Many people suffer from extremely dry skin in the winter. When the skin looses too much water or oil, it becomes coarse, dry and more likely to crack. Once you start preparing for winter and heating your home, your skin starts to dry out. Remember to drink plenty of water, take short, warm showers and moisturize often.
Eczema is an inflammation of the skin that causes intensely itchy patches that are often red and dry, causing the skin to crack and appear leathery. It is most common on the face and extremities, but the patches can be widespread as well. Scratching often leads to redness, swelling, cracking and scaling of the skin. Unfortunately, eczema is a chronic problem for many people which can cause skin damage, infection and sleep loss.
During the winter months, it importance to resist the urge to scratch your dry skin. If you find your skin is constantly itching and you’ve taken the necessary steps to moisturize during these dry months, you may need to consult a doctor. You may be suffering from an allergic reaction or a more severe skin disorder. Either way, scratching will only make your skin worse and can cause scaring or infections.
Dry, Brittle Hair and Nails
Your hair and nails are two areas of the body that can be susceptible to drying out. Your hair and scalp need moisture to stay hydrated. During winter, hair can become damaged, your scalp can become flaky and irritated and your nails can either crack or split. Be sure to use products that add extra moisture to your hair – conditioners and nails – lotions. Getting more vitamins such as A, C and E, will also alleviate dryness.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin disorder that can be easily treated. Typically, it will form where the skin is oily or greasy, causing a red, scaly, itchy rash. This condition most commonly develops on the scalp, sides of the nose, eyebrows, ears, eyelids, and middle of the chest. Most people will confuse this condition with dandruff. Dandruff causes scaling, but not redness.
At Home Tips:
- Exfoliation is for every season, especially winter. Exfoliation means that you take off dead cell layers. When bathing, use a body polish that gently scrubs your skin, removing dry, dead layers. Be sure to pat dry and immediately apply lotion to the skin to trap in the moisture.
- I recommend using a humidifier in your house during the winter months. Because heating your house strips moisture from the air, adding humidity is a necessity. By incorporating a humidifier in your bedroom, you will sleep easier and add moisture to your skin at night.
- If you decide to wear wool, never let it directly touch your skin. Wool will cause sensitive skin to start itching because it is an irritant. This can lead to a “scratch-itch” cycle, the more you scratch, the more you will itch.
- When putting on hand lotion, don’t forget your nails. Putting extra lotion around the nail beds will add moisture, keeping your nails from splitting or cracking. Remember to take a hair and nail vitamin every day throughout the winter months.
- Treat your hair to a conditioner that provides deep penetration, extra moisture, and protein building components. Deep condition your hair, leaving the product on for 15 minutes, at least two times per month.
- Be sure to change your moisturizer for your face and body to something a bit heavier in the colder months.