Dry skin might seem quite simple, all you have to do is apply tons of moisturiser and you’re good to go, right? Well, it is quite complicated actually. All those with severely dry skin will agree with us. Unfortunately, lack of knowledge about how to take care of dry skin makes matters worse and leads to skin woes like flakiness, itching, psoriasis and wrinkles.
We consulted five dermatologists to get expert insights on how to treat severely dry skin...
- Avoid very hot water for bath
- Use a mild soap/body wash
- Do not scrub
- Nourish skin with a good moisturiser
- Wear skin-friendly fabrics
- Drink enough water
- Consult your skin doctor/dermatologist
Avoid very hot water for bath
Long, hot water baths may seem very relaxing after a tiring day or week. However, this can make your skin extremely dry. Dr. Sugam Gupta, M.B.B.S. MD Skin says “Don't use very hot water for bath and avoid using chemicals and detergents on dry skin.”
Use a mild soap/body wash
Severely dry skin can get easily irritated by harsh chemicals and soap based cleansers. Therefore, Dr. D.G.P. Sastry, MBBS, recommends, “Your soap should not be alkaline and have a preferable pH value of 5.5.” this ensures that the cleanser is gentle on skin and does not rob moisture off the skin.
Do not scrub
Exfoliation can make severely dry skin worse. Dr. Anil Gosavi, Associate Professor Dermatologist B.J. Govt. Medical College, Pune suggests, “Don’t rub or scrub skin harshly.” Post shower blot your skin gently with a soft towel instead of rubbing it.
Nourish skin with a good moisturiser
Moisturisers help retain moisture in your skin. Therefore, “It is essential to put on a good moisturiser after bath and before sleep,” says Dr. Mrunal K Modi, Cosmetic dermatologist.
Wear skin-friendly fabrics
Severely dry skin is also very sensitive and can easily get irritated due to certain fabrics and ingredients in cosmetics. Dr. D.G.P. Sastry, MBBS, suggests “avoid unsuitable cosmetics and clothing.” While buying cosmetics and skin care products, check the date of expiry and ingredients list if you are allergic to anything.
Drink enough water
Another reason your skin might be severely dry is because your body is dehydrated. Therefore, “hydrate yourself- Drink enough water,” says Dr. Mrunal K Modi, Cosmetic dermatologist. Limit the intake of beverages like tea, coffee and soda.
Consult your skin doctor/dermatologist
Employing the above mentioned tips should improve the condition of your severely dry skin. But if these changes don’t bring relief, there might be an underlying problem that only an expert can examine. “If the symptoms are severe then consult with your skin doctor/dermatologist,” says Dr. Mrunal K Modi, Cosmetic dermatologist, New marine lines road, Churchgate, Mumbai. Also, “do not go for parlours/clinic procedures,” suggests Dr. Reema Das, The Illuminis Clinic. Severely dry skin has a tendency to get easily irritated due to these procedures.