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Dry and Itching Skin in the Winter

Dry and Itching Skin in the Winter

Overview

Due to the lack of humidity from indoor heating systems, skin can become dry and itchy during the winter months. The dry air removes protective oils from the skin and can lead to dry patches that feel irritated and itchy. If you are unsure if the dryness and itchiness is caused by the weather, contact your doctor. Certain skin conditions, such as eczema, produce similar symptoms.

Effects

Getting humidity back into the air helps to treat skin affected by central heating systems. Placing a humidifier on your heating system or using a stand-alone humidifier is one type of treatment method for winter skin. If you are outdoors during bad winter weather, you can also experience extremely dry skin. The wind can whip the skin and remove moisture from the surface. If you do go outdoors, wear protective a scarf or other clothing to protect your face.

Solution

After bathing is the ideal time to put on moisturizer to treat dry and itchy skin. While the skin is slightly wet, lock in the remaining moisture on the skin by applying an oil-based moisturizing cream or lotion. If you don’t have a moisturizing cream available, mineral oil may be used.

Considerations

You don’t need to pile on the moisturizing cream or lotion to combat dry winter skin. Overuse of cream may dull skin and keep dead skin cells lodged on the surface. Instead, apply the moisturizing cream or lotion in a thin and even layer to all areas of the skin.

Misconceptions

According to Marie Claire Magazine, there are several myths associated with winter skin. For instance, taking hot and steamy shower does not put moisture back into the skin. Instead, water above 98 degrees removes water on the skin and worsens dryness. Instead take a soak in lukewarm water and do not bathe daily to treat winter skin. Another misconception is that you can skip a moisturizer in the winter if you have oily skin. However, individuals with oily skin may still experience problems with dryness and itchiness during the winter. A lightweight moisturizer can protect the skin from the elements during the colder months.

Warning

Don’t apply hydrocortisone cream to treat dry and itchy skin unless advised by a physician. Prolonged use can cause problems, such as skin sensitivity.

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