Caring for Dry, Chapped Winter Skin

Moisturize

During the winter, the humidity in the air is very low, which makes it difficult for your skin to hold on to moisture.  External moisturizers are essential to maintain the skins natural moisture barrier.  Moisturizers help prevent itching, dryness and eczema. 

Choose a moisturizer that comes in a tub rather than a bottle. Creams are better than lotions for dry skin, as they contain a higher concentration of hydration. Some of my favorite creams include Eucerin Eczema Relief Cream, CeraVe Moisturizing Cream or Cetaphil Moisturizing cream. Ointments such as aquaphor moisturize the best but many people dislike the greasy feel. Aquaphor is a great moisturizer for kids!

Apply moisturizer cream within 3 minutes of getting out of the shower to lock in the moisture. If the hands are particularly dry, I recommend applying aquaphor before bed and covering with white, cotton gloves overnight.

Humidify

During the winter, we usually turn our heaters up to keep us warm.  But indoor heat and outdoor cold makes skin very dry.

Using an indoor humidifier infuses moisture into the air.  I recommend purchasing a cool mist indoor humidifier such as this one to keep near your bed while you sleep.  Overnight, it will help skin feel less itchy.

Gentle Skin Care

Dry, winter skin is fragile skin and prone to cracking and eczema.  Shower with lukewarm water, not hot water and use a gentle cleanser.  The best winter cleansers don't strip skin's natural moisture and help maintain skin's natural pH levels.  My favorite shower cleansers include Dove unscented bar soap, Eucerin cleanser and aquaphor cleanser.  The worst soaps to use for dry skin include heavily scented soaps such as Dial, Lever2000, Bath and Body Works. 

After showering, pat dry your skin and immediately follow with a moisturizing cream.  It is idea to apply moisturizer twice daily to the skin.   

Hydration

Water helps to keep your skin moist, healthy and looking young.  Hydrate your body with water and your skin will thank you!  My favorite is warm water with lemon!

 

If you are having trouble with dry, winter, skin, call or request and online appointment with Dr. Hanson at Associated Skin Care Specialists. 

 

 

 

Author
Dr. Holly Hanson Dr. Holly Hanson is a board-certified dermatologist at Associated Skin Care Specialists in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. She has been featured in numerous magazine articles for her expertise in skin cancer and skin disease. She has been named a Twin Cities Top Docs Rising Star by her peers 2 years in a row.

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