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"Nothing seems to help my very dry skin, do I need to see a dermatologist?"
I am 24 and have recently moved to a dry climate. My skin has been very dry lately and I have tried to stop this by drinking a lot of water and using moisturizing cream. Nothing seems to work though, the problem seems to be getting worse, the skin around my knuckles sometimes cracks and bleeds. I am especially dry when I wake up in the morning. What can I do?
Dry skin is a very common problem, especially in those who live in dry climates and are not only exposed to the outside environment but also deal with the drying effects of air conditioning indoors. You are taking good steps by drinking large quantities of water and using moisturizing creams. It is important to make sure you are using an effective quality cream. Brands that I recommend to my patients include Eucerin and Aveeno. Bathing is also important when it comes to treating dry skin. Make sure you are not showering or bathing more often than necessary and that the water is lukewarm. Hot water draws moisture out of skin. Use a gentle moisturizing soap and only use it on "dirty" areas such as face, hands, armpits, groin and feet. Once getting out of the shower or bath, pat dry with a towel, do not rub. Immediately apply a large quantity of moisturizing cream all over your body with extra emphasis on very dry areas. For your hands, try applying a thick moisturizer or even plain vaseline to your hands and then covering them with gloves or socks before bed and removing them in the morning. It is important to see a dermatologist to make sure that you do not have a skin condition such as eczema and are getting appropriate treatment.
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