Tip of the Week : Dry Skin Care

Dr. Paul M. Graham

Do you suffer from dry, cracked skin in the winter? This is a very common reason for dermatology visits during colder weather months. The good news is that today’s tip will help preserve moisture giving a youthful, supple appearance to the skin. 

What you need:  1 large tube of Vaseline or Aquaphor ointment and a box of disposable vinyl gloves or Saran plastic wrap (do not use latex gloves as this rarely causes an allergy). 

  1. Immediately before bed, apply a generous amount of ointment to the skin and apply the vinyl gloves/Saran plastic wrap overtop of the ointment
  2. Leave the gloves on overnight and remove upon waking up
  3. Reapply ointment to the skin after mornings bathing
  4. Repeat for several weeks or until your skin is repaired

This process is called occlusion and is a simple trick used by dermatologists to increase the penetration of moisture and certain topical medications. It is very important not to use this technique with prescription topical steroid medications unless otherwise instructed to by your dermatologist, as this may increase the systemic absorption of certain medications. 

If your skin fails to respond to this simple trick, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist for more aggressive management. 

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