Dry skin just might be the most misrepresented skin condition in America. Truly dry skin in fact doesn’t exist very often. What most people, and most commercials on TV, call dry skin is really a mild irritant eczema due to the overuse of soap and bathing. Older people produce less oils and it is easy for them to remove these oils by over-bathing. Losing skin oils makes the skin more sensitive to mild irritants such as soaps, shampoos, detergents, and fabric softeners. Atopic dermatitis is, however, fairly common, and in this condition the skin can be considered to be truly dry due to its inability to trap and hold water. “Dry” skin problems are treated by initially adding some moisture and protection with creams containing hydroxyl acids.