Dry, sensitive skin can lead to many skin problems including severe itching, cracked skin, and open sores. This is
sometimes referred to as Eczema. This is particularly worse in the wintertime. While there is not a cure for
Eczema, there are many things you can do to take care of your skin and reduce the dryness and itching.

1. Bathing:
Avoid long hot showers or baths. While the hot water feels VERY good to itchy skin, it will make your skin feel worse later. This is because hot water removes the skin’s natural protective oils (think about how we clean greasy cooking pots with hot water and lots of soap). You may shower or bathe daily with lukewarm water but not for longer than five minutes.

2. Cleansing:
Use mild soap sparingly only where needed in the skin folds (armpits, groin, feet). It is not necessary to use soap on the rest of your skin unless it is visibly dirty. Avoid scented soaps which tend to irritant the skin more. Avoid bubble baths. At the end of your shower or bath, lightly pat yourself dry with a towel so that your skin is slightly damp and immediately apply moisturizer.

Mild Soaps: Dove, Oil of Olay, Cetaphil, Neutrogena, or Purpose.
AVOID harsh soaps: Ivory, Zest, Lever 2000, Irish Spring.

3. Moisturizing:
It is extremely important to keep you skin moisturized at all times. Patients with eczema have a break in their natural skin protective barrier and it is important to recreate that barrier with moisturizers. Reapply multiple times during the day if possible, and especially after showering. In general the thicker the moisturizer, the more hydrating it is, so ointments are better than creams. For people with very dry skin, lotions are mostly useless and they contain alcohol that will irritate the skin.

More hydrating, More Greasy | OINTMENT >> CREAMS >> LOTION | Less hydrating, Less Greasy
4. Avoid contact with irritants and solvents:
Patients with sensitive skin should avoid contact with irritants while their skin is flaring. Wool clothing or rough
fabric can aggravate sensitive skin. Avoid kitchen cleansers and solvents—wear gloves if you must use them.
Also avoid facial/skin products that contain alcohol such as toners, astringents, aftershaves, and splash-on

If you have any questions, please contact us at (615) 266-3376 (DERM).