Top tips

Top tips

35 tips for living with dry skin conditions

  1. There usually isn't just one root cause of dry skin - it can often be caused by a lot of factors coming together.
  2. The symptoms of dry skin include dull appearance, feeling tight, rough or itchy, patches of red, scaly or flaky skin. If you're worried about your skin, talk to a GP or pharmacist who'll be able to give more specific advice.
  3. Some people find that dry skin can have a significant impact on their lives: having people to turn to for support can be valuable. This might be a friend, family member, online forum or a professional organisation.
  4. Start to use a moisturiser when you notice your skin is dry.
  5. To help dry skin, you might like to use emollients, which are moisturisers that don’t contain perfumes or additional ‘anti-ageing’ ingredients.
  6. Try changing your shampoo to a soap substitute that doesn‘t include fragrances.
  7. Washing your hands can cause dryness due to exposure to irritants like soaps. Using a soap substitute to wash your hands and then applying a moisturiser or hand cream may help.
  8. A good routine is one that fits in with your lifestyle, try to include a moisturiser and a soap-substitute.
  9. You can build your skincare routine into your day – you might find that moisturising after an activity you already do regularly, like showering, might help you keep it up.
  10. Apply moisturiser to your whole body, not just the areas with an issue.
  11. Keep applying moisturiser even when your skin has improved.
  12. When you’re applying your moisturiser, use gentle strokes in the direction of hair growth.
  13. You might like to use a lighter moisturiser in the warmer weather, and a thicker one when it’s colder.
  14. You might also like to try using a lighter moisturiser in the daytime and a thicker one once you’re at home for the evening.
  15. Don’t forget to take emollient with you when you’re out and about so you can apply it regularly to dry skin.
  16. There are lots of myths on the internet. If you have concerns about your skin, it’s a good idea to speak with a pharmacist or your GP before deciding on a treatment.
  17. Speak to your GP if you are concerned that your dry skin may be severe.
  18. Aqueous cream is no longer recommended in eczema as a leave-on moisturiser or soap substitute.
  19. It’s a good idea to eat a healthy diet packed with nutritious food, particularly a range of fresh fruit and vegetables.
  20. Try to have lukewarm rather than hot showers or baths.
  21. When drying your skin don’t rub your skin but remember to pat it dry.
  22. Avoid overheating your skin, wear layers so you can maintain a comfortable temperature.
  23. Avoid air conditioning your house as air conditioners can dry out the air and irritate your skin.
  24. It can be a good idea to keep your fingernails short to help limit damage from scratching.
  25. When you’re looking for clothes, it can be helpful to buy those that are made from natural fibres, like cotton.
  26. If you want to wear make-up, try testing the product on a small patch of skin before you apply it fully.
  27. Pet dander can aggravate skin – try and have at least one pet-free room and vacuum regularly to remove irritants.
  28. Be careful in the bath when you’re using bath oils – they can make your bath more slippery than usual.
  29. Consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
  30. Try using the time you moisturise your child after a bath as an opportunity to create a bonding moment with your child.
  31. Consider creating a ‘skincare routine’ pack for anyone who looks after your child (for example, their teacher at school), including notes on what aggravates their skin and where their spare tub or tube of moisturiser is.
  32. You could try using a reward system – like a sticker chart – to make your child’s skincare routine more fun and engaging.
  33. Talk to your child about the importance of moisturising and how they’re feeling so you can offer support and encouragement.
  34. Reassure your child that dry skin or eczema isn’t contagious and that it’s not their fault their skin is different.
  35. Make sure your child knows where they can find their preferred moisturiser so they can apply throughout the day (for example after washing their hands).

This article is for general information only and not intended as a substitute for medical advice. All information presented on these web pages is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. In all health-related matters, always consult your healthcare professional.