What are the signs?

The telltale symptoms of dry skin are easy to spot: Skin just generally feels drier and tighter. Other signs may include roughness, itching, severe redness, flaking and scaling. Sometimes pores become less visible or skin may look dull. In severe cases, skin may crack and bleed, especially on the hands and fingertips.

Why does it happen?

Sun exposure or cold, dry air can cause skin to become dehydrated.

What are your options?

-Over-the-counter lotions, that can relieve dryness and flaking.

-Avoid antibacterial and deodorant soaps, which can be harsh and drying. Instead, use a gentle cleanser, or a mild shower gel with added moisturizers.

-Don’t take extremely hot baths, or shower or soak in the tub for more than 10 minutes.

-Use a humidifier during the winter.

-Choose natural, breathable fabrics, such as cotton and silk, for your bedding and innermost layer of clothing.

-Drink plenty of water and other liquids to keep skin hydrated from the inside out. Omega-3s (essential fatty acids found in foods such as salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, soybeans and broccoli) can also help keep skin supple.

When should you worry?

See a Cosmetologist if dryness and itching keep you awake at night, if OTC lotions aren’t working, if you have open sores or large areas of scaling or peeling skin, or if you develop an infection from scratching.