No matter what it looks like, our skin is a reflection of us. Through rain or sunshine, it is the only skin we will get. Being that our skin is often affected by things that happen inside our body and outside environmental factors, it is definitely possible to turn drab skin into a masterpiece.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and a medical review by Dr. Sara Perkins, M.D., dry skin with bumps is most likely a harmless skin condition called keratosis pilaris. The bumps are caused by dead skin cells that plug hair follicles causing them to expand. It is most common in people with regularly dry skin, obesity, eczema, and in women and teenagers.
If your dry skin is accompanied by tiny bumps, here’s some tips and products doctors say you should use more often:
Taking short, warm baths loosens and unclogs the pores on the skin. Harvard Health Publishing says that bathing more than 5-10 minutes daily can strip away too much of the skin’s oil layer causing it to get drier faster. In addition to the bath, gently exfoliating the skin with a stiff brush, loofah or pumice stone removes a good amount of dead skin and eases the look of bumps on the skin.
Within 5 minutes after a bath or shower, it’s important to rehydrate the skin. “Ointments, creams, and lotions (moisturizers) work by trapping existing moisture in your skin,” says the AAD. Waiting too long allows the existing cells to dry up quickly. Some dermatologists prescribe patients lotions or creams that contain ingredients like lactic acid or glycolic acid and encourage “cell turnover”. However, thick lotions like Eucerin and AmLactin sold in store get the job done as well.
Soaps/Skin Care Products
The AAD also says it’s a good idea to limit perfumed soaps and deodorants, alcohol products, and scented laundry detergents. Although it may seem small, these are items that tough your skin on a regular basis. Paired with loose, cotton clothing, using less harsh version and even hypoallergenic products work better to help your skin retain some of its moisture.
According to Dr. Perkins and the AAD, adding a humidifier to your shopping list is a great step. Humidifiers add moisture to the air in whatever room you place them. This added moisture helps prevent dry skin, which in turn prevents bumps and itchy flare-ups. They can be purchased online or in stores like Walmart, Target, etc.
Chemical peels are just what the name says! “A chemical peel is a higher strength skin exfoliant with a pH that’s generally around 2.0,” says Nurse Practitioner Cynthia Cobb. They work from the inside to unclog pores, brighten skin tone, and enhance the absorption of other skincare products. There are different types of chemical peels, which affect how much the skin actually peels off. The more chemicals are used, the more skin peels off the desired area.
Dermatologists often have their own separate ways of dealing with dry skin. Depending on other factors of your skin (like porosity and how well it holds onto moisture), they customize a plan they think will work for you. These plans may detail how dry your skin really is, what products to use and signs to look for when your skin is improving. They might even refer you to some of the steps mentioned above.