Health Check: tips to defeat dry skin
Tuesday morning, CCX News spoke with Dr. Scott Prawer, a dermatologist from Associated Skin Care Specialists in Maple Grove to learn more about dry skin in the winter.

CCX News: How big of a problem is dry skin this time of year?
Prawer: Dry skin is a very big problem. A majority of patients coming in have actually extremely dry skin or what we call eczema, so it is a big issue that people are experiencing.

CCX News: What is the main reason for the dry skin?
Prawer: Most of it comes from living in Minnesota -- the dry weather, the lack of humidity, and then what people just do to their skin. Oftentimes people take really hot showers, or they're using soaps that are too strong for their skin.

CCX News: What do you recommend people do then if they are experiencing eczema or really dry skin this time of year?
Prawer: Well the first thing we recommend is to turn down the temperature in the shower. Warm showers are good, and don't take real long showers.

The second thing to do is, when you're taking a shower is to use a very gentle skin cleanser. You don't want to be using harsh soaps like Ivory or Irish Spring, you want to be using more gentle cleansers like Vanicream, Cetaphil, CeraVe, those are all found at most local pharmacies.

When people are showering, you want to stay away from loofahs, sponges, scrub brushes, and just use your hands to clean your body.

And then finally, once you get out of the shower, you want to apply a nice thick moisturizing cream within two minutes of the shower, and that will help trap in the moisture.

CCX News: If people don't follow these tips, what can happen? Why do we need to do this?
Prawer: What happens is people will get eczema, so they'll get itchy, red, scaly skin. It will be bothersome. They will have trouble sleeping. They'll be scratching all day, and they will often come in to see me and then will need stronger creams such as topical steroids to help control their eczema.

CCX News: So if it has gotten to that point, it's certainly something that can be treated then.
Prawer: Definitely.

Delane Cleveland

Jan. 17, 2017


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