shower and bathe more frequently and for longer during the winter, which has a drying effect on the skin. Finally, indoor heating can rapidly remove moisture from the air, which aggravates dry skin.
When and how often should I apply moisturizers?
Moisturizers are best applied immediately after bathing or showering. Dry yourself gently, by patting a dry towel over your skin, but do not rub. Your skin should still be wet, but not dripping. Apply moisturizers while your skin is still moist. This will help your skin retain more moisture. Bathing oils can also help too.
How do I know if I have eczema?
You will need to visit a dermatologist to be sure. Generally, eczema has a strong genetic basis, and is far more common in those whose parents or close family have suffered from eczema. One of the most popular types of eczema is atopic dermatitis, a skin problem that causes dry and damaged skin.
What can I do about open cuts that I get during the winter when my skin dries out?
When the skin dries out, it becomes extremely vulnerable to cuts. Try to refrain from scratching the skin in this state, as it will easily become cut. Keep the area covered with a band-aid, to prevent further scratching and aggravation, and to reduce the chance of infection. You may wish to see a dermatologist for advice on controlling your dry skin at this point.
Does dry skin mean that I am dehydrated?
Not necessarily. Dry skin is generally a sign that your skin is not retaining moisture for some reason. This can be attributed to a combination of genetic tendency, the result of a skin problem like eczema, or due to environmental factors such as cold or dry weather. Your skin will get dry if you are in fact, dehydrated past a certain point, but drinking water will not necessarily improve your dry skin as one does not cause the other. It is, however, very important to make sure that you stay hydrated, both for your general health as well as your skin health.
Why do I get dry skin when I travel?
The skin can be sensitive to changes in the atmosphere. If you travel to an area that is colder or drier than what you are accustomed to, this could be the cause. Additionally, the cabins in the flight have extremely low humidity, and can quickly drain the moisture out of the skin. Although carrying liquids into the flights can be problematic these days, moisturizing before a long flight can help to protect your skin.
I have always had dry skin, but recently I am getting a rash. Is this normal?
Dry skin is, generally, more prone to cuts, and rashes. If this is not a regular occurrence, you should consider visiting a dermatologist. Although some conditions such as eczema can cause rashes and skin dryness, it may be an infection, or another skin problem that is causing the rashes. For some conditions, appropriate treatment can quickly solve both problems.