Dry skin is part and parcel of our frosty winter months. When we’re outdoors, the cold air has far less humidity than warm air; when we’re indoors, we heat our homes and offices with warm, dry air. Between the two, our skin takes a beating. To combat dry winter skin, try the following tips:
Hot water and soap can be drying, so during the winter, stick with warm water and minimize your use of harsh, drying soaps. Since you generally perspire less in cold temperatures, water should be sufficient for bathing your arms and legs. If you’re a fan of petroleum jelly, the time to apply is while your skin is still wet, as it locks moisture in. Don’t forget to apply moisturizer immediately after washing your hands, as well.
In a 2014 Newspress Now article, Dr. Derick made specific recommendations about the products that you apply to your skin during the winter. Apply a thick cream to your skin daily. “If it’s too thick for a pump bottle, it’s good for your body skin,” said Dr. Derick. The AAD recommends using products containing olive oil, jojoba oil, or shea butter, so look for those ingredients when selecting a body cream for the winter months.
Use a cream moisturizer at night to repair damage sustained during the day. For your hands, which tend to be drier than other body parts, consider wearing cotton gloves after applying your cream to lock in the moisture.
While there is not much you can do about the outdoor temperatures, you can help minimize dry skin by staying covered. Once you’re back indoors, remove wet clothing to avoid further irritation. Another trick for making the indoors more comfortable is to use a humidifier, which cuts back on the dryness caused by the heaters we rely on to keep us warm.
If you are following the suggested tips but still find that you struggle with cracked, swollen, red, or bleeding skin, you could have an underlying condition that requires the attention of a dermatologist. If you have questions about your dry winter skin or any other dermatological concern, call Derick Dermatology today. Our locations in Arlington Heights, Barrington, Crystal Lake, and Elgin combined with our extended office hours make getting an appointment more convenient than ever.