Has anyone else noticed they are constantly reaching for Chapstick, lotion or their favorite face moisturizer? Us too. As it continues to reach colder temperatures, moisture begins to draw away from your skin, which can potentially lead to winter itch. If you haven’t heard of winter itch, it’s a type of dermatitis that causes dry, scaly, itchy, cracked and possibly bleeding skin. These symptoms can worsen if you suffer from eczema or psoriasis. Luckily, there are a few ways to treat winter itch, and we’ll describe them below:
Place a humidifier in your home.
Whether you have just one or a few humidifiers, place them throughout your home, or in areas you spend most of your time. Humidifiers are used to add moisture, helping ease some or all of your symptoms. In addition to winter itch symptoms, humidifiers can also help with irritated eyes, nose bleeds, dry coughs, allergies, sore throats and sinus headaches, especially during cold season.
Take brief, lukewarm showers.
Of course during winter, the majority of us lean more towards taking hot showers, you know when the water feels like it’s almost burning your skin. Unfortunately, this can rid your skin of all of the good oils, drying it out even more. It’s best to practice taking brief, lukewarm showers or baths to keep this from happening. As important as lukewarm showers are, it’s also important to avoid soaps with drying ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate, fragrances and alcohol. Be on the lookout for soaps that use hydrating ingredients such as plant oils, glycerin, lanolin and/or hyaluronic acid, you won’t regret it!
Clean and exfoliate skin and then use moisturizer.
Everyone cleans their skin when showering, but exfoliating and moisturizing might not be in everyone’s bathroom routine. Exfoliating with a gentle scrub, can significantly help your skin take in your favorite moisturizer because of the excess skin cells that are being scrubbed away. It is suggested that when looking for a moisturizer, to look for lipids or emollients ingredients. Oil-based ingredients might also work well, but there can be a possibility of a break out.
Protect skin from the elements.
When going outdoors, be sure to cover up to reduce your skin being exposed to the cold temperatures. Bundle up in a hat, scarf, gloves and a big peacoat. Even though it’s not hot outside, it is recommended to apply sunscreen to prevent sun damage. Also, avoid tanning beds as this can worsen your winter itch.
If your symptoms do not seem to be getting better, or if you have any questions on what’s listed above, feel free to reach out to us via phone at (213) 385-9912. We can schedule an appointment to give you a more detailed treatment plan and monitor your progress.