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What is the most effective dry skin treatment?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

The right skin care regimen is very effective in improving dry skin. Use a mild, moisturizing cleanser when you wash, to help replenish moisture and keep skin from drying further. Use lukewarm, not hot, water when you shower. Apply a moisturizing lotion or cream 3 or 4 times a day, especially right after you bathe, to help seal in moisture. Moisturizers that contain a combination of occlusives, like petrolatum, and humectants, like glycerin, are very effective in alleviating dry skin.

John La Puma
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism

The simplest things are often the best: use a humidifier, turn down the room heat, take short (not long) warm (not hot) showers or baths.  Soap just a little: most soap is drying.  Moisturize right afterwards, especially after washing away natural oils.

Skin is dry because it lack oils, and ointments, creams and lotions (in that order) have the most to the least oil. Petrolatum jelly, aka Vaseline, moisturizes very well, but it's goopy.

According to my patients, applying vitamin E (in oil) can be effective, though some people are allergic to it. And an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency often results in dry, chicken-skin near the elbows and upper arms, so if you are not getting enough fish in your diet, or do not take omega-3 capsules, consider this common nutritional cause.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.