Dry Skin

  Dry skin is a common condition that can affect people of any age and
  skin type. It is characterized by rough, itchy, or flaky skin. Severe
  dry skin may even cause cracks in the skin or bleeding. It is most
  common in the lower legs, thighs, arms, and sides of the abdomen.

Causes

  Although many people experience dry skin year round, it is most common
  in the winter, when the air is dryer. Devices that decrease humidity
  – including central heating and air conditioning systems
  – can make dry skin worse.
  Dry skin can be the result of sun exposure, harsh soaps or irritants
  in body-care products or detergents, bathing too frequently, or taking
  hot baths or showers. Skin care products used to treat acne can be
  particularly drying to the skin. Dry skin may also occur as a symptom
  of another skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis.

Treatment

  Treating dry skin effectively requires protecting your skin against
  any environmental irritants. Keep your baths and showers short, and
  use warm – not hot – water. Use mild soaps and
  detergents. Use moisturizers, especially after a shower. Cream or
  lotions with alpha hydroxy acids are also very effective. Avoid
  products containing alcohol. Use a humidifier if the air in your home
  is dry.

  Dry skin that is caused by a chronic skin condition may require
  prescription lotions.