I live in dry skin country (high altitude rocky mountain west). It's so bad here that guys at work actually talk about what lotion works best!
Anyway, what we do is humidify all the time. I've got a humidifier hooked to my heater, and also run a hot water humidifier at night in my bedroom.
Also, I use a beeswax based cream on my hands, and some fairly pricey lotions designed for dry skin on my arms and legs. Once skin is cracked (happens on fingers and feet sometimes), I use an antibiotic based cream. If it gets bad enough, my doctor will prescribe some other lotions.
Put lotion on your hands everytime you wash them. Soaps can really dry your skin. Use a soap with a lotion in it when you bathe. And if you get dry scaley patches, they may be indicative of another medical problem, so see your doctor. I have a friend that will get a dry skin reaction when she eats something she's allergic to.
Have you tried Eucarin lotion/cream? I have very dry skin on my legs and little red bumps on the back of my arms (they dont itch or cause problems, just look bad)....anyway, I started using eucerin lotion and in a week I have noticed a BIG difference! Some of the creams they sell are very thick, but it has worked for me! Some times it is prescribed by MDs even tho it is sold OTC. Hope this helps.
Years ago I purchased a house from a young "burn" doctor. I received samples of Eucarin in his name and had no way to forward them on so read the information and used it. Not that I had dry skin at the time, however, I do now and intend to try it again. Apparently it's what the the specialists use.
I have made a homemade remedy with grapeseed oil , wheat germs, wheat and oat organic meal which was effective for some patients with that problem. I actually made the remedy for hair loss and colortreated hair that it came out to be effective for dry skin in the winter. If you are living in Los Angeles I might be able to send you some to try.
get the best cream avalable try dr grandel hydro lipid moisturizing heavy cream for the dryest of dry skin all my clients are amazed try eating fish taking fish oil supps and vita e supps you can see it in your skin