Dry skin is a common problem, especially in the winter months. The humidity level drops outside, and heaters create dry air inside, and it all adds up to skin that’s flaky, itchy, and cracked. Fortunately, you can be proactive and protect your skin from the harsh effects of winter.
- Protect your skin outdoors. Every time you go outside, wear protective clothing, including gloves and scarves. Before you go out, apply a moisturizing lotion with ingredients that hold moisture in your skin, like glycerin. Always wear gloves if you’re working in the yard or around the house.
- Baby your skin in the shower. Take warm rather than hot showers, limiting them to 10 minutes or less. Use mild soap, and dry off gently, patting rather than rubbing your skin dry. Immediately after you shower, apply a rich body lotion to help keep moisture locked into your skin and fight dehydration.
- Adjust your indoor air. Keep the heater turned as low as you comfortably can, and use a humidifier to replace the moisture dried out by the heater. Your skin will thank you, and you’ll breathe easier because air at the proper humidity levels helps hydrate your lips, throat, and nasal passages.
- Optimize your diet to winterize your skin. Eat food full of “good fats” like omega-3 fatty acids so that your skin’s natural fats will help it stay smooth and hydrated. Fatty fish, tofu, walnuts, flaxseeds, and soybeans are good sources of these healthy fats. In addition to packing your diet with nutrient-dense foods, drink plenty of water. You may not feel as thirsty as you do in summer, but you still need just as much fluid to stay healthy and hydrated.
- Skip the sanitizer. At this point, we’re all conditioned to sanitize our hands constantly to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other germs. However, if your skin is dry, wash your hands with moisturizing liquid hand soap instead of sanitizing. After you wash them, rub on rich hand cream.
- Lay off the lip-licking. When your lips feel dry, it’s tempting to lick them. However, that can cause them to become chapped and even cracked. Instead, wear thick lip butter or lip ointment to remind you not to lick.
- Take care with your clothing. If you’ve got dry skin, scratchy fibers like wool can aggravate it, leaving it feeling itchy and raw. It’s a much better idea to wear soft, smooth, natural fibers in layers that you can take off if you get too hot. Be careful, too, about the laundry products you use. If your skin tends to be dry in the winter, choose detergents without dyes or fragrances and ditch the dryer sheets- they’re notorious for causing winter itch.
When you need expert advice and help caring for your skin, contact Arlington Dermatology. For over 40 years, our Board-Certified dermatologists have been serving patients, making the health and welfare of our patients our top priority. We offer innovative treatment methods using state-of-the-art medical equipment in our conveniently located, patient-friendly facility in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Contact us or call 847-392-5440.