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Four ways to fight winter skin concerns

Story Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2016 09:05:00 EST

It’s cold outside and the air is dry, and that can be a painful combination for your skin. As it dries out and begins to tighten, many feel the need to start scratching, but there are several ways to avoid the maddening sensation despite the dip in temperatures. 

Take shorter showers

After a blustery, cold day, taking a long, hot shower sounds like the perfect remedy. However, it can strip your skin and leave it dehydrated and itchy. Make sure to limit your time in the water. “It’s also a good idea to turn down the heat,” says Dr. Abby Van Voorhees, Professor and Chair of Dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School. “Warm water will dry out skin less than hot water.”

Use the right moisturizer

The type of lotion you use can make a big difference on your skin. When you’re at the point of itching, it’s a good idea to use a heavier, oil-based cream to lock-in moisture instead of a light, scented lotion.

Pull out the humidifier

Most people only use a humidifier when someone in the house is sick, but that shouldn’t be the case. Humidifiers add much-needed moisture in the air that can be easily absorbed by skin and hair.

Cover Up

It seems like a no-brainer, but the best protection for your skin is to keep it covered. Wear gloves, a hat and other protective clothing so that the skin doesn’t get chaffed. 

If you’re still having problems with itchy skin after taking these preventative steps, something else might be causing the problem. To learn more about common skin irritations, contact the EVMS Dermatology department at 757.446.5629.

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