It’s winter, which means cold, dry weather and dry, itchy skin. We have some tips to help you keep your skin moisturized and feeling good.
Lotions, ointments and more
Keeping your skin properly moisturized is one of the best things for it. Lotions and ointments can really help, but it’s important to choose the right ones for you. If you can handle the greasy feeling, choose a thicker, gooier ointment like petroleum jelly.
If you can’t handle that greasy feeling, lotions are the next best thing. They’re not as effective at sealing in moisture, but typically feel much better. Keeping some sort of moisturizer next to your sink to use after hand washing can also help prevent dry, irritated skin.
Try to pick ointments and lotions that are free of irritants like dyes or fragrances.
Showering or bathing too often strips your body of natural oils that keep your skin moisturized. To help combat dry skin, keep your showers and baths relatively short, 10 minutes at most. It’s also a good idea to try to use cool or lukewarm water with showering.
Don’t bathe more than once per day, and add baby oil or oatmeal soaks to your bath to relieve itching. And when drying off, pat down your body and avoid any vigorous rubbing.
If you already find yourself with dry or itchy skin, there are some options that will help you find relief. Over-the-counter anti-itch creams can help, as they often contain the anti-itch steroid hydrocortisone. If you do find yourself with itchy skin, it’s important to never scratch it, since that will only irritate it further.
If you find that you have extreme itchiness, it may be time to see your family doctor. In that case, your physician might prescribe you a stronger form of hydrocortisone or another type of steroid to put on the affected skin.