There are few things more soothing than a long, hot shower. But for some people, especially those who have drier skin or skin conditions such as eczema, prolonged exposure to hot water can often do more harm than good, dermatologists say.
For one thing, its relaxing effect can encourage people to take longer showers or baths, says Ivy Lee, a Los Angeles-based dermatologist, which “can actually draw out and dehydrate the skin.” That’s because when “you’re opening up that skin barrier and creating that permeability, it really just decreases [the skin’s] ability to hold on to water,” Lee says.
Lee and other dermatologists recommend shorter showers of no more than 10 minutes, using warm or room-temperature water — or even cold water — which is less drying to skin.
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