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.
Moisturize Your Skin
A little moisturizer can go a long way. If you can feel your skin getting scaly, use some moisturizer to replenish it and protect it from drying out even more. Just make sure to use gentle, unscented moisturizers that won’t irritate your skin any more than it already may be.
Your shower habits may not be helping your skin out this winter. Certain brands of soap can actually strip away certain oils, drying out your skin in the process. Gentle, unscented soaps, such as CeraVe cleanser, can help you stay clean without getting rid of those natural oils. Soap isn’t the only culprit, however. Hot water can also strip away natural oils. Sticking to shorter showers and avoiding very hot water can help you keep those oils and protect your skin this winter.
Dryer Sheet Problems
If you’re not careful, dryer sheets can lead to drier skin. Dryer sheets can contain chemicals that irritate your skin. If your skin is staring to get scaly, try scaling back on the dryer sheets until you notice that your skin is feeling better.
Turn up the Humidity
Sometimes the most obvious answer is the best one. If the air is so dry that it’s affecting your skin, get something that will make it less dry. A humidifier will help increase the amount of moisture in the air, which will benefit your skin. You may not be able to take it outside with you, but it can give your skin a boost while you’re at home.
Seek Help from a Local Dermatologist
If your skin isn’t improving, it might be time to see a professional. Give us a call at 440-934-8858 or contact Westshore online to make an appointment with a Cleveland dermatologist today and get the care your skin needs this winter.
Dr. Cynthia Lavery Henry, D.O., M.S.
DISCLAIMER: This blog is for informational purposes only. It does not replace medical care from a licensed physician. If you have a medical concern, please contact your doctor.