How to treat dry skin, from creams to lotions to jellies

Why you should apply moisturizer directly after a shower on ‘damp’ skin (Kristi King)

WASHINGTON — Going with a greasy goo is your best bet to help fight dry winter skin, according to a local dermatologist. 

Getty Images/iStockphoto(Getty Images/iStockphoto/VladimirFLoyd)

“There are lots of different moisturizers you can use and some are better than others,” dermatologist Dr. Helena Pasieka of MedStar Washington Hospital Center said. “There’s greasy things and then there’s creamy things and then there’s lotions.”

Lotions typically are diluted with something such as alcohol so they can be used with pump bottles. Creams in tubs are better. Best yet are moisturizers that are greasy and ointment-like such as petroleum jelly.

Tips and tricks to help skin survive winter:

  • Take cooler, shorter showers and baths
  • Immediately after bathing apply moisturizer to damp skin
  • Avoid products with perfumes and dyes
  • Use lip balm
  • Use humidifiers if needed
  • Carry moisturizer with you for use after frequent hand washing

For chapped or wind burned skin, Pasieka recommends applying an over-the-counter hydrocortisone product to skin before applying moisturizer.

One sign your skin is over-dry — it’ll be more sensitive. There may not be a rash initially, but Pasieka said you’ll start feeling more itchy.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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