Although dry winter skin can be hard to combat, there are things you can do to improve your dry skin or eczema. Keep these tips in mind this winter:
- Shower smart. You might love a hot bath or shower, but your skin doesn’t. Turn the tap to warm and avoid making your dry skin worse. Additionally, you should keep your showers short (10 minutes or less) and only shower once a day – which not only saves your skin but saves water too. Minimize your soap use to essential areas (groin, underarms, etc.). After getting out of the bath or shower, apply a moisturizer to lock in water before it evaporates. Reapply moisturizer throughout the day as needed.
- Humidify. As your central heating (or other heating systems) heat the air in your home, they remove moisture from the air. Setting up humidifiers in your home will help to keep the air moist, which in turn will help you fight dry skin.
- Choose the right moisturizer. Not all moisturizers are created equal. When you want a heavy hitting moisturizer, the thicker the moisturizer, the better. These types of moisturizers can be greasy, but they trap moisture in your skin better than thinner moisturizers. If you find that certain brands irritate your skin, try something else until you find something that will work for your skin.
- Avoid harsh face cleansers. The harsh chemicals in certain facial cleansers can strip your face of its natural oils. Use a mild foaming cleanser with no alcohol when washing your face. This will clean your face without stripping away essential oils. If using face masks, avoid clay-based masks which can draw moisture out of your face.
- Skip the fragrance. When you're choosing moisturizers, lotions, and other bath products, avoid those with fragrance, dyes, and alcohol. These can irritate sensitive skin. This is especially important if you have eczema, but also if you have dry skin.
You may not need to discuss your dry skin with your doctor. Most dry skin issues can be solved at home with the right care. However, if you think you have eczema, or if your eczema seems difficult to treat, you may need to speak with a dermatologist. He can recommend a hydrocortisone ointment or other treatments that will help improve your skin.
Winter can be a difficult time for your skin. When you feel the dry, chapped, or itchy skin coming on, head it off with the proper care. It doesn’t take much to have healthy, glowing skin all winter long.