Have you been suffering from "winter itch," also known as dry skin, or, if severe enough, eczema? The cause can be three-fold:
1- The dry heat comes on in the household as we turn up the thermostats.
2- We take hotter, maybe even longer showers.
3- We do more hand sanitizing or washing to reduce our chances of the flu.
Dr. Saryna Young, WESTMED dermatologist, offers these 10 tips to help relieve dry winter skin:
- Keep showers and baths brief, no more than 5-10 minutes. More time in the shower or bath leaves you less hydrated.
- Use lukewarm water. Hot water strips the skin of natural oils. And do not shower more than once per day.
- Use a gentle cleanser, like Vanicream liquid cleasnser. Deodorant bars, perfumed soaps and antibacterial soaps also remove the skin's natural oils.
- Moisturize within 3 minutes of bathing. This helps seal in the hydration.
- Use a humidifier. Keep the air in your home moist.
- Apply cool cloths to itchy skin.
- Soothe chapped lips. At bedtime, apply a lip balm that contains petrolatum.
- Be good to your face. If it is dry, just wash it once per day, at night. In the morning, just splash with cool water, no soap.
- Change razor blades after 5-7 shaves. A dull blade irritates dry skin. And always use shaving cream, not soap. Vanicream makes an excellent shaving cream as well.
- Cover up outdoors in winter. Wear a scarf and gloves to help protect lips and hands from the drying effects of the cold and wind.
For a list of many of the conditions treated by WESTMED dermatologists, please click here.