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Tips To Prevent Dry Skin 'Blues'

Armen Hareyan's picture

When the calendar says it's December, better start preparing for the "Dry Skin Season." Whether you suffer from dry skin only in winter or year-round, you can take some simple steps to keep your skin soft, healthy, and pain-free. "An ounce of prevention will help you beat the discomfort and pain caused by dry irritated skin," says Dr. Paul R. Kasdan, medical director of OurHealthNetwork.com.

While every inch of our skin is affected by the cold outdoors and low humidity created indoors by heating furnaces, our hands and feet suffer the most. Natural oils produced by the glands in the skin help the skin retain moisture. But our hands and feet lack the oil glands that are present on all other skin surfaces. If our palms were covered by oil, just think of all of the things that would slip out of our hands! The same goes for the soles of our feet: we would slip and slide with every step!

Without this oil, the skin on the hands and feet suffer most when exposed to excessively cold outdoor temperatures, dry indoor heat, and wearing socks and gloves made of wool or other materials that can irritate the skin.

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To help avoid winter weather's skin irritations, painful cracks, and unsightly appearances, Dr. Kasdan says, "Getting a head-start on winter's assault is the best thing you can do for your skin." Dr. Kasdan recommends starting the following good skin habits immediately:

-- Moisturize, moisturize, and moisturize again.This is especially true after bathing or hand-washing.Make sure you pat your skin "almost dry."While the skin is still damp, apply a moisturizer to hold the water in, and keep the skin from drying.

-- Add oil to your bath.The oil will soothe dry skin and help "lock in" moisture.

-- Exfoliate patches of dry skin as soon as they appear.This helps to prevent the skin from breaking down and cracking.For calluses and dry cuticles, something stronger may be needed. Callex Ointment is uniquely effective in thinning and softening calluses and cuticles.

-- Wear clothes -- especially gloves and socks -- made of natural and comfortable fibers.Cotton is more soothing to the skin than nylon, wool, and rubber.Cotton will help the skin keep natural fluids in, while absorbing excessive perspiration that can cause drying.