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Alternative namesSkin - dry; Winter itch
Dry skin is most common in your lower legs, arms, flanks (sides of the abdomen), and thighs. The symptoms most often associated with dry skin include:
Dry skin is common. It happens more often in the winter when cold air outside and heated air inside cause low humidity. Forced-air furnaces make skin even drier.
The skin loses moisture and may crack and peel, or become irritated and inflamed. Bathing too frequently, especially with harsh soaps, may contribute to dry skin. Eczema may cause dry skin.
It may help to change your bathing habits:
Also, increase skin and body moisture:
Apply cool compresses to itchy areas, and try over-the-counter cortisone creams or lotions if your skin is inflamed. If this is not enough, talk to your doctor about possible prescription lotions.
Call your health care provider if
Call your doctor if:
Your doctor will perform a physical examination with careful attention to all parts of your skin.
To better understand the cause of the dry skin, your doctor may ask:
Update Date: 12/1/2003Jacqueline A. Hart, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Boston, Ma., and Senior Medical Editor, A.D.A.M., Inc. Previously reviewed by Michael Lehrer, M.D., Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (10/28/2001).
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT