Do you suffer from winter itchy skin? This is a common wintertime problem that occurs when temperatures drop and the air becomes cold and dry. Living in a house that has central heating only makes the problem worse unless you run a humidifier constantly. What’s the best way to deal with the frustrating problem of winter itchy skin?
Humidify Your Home
To treat winter, itchy skin, start by increasing the humidity in your home, particularly the bedroom where you sleep. There are humidifiers at all price levels and many small, portable ones are quite affordable. Not only do they help with itching in winter, but humidified air keeps mucous membranes moist which reduces the risk of wintertime colds and viruses.
Change Your Bath and Shower Habits
If you’re used to showering twice a day, cut back to no more than once a day in the winter. Exposing your body to too much water is drying which can make winter itchy skin worse. Use a moisturizing soap such as Dove which is less likely to strip the skin of the oils it needs to badly. If you bathe instead of shower, add bath oil to the water. When you step out of the bath or shower, apply a rich moisturizer while your skin is still damp; and resist the urge to stay in the bath or shower too long since this only dries the skin out further.
Protect Exposed Skin When Outdoors
If you do sports or other outdoor activities in the winter, cover as much skin as possible. If the temperatures are low, cover exposed areas with a heavy layer of moisture and apply petroleum jelly to the lips for additional protection.
Avoid Scratching Winter Itchy Skin
Keep your skin moisturized to reduce the need to scratch dry, itchy areas. Repeated scratching can lead to thickening of the skin, a condition known as lichenification which can be difficult to control. Cover itchy areas with a layer of petroleum jelly or mineral oil to reduce the tendency to scratch.
Don’t Skimp on the Sunscreen
During the winter, many people think it’s okay to put the sunscreen away. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you have winter itchy skin, choose a moisturizing sunscreen designed for sensitive skin to avoid aggravating the dry skin problem. Consider using a sunscreen designed for children or one that contains natural botanicals since they’re often less drying and irritating.
Take some commonsense measures and give winter dry skin the boot. It’s one less cold weather problem you’ll have to deal with.