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Advice on treating and preventing dry, flaky legs

As summer approaches and people are donning shorts and swimsuits, the last thing you want is to have dry, flaky skin on your legs. So, what causes the problem, and how can you treat and prevent it?

Parched skin symptoms

Mild parched skin symptoms include some flaking and a feeling of tightness in the affected areas. A more extreme condition can result in redness, itching, cracking in the skin, peeling and deep fissures that can even bleed. The continual scratching that many sufferers experience from parched skin can lead to open ulcers or sores.

Common causes

Parched skin occurs when the natural layer of protective oil on the surface of your skin declines, causing the skin cells to lose moisture. Dry skin can be caused by low indoor humidity caused by air condition or central heating, and it can also occur as a result of the ageing process. Underlying conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can also result in flaky skin, and thyroid disorders can also cause the problem.

Treatment and prevention

If you have deep skin fissures, cracking or ulceration, you should consult your GP for advice and treatment in case of infection. In most other cases, parched skin can be treated safely at home. It’s important to moisturise at least twice each day, using a specially formulated emollient. Use warm water rather than hot for baths or showers and try not to spend more than 15 minutes in either. After your shower or bath, pat your skin dry and immediately apply your chosen moisturiser or emollient cream. Don’t rub your skin vigorously with a towel as this can make the flaking worse. Try to use only soaps that are specially formulated for dry skin; many fragranced products have a very drying effect on the skin. If at all possible, avoid using soap on your legs altogether. You can help to keep the atmosphere in your home hydrated by using a humidifier or by placing bowls of water in each room near your radiators. Drinking plenty of fresh water can also help to keep your body and skin hydrated.

Soothe dry itchy skin on the legs

If you suffer from parched skin on your legs, you can address the problem by using specially formulated emollient or cream and by following the tips given above.

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