WHAT TO DO ABOUT DRY SKIN IN WINTER?admin
WHAT TO DO ABOUT DRY SKIN IN WINTER?
Wintertime poses a special problem because humidity is low outdoors and indoors, and the water content of the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) tends to reflect the level of humidity around it. Fortunately, there are many simple and inexpensive things you can do to relieve winter dry skin. Use a humidifier in the winter. Set it to around 60%. Limit yourself to one 5- to 10-minute bath or shower daily. Use lukewarm water rather than hot water, which can wash away natural oils. Minimize your use of soaps; if necessary, choose moisturizing preparations such as Dove, Olay, and Basis, or consider soap-free cleansers like Cetaphil, Oilatum-AD, and Aquanil. Steer clear of deodorant soaps, perfumed soaps, and alcohol products, which can strip away natural oils. Apply moisturizer immediately after bathing or after washing your hands. Never, ever scratch. Most of the time, a moisturizer can control the itch. You can also use a cold pack or compress to relieve itchy spots. Use fragrance-free laundry detergents and avoid fabric softeners. To reduce the risk of trauma to the skin, avoid bath sponges, scrub brushes, and washcloths. If you don’t want to give them up altogether, be sure to use a light touch. For the same reason, pat or blot (don’t rub) the skin when toweling dry. Dry skin is usually not a serious health problem and becomes much more common with age; at least 75% of people over age 64 have dry skin.
Kelly Molitor, RN, BSN, PHN
SPOT Rehabilitation & Home Health Care