Dealing with Dry Skin This Winter

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With the icy temperatures and lower humidity of winter, skin can become dryer.  Many individuals may hardly notice the change beyond anything more than slightly tighter skin.  Others may experience itchy, flakey, and even cracked/bleeding skin! Experiment with some of these tips in case you’re one of those seeking relief from winter skin issues.

Take shorter showers

Sounds somewhat crazy, right?  After all, how can your skin dry out if you’re standing underneath a stream of water? Long showers – especially hot showers – can wash away your skin’s regular, oily layer and leave it susceptible to losing moisture. A  five-minute, tepid shower with fragrance-free soap is a great strategy. Pat yourself dry with towel instead of rubbing to prevent damage to the skin. Also, it is best to apply lotion to your skin while it’s still wet after your shower or after you wash your hands. What’s more, with regards to lotions, the thicker and slicker the better! In fact, mineral oil and petroleum jelly are very effective, though admittedly a bit impractical for day-to-day use.

Protect your extremities

In addition to using lotion after each time you wash your hands, remember to wear gloves outside. You may want to think about keeping as a couple in your car for when you drive, too.

The winter climate can be additionally severe to your tootsies. Exfoliating them regularly and a healthy dose of lotion underneath cotton socks while you sleep provide excellent protection against dryness.

While dry skin is not generally a serious risk to your health, lack of preventive measures or attention can lead to more serious conditions like eczema or even bleeding. Excessive scratching can also result in infections only treatable with antibiotics. If your dry skin symptoms are not subsiding or become more severe, a visit to an AppleCare Urgent Care physician may help you. They may give you a prescription strength cream or even take a more in depth look at other causes of dry skin, such as diabetes or hypothyroidism.

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