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Tips For Treating Your Seasonal Dry Skin

Published in Skin Care, For the Health of It Author: Christina Anderson,MD

Freezing cold weather can be tough on your whole body — but it can be particularly rough on your skin. As the weather gets colder and the humidity drops, the skin gets robbed of moisture; the result is dry skin.

Dry skin, also known as xerosis cutis, occurs when the skin’s intricate brick and mortar structure has been compromised by loss of water and lipids. Lipids, which are natural fats for the skin, promote moisture retention and aid healing from a scrape or cut. Dry skin symptoms include itching, flaking and a dull complexion. Genetics can also play a role and so can harsh soaps, hot showers and aging.

So, besides moving somewhere warmer and more humid, what can you do about it?

  • When you are showering or bathing, use a recommended soap (see below) sparingly. Do not use bubble baths. Use soap only at the end of a bath and then get out.
  • Pat skin dry gently.
  • Apply a recommended moisturizer (see below) while your skin is still damp.
  • To prevent exposure when outdoors, cover your skin with winter clothing.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Running a humidifier in your house benefits your skin and your nasal passages too.
  • For dry chapped hands with splitting fingertips, Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream and Cutemol can help. To help chapped hands heal, moisturize your hands multiple times each day and every time you wash.
  • If dry lips are a problem, use an easily spreadable lip balm, such as Vaseline or Aquaphor, several times a day and before bed.
  • Avoid licking, biting or picking at your lips.

Recommended Soaps

  • Dove (Unscented)
  • Basis (Sensitive Skin)
  • Purpose
  • Oil of Olay
  • Johnson’s Ultra-Sensitive Wash
  • Cetaphil (Bar or Liquid)
  • CeraVe (Bar or Liquid)
  • Neutrogena Gentle Cleanser

Recommended Moisturizers

  • Vanicream
  • Curel
  • Lubriderm
  • CeraVe Cream
  • Cetaphil
  • Aquaphor Ointment
  • Neutrogena

Patience and consistency are the keys to treating dry skin as it takes up to two weeks for the dried-out skin cells to heal. And don’t forget sun protection for exposed areas. For more skincare tips, make an appointment to speak with a dermatologist.