Bathing and Skin Care

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Caregiver Support Health Resources

Knowing how to treat and prevent dry skin is important for the comfort of your care recipient. Dry skin can cause itching, often without a visible rash, as well as intensify symptoms of existing eczema. The goal in caring for dry, itchy skin is to replace lost moisture, especially during winter and in low-humidity environments.

Tips for caring for dry, itchy skin:

  • Use gentle, soap-free cleansers. Soap can be harsh, washing away the skin's natural oils.
  • Keep baths and showers short. Avoid hot water, which removes natural oils in the skin.
  • Apply moisturizer soon after bathing, while the skin is still moist. This helps trap water in the upper layers of the skin to decrease dryness and itching.
  • Avoid moisturizers with fragrances and dyes.
  • Moisturizers with colloidal oatmeal help lock in moisture and form a protective barrier.
  • Reapply moisturizer throughout the day as needed.
  • Keep the room temperature between 68° and 75° F.
  • Use a humidifier to maintain moisture levels at 40 to 50%.
  • When washing clothes and linens, use fragrance-free and dye-free detergents.

Keeping the skin well moisturized should improve dry, itchy skin. If the skin worsens despite these measures, contact a dermatologist.

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This information was brought to you courtesy of Aveeno®.