Renew Itchy, Dry Winter Skin

Chilly winter breezes may feel refreshing, especially after the summertime heat and humidity that are part of South Carolina’s charm.

Unfortunately, cold temperatures, winter winds, and the lower humidity that signal winter can cause your skin to lose its protective moisture barrier. Go indoors and you’ll face the extremely dry air caused by central heat. It’s a perfect mix for creating the itchy, dry skin many people expect when winter hits the Lowcountry.

The experts at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry have good news. There are many effective ways to soothe irritated winter skin and add back the moisture you’ve lost. Schedule a visit with Dr. Mikell for an evaluation and treatment if your symptoms include cracked or broken skin, inflammation, or pain.

Otherwise, try these practical steps at home to renew your itchy, dry winter skin.

Choose a moisturizer that keeps its promise

Many brands offer you the smoothest, tightest, most moisturized skin you could ever hope to experience. Many simply can’t live up to their claims. There are a few, however, that provide the moisture your skin craves in the winter, and regular use can prevent itchy dry skin from spoiling your day. For wintertime moisture, choose creams rather than lotions.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream®, for instance, contains ceramides that help your skin hold moisture and protect it from environmental influences. Often recommended for people who have psoriasis and eczema, CeraVe was created by dermatologists and has formulas that work for your face and those that are meant as body moisturizers.

Other popular moisturizing creams to try include:

Pond’s still makes the list as an excellent and affordable facial moisturizer; one your mom and grandma and even great grandma are likely familiar with.

Close the door please

If you’re used to showering with the bathroom door open, try closing it to create a temporary spa effect that humidifies the air and pampers your skin with every shower. And now is the right time to smooth on the moisturizer, right after you shower, when your skin is still slightly damp.

Remember to keep your shower temp lukewarm rather than hot and shower quickly, since long, hot showers can significantly dry your skin.

Be gentle

Harsh soaps and body scrubs may make you feel squeaky clean, but that squeak you hear means you’ve stripped away the lipid oil layer that helps protect your skin. Choose gentle cleansers such as:

Bring on the humidity

You can’t do much about the weather outside, but you can add moisture to your indoor environment by adding a humidifier to your “must have” list. Humidity adds moisture to the air and makes your environment feel warmer, which may be a plus in the winter.

Change your wardrobe

When winter hits Lowcountry, locals and tourists alike put away shorts, tank tops, and other summertime gear and pull on clothes more suitable to 60° highs and 35° lows. This can help protect your skin from the chilling effects of winter, especially when you add in a pair of gloves. You won’t need the same wooly mittens they use up North, but gloves can help prevent your hands from drying during outdoor adventures or chores.

Schedule a visit at Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry for all your skin care needs, including treatments that can renew dry, chapped, or cracked wintertime skin. Call the office or schedule your visit online. And don’t miss our next post on laser treatments for spider veins.

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