Winter is harsh on the skin. Dry air and harsh wind can sap moisture from the skin, causing cracking, chapping, and irritation. To prevent scaling, flaking and itching, one needs to pay special attention to the skin during the cold months. The following tips may help:
- Do not take long, hot showers. They may sound appealing, but they strip skin of its natural moisturizing oils. Instead, take a short, warm shower; pat your skin almost dry, then put on a good moisturizer while the skin is still damp.
- You will need an emollient lotion for hands, heels, or anywhere else where you experience especially dry, cracked skin.
- Apply a cream-based moisturizer every day. A good time to use moisturizer is just after showering to help trap moisture on the skin's surface. Those with sensitive skin should choose a moisturizer without fragrance or lanolin.
- Although frequent hand washing is often urged to prevent the spread of germs, all of that soap and water can also make hands chapped. Using a mild soap and moisturizing afterwards can help relieve the dryness.
- Rinsing your body daily but using less soap can also help protect the skin's natural moisturizers.
- Cover your face and use a petrolatum-based balm with an SPF for your lips while going out in cold air.
- Scaling, itching or cracked skin that is not relieved by moisturizers should be checked by a dermatologist, who may suggest a prescription medication.