Although having humidifiers in your home can help, Chabra said the best way to prevent skin from becoming itchy and inflamed is by moisturizing twice a day within five minutes of showering and before bedtime. He said most dermatologists use ceramide-containing moisturizers.

“You actually deliver the ceramides, the keratinocytes (the predominant cell type in the epidermis) actually take them up, absorb them, and they are recycled and back to the surface,” he said. “It takes about seven days for a ceramide-based moisturizer to work.”

In addition to ceramides, look for products containing dimethicone, a common barrier ingredient that traps moisturizer in the skin. Avoid ingredients such as alcohol and perfumes which can dehydrate the skin and sometimes cause an allergic reaction. Chabra uses CeraVe, a fragrance-free moisturizer that contains three essential ceramides, but he said there any many other ceramide-containing products available.

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