Tips to prevent 'winter itch' revealed
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A dermatologist from Columbia University has suggested ten tips to stop winter from weathering your skin.
Cold weather, with its low relative humidity, wreaks havoc on our skin, making it dry and flaky. Skin dries out if it's deprived of moisture and this dryness often aggravates itchiness, resulting in a condition commonly referred to as "winter itch."
During the winter the air is drier, and indoor heating further depletes your skin of moisture. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can replenish the water content of your skin.
Dr. Robyn Gmyrek, a dermatologist and director of the Skin and Laser Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, suggested the following ten tips to help turn your alligator skin into suede:
1. Moisturize daily: Petrolateum or cream-based moisturizers are far better than lotions for normal to dry skin. If you have sensitive skin, choose a moisturizer without fragrance or lanolin. Apply moisturizer directly to your wet skin after bathing to ensure that the moisturizer can help to trap surface moisture.
2. Cleanse your skin, but don't overdo it. Too much cleansing removes the skin's natural moisturizers. It is enough to wash your face, hands, feet, and between the folds of your skin once a day. While you can rinse your trunk, arms and legs daily, it is not necessary to use soap or cleanser on these areas every day.
3. Limit the use of hot water and soap. If you have "winter itch," take short lukewarm showers or baths with a non-irritating, non-detergent-based cleanser. Immediately afterward, apply a thick cream or a petroleum-jelly-type moisturizer. Gently pat skin dry.
4. Humidify. Dry air can pull the moisture from your skin. Room humidifiers can be very beneficial. However, be sure to clean the unit and change the water according to the manufacturer's instructions to reduce mold and fungi.
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