Four Ways to Help with Itchy Skin in Winter

Winter and your skin do not get along. Cold temperatures, a lack of moisture, and dry air can wreak havoc on your skin during the winter season, leaving your hands, legs, and face with itchy, scaly skin.

Not only does cracked dry skin look and feel unappealing, it can also have other negative effects. Repeated scratching cause by dryness can lead to thicker, rougher skin, which can lead to painful cracks. Dry skin can also become inflamed and sensitive. There’s even a chance of a bacterial infection developing in open cracks and sores.

The best way to prevent these issues is to try and prevent or treat dry winter skin right away. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to protect your skin this winter. Here are four ways to help prevent itchy, dry skin this winter.

Image of a women with itchy, dry winter skin.

Preventing Sunburn in the Snow

When you think about typical places where you might get sun burn, you might imagine a trip to the beach, a baseball game, or some other outdoor activity in the summer. In short, you’re probably not thinking about soaking in too much sun during the winter. However, you probably should.

Image of winter sun protection. Learn more about sunburn in winter.

Five Skin Care Tips from a Dermatologist

Your skin does a lot to help you, so it’s a good idea to take care of it. Improper skin care can lead to everything from cosmetic issues to dangerous diseases. Fortunately, a few quick adjustments can make a notable difference for your skin. Here are five tips that should help you take care of your skin.

Image of a person using moisturizer. Read a dermatologist's tips for keeping your skin healthy and looking its best.

Sun Exposure and Vitamin D

Proper UV Safety is very important, especially now that we’re in summer. However, it’s important that you make sure that your skin gets enough sunlight to help your body produce enough vitamin D.

We’ve gone over UV safety tips and the signs and dangers of melanoma this month, but now we’re going to tell you how sunlight exposure isn’t the only way to get enough Vitamin D for your body.

Contact Westshore to learn more about how to manage sunlight exposure.


Five Warning Signs of Melanoma

Your skin is your largest organ. It helps protect your body from outside elements, but problems can arise in the line of duty. 

Too much exposure to UV light can lead to melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. Melanoma kills nearly 10,000 people in the U.S. annually and more than 135,000 cases are diagnosed each year, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation

Earlier this month, we listed some ways to help protect yourself against UV light, but you need to know how to see if you may be suffering from skin cancer. Here are ways to look for the warning signs of melanoma.

Moles can be clear indicators of melanoma, be sure to check them using the ABCDE method.

Dangers of Tanning

What does it cost to look good? When it comes to tanning, it could mean your health.

Tanning booths may help people achieve a bronzed tone, but they also emit up to 15 times more UV radiation than the sun according to the Melanoma Foundation. Before you head out for a tanning session, read on to find out the effects of tanning on your body.

Tanning can lead to dangerous health issues such as skin cancer.


Dry Itchy Skin: The Winter Itch

Do you notice your skin is scaly and itchy since the winter has started?

The cold, dry air and lower humidity may lead to an impaired barrier of the skin and scaly and itchy skin. As one gets older this can especially be more prevalent and more severe. 

image of dry itchy skin

The tendency for dry skin may run in families and is usually a recurring problem, especially in winter. Because of this seasonal occurrence, it is sometimes referred to as "winter itch." In addition, several skin disorders, such as atopic dermatitis, lead to dry skin and typically worsen in the winter months. 

Risk factors for dry skin include age 65 or older, living in a dry, cold climate and showering frequently.

Get Rid of the Itch!


Skin Cancer and Sun Protection for Women

Everyone is at risk for skin cancer. One in five Americans will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime. Many skin cancers are increasing in incidence for our population. In particular, the incidence of Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has doubled in women aged 15-39 from 1973 to 2004. 

Dr. Henry of Westshore Primary care shares skin cancer prevention tips. Learn more. Image of woman wearing a wide brimmed hat, licensed CC BY-ND 2.0

Indoor Tanning & Melanoma

Indoor ultraviolet tanners are 69 percent more likely to develop Melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors. Exposure to ultraviolet light, from the sun and indoor tanning beds, is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer. Both UVA (Ultraviolet A) and UVB (Ultraviolet B) radiation from the sun contribute to increased risk of skin cancer. 

How do UVB & UVA radiation affect my skin? 

  • UVB is the primary cause of sunburn. 
  • UVA prematurely ages the skin, causes wrinkles and dark pigmentation or age spots.

Sunscreen: What to Buy & What to Avoid

Are your kids heading out to play with friends? Or are you going on a vacation to the beach? Both of these situations require proper sun protection.

Since July is UV Safety month, we wanted to share some advice about sunscreen, how it works, and what to look for when you’re buying the next bottle for your family. 

July is national UV safety month. Westshore provides sunscreen tips to help prevent skin cancer. Learn more. Image of bottles of sunscreen licensed under CC BY 2.0

Remember: Always take sunscreen with you to reapply during the day! 

Who Should Wear Sunscreen?

People of all skin colors can get skin cancer from the sun’s UV rays. But you are more likely to develop cancer from UV rays if you have

  • Lighter natural skin color
  • Skin that burns, freckles, gets red easily, or becomes painful from the sun
  • Blonde or red hair
  • Blue or green eyes
  • A family history of skin cancer
  • A job where you spend a lot of time outdoors

How Sunscreen Works

The FDA shared this video a few years ago, but the information is still relevant. Remember to follow the application instructions on the bottle, because sunscreen wears off.


July is UV Safety Month

The schools are out. The pools are open. And the sun’s shining. Yes, summer is officially here!

With the hot weather and the strong sun rays, we wanted to remind you about the importance of UV safety for you and your family. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are the main cause of skin cancer, and can also cause wrinkles and blotchy skin. 

July is national UV safety month. Westshore Primary care shares skin cancer prevention tips for your family. Learn more. Image of child wearing a hat with sunscreen on his nose licensed CC BY-ND 2.0

UV Safety Month

July is UV Safety Month, so take time to spread awareness to your friends and families about skin cancer and how to prevent it. 

Skin Cancer Facts 

  • Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
  • One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
  • A person’s risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than five sunburns.
  • The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over age 50.
  • People who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent

For a full list of skin cancer facts, and a list of references, visit

ABCDEs of Skin Cancer Warning Signs

During your monthly self-exam, keep an eye out for moles with these ABCDEs of suspicious traits: