Dry skin is often just a temporary problem — one you experience only in winter, for example — but it may be a lifelong concern. And although skin is often driest on your arms and lower legs, this pattern can vary considerably from person to person. What’s more, signs and symptoms of dry skin depend on your age, your health status, your locale, the amount of time you spend outdoors and the cause of the problem.
If you have dry skin, you’re likely to experience one or more of the following: A feeling of skin tightness, especially after showering, bathing or swimming; Skin that appears shrunken or dehydrated; Skin that feels and looks rough rather than smooth; Itching (pruritus) that sometimes may be intense; Slight to severe flaking, scaling or peeling; Fine lines or cracks; Redness; Deep fissures that may bleed;
When to see a doctor – Most cases of dry skin respond well to lifestyle and home remedies. See your doctor if: Your skin doesn’t improve in spite of your best efforts; Dry skin is accompanied by redness; Dryness and itching interfere with sleeping; You have open sores or infections from scratching; You have large areas of scaling or peeling skin;
To prevent skin from drying out, it may be helpful to humidify the indoor environment especially during the drier, winter months. Sometimes decreasing bathing frequency, avoiding strong soaps, and decreasing exposure to detergents also may help improve dry skin. Harsh cleansers can strip away the natural oils and sebum from the skin. Limiting exposure to irritants such as solvents and wool clothing can prevent the dry skin condition from worsening.
Avoid strong soaps and detergents; Use indoor room humidifiers; Limit exposure to irritants such as solvents; Avoid wool clothing; Use cotton and natural fiber clothing; Move to a super-humid environment like New Orleans, Houston, Bangkok, Hong Kong, or Manila Avoid Arizona!