Extreme dry skin please help.

by Bonnidette
(St. Louis)

I have suffered from extreme dry skin my entire life. My entire body itches all the time. My scalp, my back and my lower legs are the worst. I sometimes scratch my legs until they look scraped.

I have tried several different lotions, cortisone cream, baby oil(which just leaves me greasy, yuck) for my skin and I have used every dandruff shampoo I can think including that Scalpison stuff you squirt directly on your head when it itches. Doesn't work.

In the summer it is manageable but in the winter it is unbearable. Can you help?


Hi Bonnidette, thank you for sharing. I understand how painful dry skin can be. Here are some suggestions, and please let me know if any of these are helpful for you.

  • Avoid mineral oil - I recommend you avoid using any products such as baby oil or anything that contains mineral oil which actually can further dry out your skin. Mineral oil or related products like petroleum jelly are byproducts created from the manufacture of gasoline, and contains no nourishing ingredients for the skin.

    Using mineral oil actually suffocates your skin and prevents it from "breathing", which causes major problems because your skin cannot absorb oxygen or release toxins. That is probably why you feel that "yuck" feeling when you use it! In fact some people equate the effect of using mineral oil to be similar to wrapping your body in plastic wrap.

    This can cause severely dry skin, premature aging and skin rashes, more susceptibility to sunburn, and a dissolving of the natural protective oils on your skin. This can create a vicious cycle, and when you try to fix the problem by applying more moisturizers, it can actually get worse.

    In addition, mineral oil interferes with your
    body's ability to absorb fat soluable vitamins which are essential to your skin's health. The fat soluable vitamins are vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. This once again contributes to dry skin and skin rashes.

    You may find it difficult to avoid mineral oil, as MOST skin care products and cosmetics do contain it, however if you get used to reading the labels on products, you will quickly be able to find the brands that do not use it.

  • Check your diet to make sure you are getting enough Essential Fatty Acids (also known as "EFA's ") in your diet. Most people do not get enough of these really essential nutrients which so important to skin health. My free eBook has a chapter on a healthy diet for your skin and how to get more EFA's, and also contains tips on how to find products without mineral oil and other irritating substances.

    One of my favorite sources for EFA's is the Xtend Life Omega 3 supplement which will make a noticeable difference in your skin within a few weeks.

  • Use safer products - There are numerous chemicals used in shampoos, skin creams and toothpastes that are known skin irritants and that can cause itching, rashes, dry skin and other problems. Try switching to using safer skin care products and see if that helps your dry skin.

    Our safe cosmetics guide has some starting guidelines for some of the main skin irritants to avoid.

  • Daily tips for dry skin - There are some simple steps you can take that will help you to stop the painful cycle of dry skin here at our Dry Sensitive Skin page.

I hope these tips are helpful for you Bonnidette. Please let us know how they work for you!

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