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Dry skin and nothing I'm doing helps.... can you help?


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I have developed very dry skin over the last few months (perhaps the drought here has something to do with it, because the air is dry, and I work in a climate-controlled building). I avoid using harsh chemicals because I don't want to dry out my skin anymore. My hands, legs, feet, face, elbows, and lips are the worst. I'm also getting some sort of strange acne deep into my skin on my face, making small shiny red dots under the skin. Nothing I can seem to do helps the acne. I exfoliate with a gentle Dove wash once a day. My body wash is some sort of almond-milk-honey wash. I use lotion CONSTANTLY, from the barrier lotion we have in at work, to thick lotion from bath and body works, to neutragena. My lips are always dry and peeling, and they wake me up in the night sometimes! I use medicated and non-medicated lip gloss and even vasoline. I try and drink a LOT of water (although I'm always thirsty so perhaps I'm still dehydrated even after 120 oz of water or more).

Does anyone have any more suggestions for the dry skin, the strange acne, or my dry lips? I've called to find a dermatologist but none within 40 miles of where I live are accepting new patients until February.

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do you know the cream called e45? its suppose to be targeted for dry skin, thats what helped me with very dry skin everywhere,you can also get lotions and shower gel in the stuff aswell
Can you see a normal doctor to see what they think? A GP should be able to give basic advice. If you are really thirsty all the time could you have diabetes? (another reason to see the doctor, maybe the syptoms you are describing is something you should get checked out.

If it isn't anything more serious though I would actually stop using EVERYTHING for a week or two and see what happens. No lotions, no bodywash no nothing. Use pure sorbolene as a body wash, and nothing else. In this case if it is some sort of alergic response your skin will have a chance to calm down.

I have quite sensitive skin, and have also suffered alot from strange rashes, dry skin in the winter etc. And this method (suggested by my doctor) helped me. Now I find I can use some things again with no problems.  Avene has some really great products for specific problems, BUt still I would do the total break first before starting another product.

good luck 
Ok, this is something I actually know a little something about. My 15 yo son has had extreme dry skin since he was born. It's been diagnosed as atopic dermatitis. It is actually partly allergies. We've tried all sorts of things, some things work different for different people.
First of all, yes, go see your general doctor. I've found it amusing over the years that every doctor seems to see this dry skin thing as their own personal challenge. They may be able to help. It's a good starting point. They also usually have lots and lots of samples.
Secondly, dermatologists are probably the hardest doctor to see. There's always a long wait. You may want to just get your name in, and then cancel if things clear up by then by help of your doctor.
The thing that has helped my son the most is showers, yes showers. He has been told to shower 2 times a day, just 5 minutes, not too hot. Then lotion down immediately after - he uses the generic brand of Cetephil, you can get it at Wal Mart, for both his lotion and his wash in the shower (two different Cetephils). Don't dry the water off, pat yourself dry. You want the lotion to seal the moisture of the water in. When he was doing this his skin was completely healthy. Of course, he is a 15 yo boy, need I say more?
Good luck!
I agree that you should definately make an appointment with a dermatologist. They can make a more accurate diagnosis.

As far as diet goes, are you eating enough fat? At least 20-30% of your calories should come from fat, which is usually around 50-60g. I suffered from dry itchy skin (not as bad as yours sounds, though, sorry hun :\) because I wasn't eating enough and practically no fat. After a month and a half of eating healthy, with plenty of nuts and fats, my skin looks and feels much healthier. I also moisturize with shea butter after showers. Hope you get better, girl, dry skin sucks.
While you wait for the dermatologist.... maybe this will help... my dermatologist prescribed lachydrin lotion... and a friend told me it is now sold over the counter. It really helped me.
I forgot one more thing: when I have dry lips (and I live in a dry climate so that happens quite often) I'll put Carmex on them right before I go to bed. It seems to work better and stay on longer when I'm sleeping. In fact, I'll still feel it on when I get up in the morning.
Im sorry to hear about your dry skin, I hate dry skin so I can understand what you're going through! What helps me is the fact that I eat a lot of fish every day and take omega-3 supplements. I have also heard that rubbing olive oil on your dry skin helps too. Tryin incorporating healthy fats into your diet from fish, nuts, avocados, olives, etc....it may take a little while for them to kick in and do the trick but it will eventually happen....after all: ROME wasn't built in a day!!!
Im sorry to hear about your dry skin, I hate dry skin so I can understand what you're going through! What helps me is the fact that I eat a lot of fish every day and take omega-3 supplements. I have also heard that rubbing olive oil on your dry skin helps too. Tryin incorporating healthy fats into your diet from fish, nuts, avocados, olives, etc....it may take a little while for them to kick in and do the trick but it will eventually happen....after all: ROME wasn't built in a day!!!
Im sorry to hear about your dry skin, I hate dry skin so I can understand what you're going through! What helps me is the fact that I eat a lot of fish every day and take omega-3 supplements. I have also heard that rubbing olive oil on your dry skin helps too. Tryin incorporating healthy fats into your diet from fish, nuts, avocados, olives, etc....it may take a little while for them to kick in and do the trick but it will eventually happen....after all: ROME wasn't built in a day!!!
My 4 year old son has eczema and the only thing that works for him is prescription Elidel.  It's caused by his food allergies.  Have you noticed any nasal congestion as well?  What about headaches?  These are generally symptoms of minor food allergies or "food sensitivities". 

Try Aveeno products, and cortizone. . .I found that baby products are good also. . .but I would with the Aveeno ( I learned that 34 yrs ago.), my daughter had eczema as a baby, and still does, when she has a breakout she uses Aveeno. Good Luck!!! 

I second the recommendation for Aveeno - it's done wonders for my 7 year old's chronic dry skin. 

If Aveeno doesn't quite work for you, you might want to consider going with an all-natural /organic solution - chemicals and additives in normally available lotions and cleansers will complicate any dry skin problem.  This especially goes for normally sold "body washes" - Sodium Laurel Sufate, or SLS (what makes washes and toothpaste "foam up"), is one of the worst things you can put on sensitive and/or dry skin.  If you have a health / organic food store, they will have a wide selection of product without additives.  My suggestion:  I swear by all natural, 100% olive oil soap, and olive oil moisturing lotion is available too.  If you can't find a store, a lot of stuff is available online.

However, I do agree with other posters, that if you can't find relief with anything you try on your own, a visit to a dermatologist may be in order.

Good luck!

I know how dry skins hurts.  I get it on my legs and it takes time for me to heal it.  I actually make my own oatmeal soap that helps me when I get really dry legs.  The chemicals are so harsh that are used in body washes that are on the counter.  I also recommend Aveeno if you are looking for a wash that you can buy at the store.   I use Aveeno when I run out and don't have time to make more.  I would also see a GP and make sure that you are not alergic or have a more severe problem. 

 The lotion I use is from Melaleuca company (http://www.melaleuca.com/).  They do not use harsh chemicals in any of their products.  My friend bought me a bottle when I was pregnant and it helped me with my extreme dry skin and belly.

 I hope that it gets better for you.  Best of Luck!

I don't think I've seen this mentioned yet, but it's also important to take care of your body from within, are you drinking enough water, vitamin E, collagen, etc? Make sure you are drinking what you should be, especially if your climate is very dry.

Topical creams help and stuff, but in my opinion, that treats the "symptom" of a different problem. Lotions help treat your skin from the outside, make sure you are doing all you can by treating it from the inside. 

Look up a few articles online about what you need to eat to make sure your skin is kept healthy. 

It does sound like you have ecsema or atopic dermatitis.  A dermatologist can prescribe steroid cream for the really bad breakouts, but it is better to try to calm things down without the steroid cream.  One of the most important things is to stop using all scented lotions and soaps (which is sort of a bummer, because the gentle stuff doesn't smell nice like a Dove brand), and also NOT to take hot showers (also a bummer in the winter).  I see people have recommended Aveeno products which are great.  Eucerin lotion is also good for extremely dry skin - to put on right after you get out of the shower.  If you have real problem spots you can use Aquaphor for those.  Aquaphor is really greasy, but you will find it works great for those really dry patches.  I would stay away from the carmex as it contains menthol and your skin can get "addicted" to that.  I use the royal blue (on the outside) chap stick brand and find it does a great job keeping my lips moisturized.
That must be frustrating with the dermatologists.  Could the insurance company possibly direct you to someone close that is taking new patients?  A call into your personal doctor for a referral might bring up a dermatoligist you hadnt thought of.

I was going to recommend the night time application but see you've mentioned it.  One thing I know of is to take a regular temp (not warm/hot) shower and just pat yourself dry.  Apply lotion heavily and before going to bed.  Gold bond foot cream is strong and thick, even for cracking skin and can be used all over the body.  This doesnt replace what you will be pursuing with doctors for condition that require medicated treatment but could help with symptoms.  Skins respond differently and I see other good ideas here too.

Despite the drive, if no skin dr pops up closer sounds worth the trip to handle this and get you comfortable again.
My skin can go from extremley dry to oily in no time. I went to my dermatologist and she had samples of Oil of Olay shower lotion. It is a lotion that you appy after you use body wash in the shower and then you wash it off it sounds crazy but it works and does not leave my skin feeling greasy.
i have excema as well as hypothyroidism (which causes v dry skin, as well).  My dermatologist suggested non-soap body washes (i.e. neutragina (sp?) rain bath and aveeno for v. dry skin) as well as using neutragina oil right after taking a shower and aveeno lotion during the day. this realllly helps, esp using the oil and avoiding long and/or hot showers.  I also try to eat a lot of fish and drink tons of water.

i would also suggest seeing a GP for the thirst, esp if you are drinking 120oz and are still thirsty....  And, aveeno makes a medicated and non medicated lip balm, also burts bees makes a very nice balm.

Not to scare you but if you are drinking that much and still thirsty you may have diabetes. For the acne try getting a pot of water really hot then putting a towel over your head and lean over the pot to allow the hot steam to get in your face. This will open your pores, then wash your face with an exfoliating cleanser, and witch hazel, then rinse with cool water. The cool water will close your pores. Don't do this all the time, only about once a week. For your lips, don't lick them when they are dry, this will make them get more chapped. Also if you put regular lotion on your lips it may help more with the dryness than the chapstick, you still want to use the chapstick while out and about (preferably one with spf) but put lotion on your lips 2 times a day. You could also exfoliate your lips with a soft toothbrush before putting the lotion on to get some of the dead skin off. For the other dry skin make sure you have a healthy diet, if you don't all of these ailments can be explained by that, if you do put olive oil on your dry spots, it is supposed to help. I wouldn't recommend putting it all over your body because not only does oil retain heat but you would also smell like a salad. The aveeno is great. There is also huggies brand baby wash and lotion. Cyrus had very very dry skin (psoriassis runs in my husbands family) and I put the huggies lotion with shea butter on him (yellow bottles) then put him in a hat, pjs, socks, and mittens to keep the moisture in and his dry skin got nice and soft within a few days. Good Luck
22 Replies (last)
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