What is it?

Itchy, irritating, dry skin from any cause. The skin becomes prematurely wrinkled and often drives the person (especially a child) mad with itching.

What causes it?

• Extremes of temperature from freezing winds to direct sun.

• Ageing itself makes skin drier.

• Central heating without humidifiers.

• The use of detergents as bath foams (especially children’s ‘fun’ bath products). This removes the natural oils from the skin.

• The misuse of cosmetics which block the oil glands that normally lubricate the skin.


• Drink more water.

• Stay out of harsh sunlight unless you wear an effective sunscreen.

• Never use detergents in the bath and use soaps sparingly.

• Wear gloves if you use detergents for washing up dishes.

• Try to get a humidifier installed in your place of work or any other air-conditioned building where you spend a lot of time.

• Use only small amounts of skin lotions-the skin can absorb only so much, after which you block the natural ducts that bring oils to the surface. The best moisturizer for the skin is water-not oils. Use oils and creams, therefore, on slightly moistened skin. Many good moisturizer creams are mostly water for this reason.

• One skin expert uses a mixture of five vitamin A capsules to a 4 ounce jar of hand or body lotion to alleviate dry skin, with some success.


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