Taming the Winter Itch

Released:  1/24/2017



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.