Proudly Serving Central Iowa from our Ankeny and Ames Locations!

Dry Skin

What Causes Dry Skin?

When skin loses water too quickly, it becomes dry. This can happen for many reasons.

Everyday things, such as using deodorant soaps and harsh cleaning products, can strip oils and fats from our skin. Taking long, hot showers can also dry your skin. Living in a cold, dry place dries the skin, too.

You can often heal dry skin by making some changes, which includes moisturizing several times a day.

When the skin continues to lose water and cannot heal itself, skin can become excessively dry. Age, certain medications, and disease can also cause skin to become excessively dry.

How do You Treat Dry Skin?

Dry skin can flake, itch, crack, and even bleed. To help relieve dry skin, dermatologists offer these tips:

Keep baths and showers short.

  • Use warm, not hot water.
  • Choose a mild fragrance-free cleanser.
  • Keep bathing time from five to ten minutes. Gently pat the skin dry.

Hydrate your skin

  • Apply fragrance free moisturizer immediately after getting out of the bath or shower to seal in moisture. Ointments and creams tend to be more effective and less irritating than lotions.
  • Choose a lip balm that feels good on your lips. If your lips sting or tingle after you apply the lip balm, switch to one that does not cause this reaction.
  • To relieve dry hands, apply a hand cream after each hand washing. Gently pat the skin dry.

Read ingredients on skin care products.

  • Deodorant soaps, alcohol-based toners, and products that contain fragrance can irritate dry, sensitive skin.

Use a humidifier to add much-needed moisture to the air.

Wear soft fabrics that breathe, such as silk or 100% cotton.

  • If you want to wear wool and other rough fabrics, wear a soft fabric underneath.

Don’t skimp on hand washing, which can remove harmful bacteria and viruses.

  • If you need to wash your hands frequently, hand sanitizers are a good alternative.
  • Apply hand cream after each hand washing. If more relief is needed, dab petroleum jelly on your hands before bed.
  • If your hands are frequently immersed in water, wear waterproof gloves to help protect them.

If these tips do not bring relief, make an appointment to see a dermatologist. Very dry skin may require a prescription ointment or cream. Dry skin also can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as eczema.

Additional Dry Skin Resources

Bathing Tips for Dry Skin:

AAD Video: Tips for Dry Skin Relief

AAD Video: COVD-19 and Dry Hands

Why Iowa Dermatology Consultants?

Iowa Dermatology Consultants believes in a patient focused approach to care.  We work with patients forming an active partnership in treatment to help repair the physical and emotional damage of skin disease.  Our Ankeny and Ames locations allow us to conveniently treat patients across the Des Moines metro area and all of Central Iowa including Ames, Carroll, Fort Dodge, Iowa Falls, Marshalltown, Huxley, Slater, and Indianola.  

At Iowa Dermatology Consultants, all of our physicians are board-certified dermatologists. Your care provided by Dr. Snider, Dr. Smith, or Dr. Myers is founded in knowledge and experience which exceeds that of a general practitioner.  Together they have almost 50 years of combined experience in diagnosing and treating a vast array of skin conditions.  This includes over 16,000 hours of patient care training to ensure that a board-certified dermatologist can expertly diagnosis and treat over 3000 dermatologic conditions.

Whether you’re coming to us for help with skin cancer or diseases like acne, psoriasis, and eczema; or to reverse the signs of aging with Botox, chemical peels or other cosmetic procedures, at Iowa Dermatology Consultants you will be getting the best dermatologic care in Central Iowa.