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Ron Shelton M.D.

#317 East 34th Street,
11th Floor, New York, NY 10016. 

Hydrated skin is moisturized skin and nobody treats moisturized skin since we all seek it. Over moisturized skin is when you soak in a bath tub for 30 minutes and your skin turns to a whitish prune.

If someone has dry skin, we have to replace moisture, which can be done in a few different ways.

If somebody has had significant trauma to the skin by over-drying or if they have a history of eczema – these are all ways of creating dry skin. So we want to get to the root of the problem. If they are over-drying their skin, they are using hot showers, drying soaps like plain soaps, like Ivory, even though Ivory is quoted as being plain or pure soap, there is no moisturizing properties within it. Some people use anti-bacterial soap and they react to the trichlosan that is anti-bacterial and it dries out their skin from the irritant dermatitis.

So to minimize dry skin, we recommend lukewarm water. And very importantly when you apply a moisturizer, you want to have blotted that area that is dry not rubbing it thoroughly and then immediately after it is blotted so that the skin is still moist from the water that you put on the skin. You layer on your moisturizer rubbing it in and that traps in the moisture.

If you have very severe dry skin, where, as an example, your finger tips are peeling, cracking and bleeding, you need to use a thicker moisturizer. The thicker the moisturizer, the more it traps something like Vaseline or Aquaphor and that’s applied to the dry, hard skin and we regain our moist skin after washing and then rubbing off the excess with a tissue or paper towel so that you are able to open a door knob without being too slippery.

Other people who have eczema need to do the same thing with the Aquaphor and the Vaseline. Some people who have eczema have significant itching so they use witch hazel or alcohol incorrectly because they need to provide soothing relief or it may sting. If they have fissures or bleeding, incorrectly using alcohol or witch hazel will really worsen the problem and exacerbate the dryness. You want to avoid that.

Therefore, it is important to make sure to not over dry the skin with hot water or by using products that will dry the skin. The best way to remedy extremely dry skin is to see a doctor.