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Scratch Out Dry Winter Skin

Dry skin, especially in the winter is a common problem that can affect anyone at any age. But lengthy hot baths or showers can be blamed, too. They can steal the natural skin oils that seal in moisture.

If you’re an easy target for dry skin, here are eight everyday things you can do to prevent dry skin or soothe it:

1. Use lukewarm water for bathing, and soak for 10 minutes maximum.

2. Use a mild soap or nonsoap cleanser. Be leery of bath oils. They only help dry skin a little bit and they can make tubs slippery and dangerous.

3. After bathing, gently pat—rather than rub—your skin dry.

4. Smooth on a moisturizer right after bathing to trap water in your skin. Look for a lotion or cream with urea, lactic acid, or mineral oil. You also can use petroleum jelly on dry skin. Reapply lotion as necessary.

5. Drink plenty of water and other fluids.

6. Keep the temperature cool at home, and moisten indoor air with a humidifier.

7. Wash clothes, towels, and sheets with a mild detergent that doesn’t contain perfume.

8. Avoid fabric softener, which can irritate dry skin.

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