Credits: Farah Siddique 

Dry skin is when your skin dries out because it doesn’t have enough moisture. It isn’t usually serious, but it can be irritating. If your dry skin is severe, you should see a doctor. There are many causes of dry skin -- from the temperature outside to how much moisture is in the air and many types.

When it comes to household skin irritants, the list is practically endless. It includes cleaning products, floor polishes, air fresheners, and laundry detergent, just to name a few. These products strip skin of water and oils it needs, leading to dryness and irritation. For some people, dry skin can progress to more serious conditions like eczema or dermatitis.  

These things can make your home easier on your skin.

Wear gloves for housework

To take good care of your hands, you’ll need to protect them from harsh household cleaners and dish detergents, which are proven skin irritants. Use non-latex rubber gloves when it’s time to scrub. Or better yet, create a double barrier of protection: Wear a pair of rubber gloves over a layer of thin, soft cotton ones before you touch a bucket or sponge.

Shower and moisturize after a swim

Using chlorine to keep your pool clean can also dry your skin out. The best treatment: As soon as you or your children step out of the pool, head inside to rinse off with water and mild soap. Follow up with a moisturizer that lists glycerin as the first ingredient. It will help your skin hold on to moisture and prevent future dryness.

Try coconut oil 

Because it has essential fatty acids (EFAs), coconut oil can help keep your skin hydrated and protected. Ask your doctor about adding it to your diet to help keep your skin moisturized. You can also use it as a moisturizer and rub it on your skin.

Slather on petroleum jelly

If you have sensitive skin that’s easily bothered by household skin irritants, the best treatments contain the fewest ingredients. When abrasive household products touch skin, they break down its protective barrier. Putting a chemical-laden moisturizer on top of an already weakened area leads to burning, stinging, itching, and redness.

Because it contains only one ingredient, petroleum jelly is gentle on your skin. You can use it to soothe dry skin, from your lips to your hands to your feet. Because it’s so safe and inexpensive, you can apply it as often as you like.

Take an oatmeal bath 

Oats have been used to treat dry skin for centuries. But only recently have researchers found what eases the itch: chemicals called avenanthramides that fight inflammation and redness.

To make the most of oats’ itch-fighting power, toss them into lukewarm bathwater. Grind either quick or old-fashioned oatmeal in a blender or food processor and slowly sprinkle it into the tub as the water runs. Then soak for at least 15 minutes.

Banish dust mites 

One common household skin irritant life and breathes in most every room of your home: the dust mites. To prevent mite-related itch and irritated skin, vacuum floors and carpets, and wash your bedding in water that’s 130 F or hotter at least once a week.

Switch to hydrating hand sanitizer

You can’t check out at a convenience store or walk into a doctor’s office without seeing a hand sanitizer dispenser these days. And many families keep bottles all over the house for quick and easy hand cleansing.

But alcohol-based sanitizers can really dry out your hands. Look for hydrating versions that say dermatologist-recommended on the label