Those who experience dry, itchy skin during the winter months don’t have to suffer in silence.

Dermatologists say practicing a few daily habits can help skin better retain moisture and relieve much-needed pain.

During the cold winter months, humidity drops both outside and indoors, forcing people to lock themselves in for hours.

According to Harvard Health, low humidity can adversely affect the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. Frequent hot showers, using harsh soaps, aging, and certain medical conditions can also contribute to dry skin.

A Harvard Health blog post explains: “Think of epidermal skin cells as an arrangement of roof shingles held together by a lipid-rich ‘glue’ that helps hold skin cells in place. flat, smooth, and in place.” “Dehydration accelerates as the adhesive peels off due to sun damage, over-washing, scouring, or underlying medical conditions — or from low humidity. of winter and the drying effects of indoor heat.”

So, what are the best ways to prevent rough, flaky, itchy, and cracked skin? Here are 10 tips from Harvard Health, Penn Medicine, and other dermatologists:

1. Use a skin moisturizer every day. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a cream or ointment instead of a lotion. Look for one with at least one of the following ingredients: jojoba oil, dimethicone, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, lanolin, mineral oil, petrolatum, or shea butter. For best results, apply moisturizer while skin is still damp after bathing.

2. Use a humidifier in winter to increase indoor humidity. New York City-based dermatologist Shari Marchbein told Vogue that to reduce the harmful effects dry heat can cause, keep a cool humidifier in the bedroom and try to keep the heat low or moderate.

3. Take a shorter bath or shower. People who bathe daily should soak for 5-10 minutes and use lukewarm rather than hot water.

4. Avoid deodorants or scented soaps and alcohol-based skin products. Surname tends to draw moisture away from the skin.

5. Be gentle with your skin when using a towel or pat dry. Gently pat the skin; just rubbing it will irritate it more.

6. Avoid scratching. A moisturizer will help control the itch, but for real itch, a cold compress can provide some relief.

7. Use sunscreen all year round to slow down the aging process. Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30.

8. Do not wear fabrics that cause skin irritation. Also Choose fragrance-free laundry detergents and avoid adding fabric softener when washing clothes.

9. Add an overnight lotion to your daily skin group. Heavier creams with emollients can help replenish and heal skin while you sleep.

10. Stay hydrated and eat healthy. Foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids like carrots, green leafy vegetables, fish, nuts and berries are good for the skin.

Penn Medicine Dermatologist Susan Taylor Advise people make an appointment with a dermatologist if they don’t see improvement after following these methods for a week – especially if the itching is causing bleeding or insomnia. Chronic health conditions or infections can cause symptoms. Prescription treatments, such as corticosteroids, may be needed.

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