‘What can I do about the dry skin on my arms and legs?’

Jun 22, 2020
Our resident dermatologist details how to keep skin from getting dry. Source: Getty.

Q: Can you please help me with dry skin on my arms and legs? I have been using body lotion and taking not too hot baths etc. But I’m even getting wrinkled overnight from dry skin. Appreciate any recommendations.

Dry skin is a common problem. In fact, it becomes more of an issue as we get older. One of the key changes that happens to our skin with age is that it doesn’t retain the natural moisturising factors as well as when we were younger. This means that the skin is much more prone to drying out by various environmental factors or things that our skin comes in contact with such as soaps, detergents and other chemicals.

The key to minimising the impact of this is to follow the general skin measures as you have mentioned in your questions. There are three main steps to following the general skin measures:

1. Swapping a traditional soap to a soap-free alternative

Traditional soaps are essentially detergents and help to strip the natural moisturising factors from the skin. Whereas, soap-free washes are designed to be less drying to the skin while still cleansing the daily grime and dirt.

2. Take shorter, lukewarm showers

Long showers and hot showers further strip the natural moisturising factors from the skin. This is one of the reasons why our skin tends to be drier in winter as we are all guilty of taking hotter, longer showers to combat the cold temps outside.

3. Moisturise every day

The key is varying the type of moisturiser based on the seasons. During summer when there’s more humidity in the air and we’re more likely to have a cooler shower, a lotion or light cream works well. On the other hand, during winter, you need a thick cream or even an ointment-based moisturiser. Obviously no one moisturiser suits everyone and there are lots of different brands of moisturiser on the shelf to choose from. However, this basic rule of thumb will help most people find the right type of moisturiser for the right season.

If you have a question for Starts at 60’s health experts, email it to [email protected].

IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.

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