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February 06, 2012 06:11 PM

Dealing With Dry Skin

sioux falls, sd


This time of year, many of us are dealing with itching, cracking skin.

While you may blame the cold weather outside, dry skin is actually caused from a lack of moisture in heated, indoor air.

Heather Talbot and Rachel Plockmeyer of Orange City, Iowa, are enjoying the nice weather by shopping in Sioux Falls. Despite the warmer temperatures, they're dealing with a winter problem: dry skin.

"I had my hands peeling and cracking at work the other day, and I was like, 'Why?'" Plockmeyer said.

The cold weather outside has more people coming inside to dermatologists' offices. Dermatologists say two of the main reasons for dry skin are your furnace or bathing.

"Bathing is probably the primary reason we dry out because whenever you bathe, you're stripping the oils away from the skin," Dakota Dermatology Dr. Jim McGrann said.

McGrann says whether you use soap or cleanser to bathe with also makes a difference. Soaps are more drying.

"The deodorant soaps tend to be very drying, so if you're 15 years old and you have oily skin, you can use Dial or Safeguard or Irish Spring. If you're 50, you should use a cleanser," McGrann said.

After you shower, McGrann says you should apply moisturizer. While some moisturizers may smell good, you should opt for a fragrance-free bottle that's ceramide-based.

"Ceramides are light oils that lubricate the skin. They are easy to use. They dry fairly quickly," McGrann said.

While these two shoppers are dealing with dry skin, they're also well-prepared with lotion in hand.

"Because there's not a lot of snow, we just pack our tissues and chapstick and lotion and be on our way," Talbot said.

McGrann says putting a humidifier in your home can also help.

As far as moisturizers, McGrann recommends checking the label to find one that contains ceramide.  Three that include that are Aveeno daily moisturizer, Cetaphil with RESTORADERM and CeraVe.
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