PROPER DRYING & MOISTURIZING
If you search for information on "proper drying" on the Internet, you will pick up tips for drying beef jerky, onions, a car, rice, garments, and so on. It's difficult to find information on properly drying a person. The reality is that proper drying of a person's skin is often not discussed until a rash or an infection develops.
My husband and I, soon to be parents, have been interviewing pediatricians about proper drying for our newborn, and it's been interesting to hear their varied opinions. One physician told us, "Just let him get air and sun on his buns and that will stave off diaper rash." While that may work for babies (and I'd check with your doctor first for his or her opinion), it might not be appropiate to let your loved one walk around the house in the buff, airing themselves dry after a bath.
Towel It Up
That's when two excellent products come in handy: a big, soft towel, and a cornstarch-based powder. Any caregiver will tell you that their hands are full enough without worrying about further complications arising from skin conditions. So after bathing or showering your loved one with a gentle soap, pat him/her dry with a lofty towel (one of those big spa ones can really make a difference for the entire experience). Be sure to pat your loved one dry -- rubbing can be harsh for sensitive skin. Be sure to thoroughly dry the skin -- every crevice, every fold, every last part. Get under the feet and behind the knees, and under the breasts if applicable. Be sure to get the butt, the underarms, and "down there." Make sure the neck and behind the ears are fully dry. When you think it's all dry, do a once-over for the entire body again.
WebMD offers lots of great advice on skin care and innovative ways to get thoroughly dry, such as:
Now that your loved one is completely dry, it's time to moisturize. While some doctors and health care professionals may recommend using moisturizer while skin is damp, in the case of your loved one, it may be best to make sure he or she is properly dry -- not damp at all -- before moisturizing. Use a fragrance-free and irritant-free lotion. Try using a baby lotion or a lotion specifically designed for sensitive skin to avoid the risk of allergic reactions.
Make sure your loved one drinks lots of water to keep his or her skin moisturized. In addition to hydrating skin with lots of water, be sure to avoid over-bathing. Consider a simple "bird bath" (a sponge bath that addresses personal hygiene) along with applying lotions as needed and taking a complete bath or shower just once a week.