Danielle Jagels

Danielle Jagels, APRN

When the humidity drops very low in the winter, the skin suffers. Not only does the skin dry out from the low humidity, but also from many things we normally do, such as bathing which washes away the skin’s protective oils. When the skin gets dry it begins to itch, and scratching it only makes it worse.

The first step in helping the skin is to increase the humidity in your house. Use a vaporizer or humidifier. Lowering the temperature also helps because heating the air dries it out.

A person should bathe less frequently and use a superfatted soap, such as Basis®, Dove®, or Caress®. These help replace the oils and keep the skin moist.

Keri Lotion® or Eucerin® are other oils that can be added to the skin after a bath. If the oils are added to the bath water, they make the tub very slippery and dangerous. After a bath or shower, you should pat your skin dry and then apply the bath oil to seal in the water that has entered the skin.

Carmol® and Nutraplus® are lotions which draw water into the skin and help hold it there.

Antihistamines can be used for severe itching, especially at night when itching is much more noticeable. Antihistamines may cause drowsiness which can help you sleep through the night, but drowsiness during the daytime can be troublesome. Cortisone creams will help if there is any inflammation of the skin and help to moisturize the skin if they are in an ointment base.

Using these and similar products, either singly or in combination, will help stop the winter itch.

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