Medical Q&As

Dry skin

My 13-year-old son who suffers from cystic fibrosis (he keeps very well) is very embarrassed at the dryness and shrivelling of his hands when swimming. It is very bad, not just the usual dryness when hands etc. are immersed in water for a while. They really shrivel up. He doesn't want to swim anymore and as swimming is very good for him, I am worried about this problem. I have tried lots of creams, but nothing seems to work. Can you help?

I agree with you that swimming is a good form of exercise for your son because of his history of cystic fibrosis. You say that you have used various creams without much success. I would suggest that you get some emulsifying ointment from your chemist. Your son should apply this to his hands before he departs for the swimming pool. This will help to moisturise his skin but do forewarn him that his skin may feel slightly greasy. Your chemist could also advise you about a suitable emollient that he could use when showering after his swim. This will also help to moisturise the skin.