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Dry skin

Updated: Monday, May 24,2010, 4:22:49 PM
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Taking too many hot baths and/or using strong soaps can make skin even drier than normal. Taking shorter baths and applying moisturizer right after a bath or shower can help. In fact, that's the best time to apply moisturizer. Moisturizers, applied while skin is still slightly damp, help seal water in. Dry skin can also be helped by a humidifier. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) add that oral hydration is also important. people should drink lots of fluids, especially water, to keep skin moist and healthy, and to avoid dehydration. Remember, though, that diseases or medications can also cause skin to dry out and/or get itchy, so if these steps don't relieve dry, itchy skin, talk to your doctor.

Serious changes

A yearly check-up by your doctor can spot any serious skin problems. But you should also examine your own skin regularly. Any new growths, darkly colored spots or any changes in an existing mole, in its size or color for example, should be reported to your doctor.

our risk of developing skin cancer increases as we age. The biggest culprit is sun exposure. People who live in sunny climates, who work outdoors, or who have a family history of skin cancer are most at risk, as are fair-skinned individuals and blondes or redheads whose skin freckles or burns easily. According to the American Society of Pathologists, your risk is also higher if you overdo occasional sun exposure - as can happen, for example, when you go away for two weeks every year to the beach.

In addition to increasing our risk of skin cancer, sun exposure also breaks down the elastin in our skin, causing it to sag. Although we can't undo the damage that's already happened, using proper sunscreen and avoiding excessive sun exposure, especially during the peak burning hours between 10 AM and 3 PM, can help keep skin in better shape, regardless of age.

Tags: skin Dry

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