Seasonal changes are reflected in your skin. Going from hot, muggy summer weather into the cooler winter can mean a loss of moisture, more chaffing clothing, and more dryness. While dry skin is not typically life-threatening, it can be an uncomfortable distraction during the day. We’ve laid out some of our top tips for keeping your skin healthy and moisturized:
If you notice your skin getting too dry, you should take measures to help restore it. Showering too frequently or scrubbing with too much soap can strip your skin of it’s natural oils and exacerbate dry skin. If you’re starting to feel a little dry, try not to shower so often – just when you’re dirty or sweaty. You can buy time between showers by rinsing off. When you do use soap, try to find a gentle, non-drying or moisturizing product.
After bathing, pat (don’t rub!) your skin dry and apply a moisturizer right away while your pores are still open from the warm water. Applying lotion doesn’t have to be a one time affair. For dry skin, you should apply moisturizer several times a day. Use moisturizer on your hands, especially if you must wear gloves often or if the air is dry where you live. If you’re going outside wear sunscreen to protect your skin and prevent further drying in the sun.
When it comes to itchy skin, the hardest struggle is to avoid scratching, which damages the skin. If itching is a problem, try the following:
- Keep the itchy area well moisturized.
Dry skin may make itching worse.
- Try an oatmeal bath to help relieve itching.
- Wrap 1 cup of oatmeal in a cotton cloth and boil as you would to cook it. Use this as a sponge and bathe in tepid water without soap.
- You may also try a commercial product, such as Aveeno Colloidal Oatmeal bath.
- Try a nonprescription 1% hydrocortisone cream for small itchy areas.
- Use the cream very sparingly on the face or genitals.
- If itching is severe, your doctor may prescribe a stronger cream.
- If you are using this cream for larger areas like your arms or legs, you may want to mix some of this cream with a moisturizer before putting it on your skin.
- Try a nonprescription oral antihistamine.
Examples include loratadine (such as Claritin), chlorpheniramine (such as Chlor-Trimeton), and diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl).
- Cut your nails short or wear gloves at night to prevent scratching.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothing.
Avoid scratchy fabrics next to your skin.
If you are struggling with persistent itching that interrupts your quality of life we recommend that you get in touch with your primary care physician as soon as possible.