Why Does Lotion Burn Dry Skin?

Is your skin so dry that it burns? Extremely dry skin can be excruciatingly painful, with sensations ranging from stinging to burning to tingling.

Unfortunately, using lotion to alleviate the problem may cause it to worsen! What causes lotion to burn dry skin and what can be done about it? Fortunately, there are clear reasons for this, as well as numerous ways to alleviate the pain.

What Causes Lotion to Burn Dry Skin?

You’re not alone if your hands sting after applying lotion. Many people have had the unpleasant experience of applying a soothing lotion to their dry hands only to be met with an even more unpleasant burning sensation. In many cases, this can be attributed to two factors: the lotion’s ingredients and skin dryness.

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As previously stated, dry skin can cause painful, stinging, or burning sensations. When it comes to lotions, specific ingredients in the lotion can cause such a burning sensation. Avoid products containing the following ingredients if you have extremely dry or sensitive skin:


Vitamin C

Benzoic acid

Lactic acid

The acid glycolic

Azaelic acid

Look for a product that is designed for sensitive skin if you want to avoid these ingredients. Look for something that is very smooth and fragrance-free, or that is designed for a specific purpose, such as barrier repair or post-peel balms. Though these may still sting your dry skin, they will be much less painful than standard products.

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How to Choose the Best Lotion for Dry Skin

Why does lotion cause dry skin to burn? Shouldn’t it make you feel better? Unfortunately, not all lotions are created equal, so some will simply not work for your skin type. Here are a few things to consider when looking for a lotion that works for dry skin that burns:

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1. No alcohol. When your skin is extremely dry, it frequently has tiny cuts in it. You won’t be able to see these microscopic cuts, but you will definitely feel the sting of them when alcohol comes into contact with the area!

Aside from that, alcohol is known to further dry out skin. Avoid any lotion that contains alcohol, no matter how minor.

2. No scent. Fragrances are chemicals that are mixed into lotion ingredients. These chemicals can irritate, burn, and sting your skin. This is especially true if you have the previously mentioned microscopic cuts. Look for a lotion that is fragrance-free.

3. Recommended Lotion. You’ve learned what to avoid, but what should you embrace? There are several ingredients that can provide excellent skin care.

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Look for lotions that contain aloe vera or chamomile, as well as essential oils and are fragrance-free. Those containing jojoba, olive, or almond oils can also be beneficial.

How to Care for Dry Skin

1. Maintain the health of your hands and feet. Hands and feet are often the first places where you notice dryness, so take care of them before the burn begins.

Use a good, high-quality lotion on your hands and feet, and in the winter, use a heavier-duty lotion, such as those containing glycerin.

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Apply the lotion, then put on socks or gloves for added hydration. Remember to exfoliate your feet to remove dry skin cells and allow the lotion to do its job.

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2. Maintain the heat. When the weather turns cold, heaters blast out hot air – but that air is very dry, sucking the moisture from your skin. To avoid this, use a humidifier to keep the air moist and comfortable.

Several small humidifiers strategically placed throughout the home often perform better than a single large unit.

3. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water because it’s good for you, but keep in mind that it won’t necessarily make your skin softer. In fact, the amount of water you drink has no effect on how your skin looks or feels.

Drinking water should not be overlooked, but it should be used in conjunction with the other methods mentioned here.

4. Washing too frequently should be avoided. If you wash your skin too frequently, it can become dry and rough. In fact, washing your hands too frequently can cause cracking and burning.

Use warm water to clean your face, and limit your washings to no more than twice a day. Always use a moisturizer after washing your face.

5. Use sunscreen. Even if the day is cloudy, always apply sunscreen. The sun can dry out your skin and damage it in other ways over time. Sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide is far superior to sunscreen containing harsher chemicals.

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6. Shower in the proper manner. Long, hot showers should never be taken, no matter how good they feel on your dry skin at the time. Hot water will destroy the oils produced by your skin, leaving it raw and unprotected. Try to limit yourself to ten-minute showers or baths once a day.

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7. Correctly moisturize your skin. Applying moisturizer after you get out of the shower is a great way to trap in even more moisture because your skin is still slightly damp. Why does lotion cause dry skin to burn? Sometimes the skin is already too dry. Using lotion whenever possible can help relieve the burn and restore smooth, healthy skin.

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