What's Going Around

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Now that we've headed into the fall season, dermatologists say what's going around is a lot of patients with dry skin.

One doctor says there's less humidity in the air as the temperatures drop, and people are heading indoors where they're turning on their furnaces. All that causes flaky skin that left untreated can itch and even bleed. But besides using more lotion to trap in moisture, there are other steps you can take. Dr. Street recommends adding a humidifier to your home.

"Add humidity to the bedroom. We can also change the products we use on the skin. People with oily skin might want to use a dry skin system. Take a vitamin with vitamin E in it," said Dr. Marcy Street, Dermatologist.

Dr. Street also has a line of skin and hair care products that can help dry skin and other skin problems. Log on to www.doctorsapproach.com for more information.

A portion of the proceeds goes to an organization to help abused and abandoned children.

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How to Handle Dry Skin

  • Milder cases of dry skin can be managed with a moisturizer used immediately after bathing, while the skin is still damp.
  • Oils added to the bath water are not always the best choice because they can cause the tub to be dangerously slippery and may not last as long as a lotion applied after bathing.
  • Petrolatum, an ingredient in many lotions, creams and ointments, is an excellent moisturizer.

  • Many moisturizers contain chemicals such as urea, alpha hydroxy acids, lactic acid, or ammonium lactate to reduce scaling and help the skin hold water.

  • Bathing less often and using milder soaps or a soap substitute, can help prevent or reduce dry skin.

  • Hot water is more irritating to dry skin than warm water.
  • Severe flaky, itchy and cracked skin may be a sign of a more serious problem. Consult your doctor or a dermatologist if symptoms persist or are out of the ordinary.

Source: A collection of Web reports contributed to this report.