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What's That Rash?

When cold weather ushers in dry, red, itchy skin, you probably feel like an unlucky contestant on a rash-guessing quiz show: Is it dry skin...or some exotic flesh-eating bacteria you heard about on the news?


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Dry skin

Looks: Red, chapped, scaly, or cracked, and makes you look older than you feel.
Caused by: Dry winter air, harsh soaps, chemicals.
Feels: Dry and itchy.
Where: Mostly lower legs and arms, but possible anywhere.
Contagious: No.
Treatment: Wear gloves outside. Keep showers brief and use warm (not hot) water. Try a mild soap such as Cetaphil or Dove and don't soap up driest areas. Apply moisturizer immediately after bathing while skin is still damp. Slather on the heaviest, greasiest product you can tolerate.
See a doctor if: The itching prevents you from sleeping or you suspect it is something other than dry skin.

Next: Dandruff

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