Dry skin care is very important. Long hot baths or showers, can remove our natural oil and lead to xerosis. One should never take more than one bath or shower a day.
Use of harsh soaps can worsen and cause xerosis.
Cold winter weather worsens xerosis because the amount of moisture contained in cold air is much less than the amount of moisture in warm air.
Dry Skin Treatment
Dry skin treatment is intended to restore the natural oil to your skin.
Keep the 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 (CAUTION: slippery tub!). If you use a bath oil in the tub, add about a teaspoon full to the bath water and soak for 10-20 minutes. Do not use soap; you will get clean by soaking in the oil-water combination. Do not take more than one bath or shower a day. Use lukewarm water, not hot. Hot water dries out the skin.
When toweling dry, don't rub. 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.
Soap irritates and dries the skin, soap 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 Dial.
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.