How Should I Care for Itchy Dry Skin?

Help needed for dry, itchy, miserably uncomfortable skin! moisturizers?? essential oils? i am a female, mid 40's

Doctor Answers 6

Mandatory steps are twice-a-day washing with a good...

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  • Mandatory steps are twice-a-day washing with a good cleanser followed by a non-drying toner.
  • A sugar scrub three times a week is very beneficial for exfoliating and stimulating healthy skin regrowth.
  • Finally, always apply a good moisturizer, preferably one with anti-oxidant properties.

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

I live in Minnesota, which is fairly cold and dry in the...

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I live in Minnesota, which is fairly cold and dry in the winter months. Nevertheless, the most important thing you can do for your skin is gentle cleansing and hydration. I have already discussed the use of a gentle cleanser, such as Vanicream, but the hydration component is very important.

  • The best time to put a moisturizer on is right after bathing or showering. It serves two purposes: It will seal in the hydration that you achieved from the bath or shower and add even more hydration and serve as a protective barrier.
  • The best lotion is the one that gets used; however, I recommend CeraVe, which is a new generation moisturizer that employs a technology called microvesicular emulsion. The tiny microspheres are layers of lotion and water almost like little tiny onions. These layers will continually break down providing hours of hydration and protection to the skin.
  • I recommend a moisturizing lotion immediately after bathing and one other time a day. Keeping the skin hydrated twice a day with topical emollients and/or moisturizers will make a huge difference in the overall health of skin.

Charles E. Crutchfield III, MD
Minneapolis Dermatologic Surgeon

Avoid products that dry skin--be careful with any...

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Avoid products that dry skin—be careful with any harsh cleansers, exfoliants, etc. Cleanse with an antioxidant-rich cleanser to cleanse thoroughly without stripping skin of oils.

Nicholas Perricone, MD
Connecticut Dermatologist

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Dont wash with hot water

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The oil that you make in your skin is the best moisturizer you can get. Preserve it by turning the temperature of the water down and following your bathing ritual with aquaphor.



Saida Baxt, MD
Paramus Dermatologic Surgeon

Keep Skin Moist With Your Skin Care Regimen

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As we get older (after age 30-35) we do not produce as much oil as we did when we were younger.  Keeping your skin moist will make it appear younger looking as your age.  A combination of cleansers such as Dove Liquid Cleanser for your body and Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser for your face is helpful.  Follow this with a good application of hyaluronic acid especially around your eyes.  Even though tretinoin cream (Retin A) can be drying, used sparingly in a cream form can keep the dead cells from accumulating on the surface of the skin and this leads to a fresh more moist appearance.


Jay S. Gottlieb, DO
Fort Lauderdale Dermatologist

For dry skin, the first thing that needs to change is...

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For dry skin, the first thing that needs to change is the method of cleansing the skin. If we are speaking of facial skin that means changing to a soap-free cleanser and cutting out drying toners. Using hydrating creams to moisturize dry skin is very important to relieve dry skin.

For dry body skin, it is important to take very quick 3- or 4-minute showers using lukewarm or tepid water. Using a moisturizing body wash is essential so that a moisturizing layer is left on the skin. Apply a rich body moisturizer over the entire body twice daily – not just after the shower.

Jeannette Graf, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.