Tough times could be ahead for your skin. Winter’s dry and low air temperatures suck the moisture out of skin cells, causing dry, itchy skin. To protect against seasonally dry, flaky skin:
1. Clean it
Dermatology provider, Julia McGee, PA-C of the Bingham Dermatology Center recommends a mild soap that has no perfumes, antibacterial agents or other irritating chemicals. “It’s also important to shower after exercise that causes you to sweat considerably. Try to rinse with warm water instead of hot, and use soap only on the areas that really need it,” she says.
2. Lock in Moisture
The best products are ointments and creams because they contain more moisture-locking oil than lotions do, McGee says. Apply moisturizer right after washing your skin; when it is still damp it will absorb moisture best.
If your child has a rash that isn’t cured by a bit of lotion, it might be eczema. The term “eczema” encompasses several conditions characterized by dry, inflamed skin that can lead to itchy patches and rashes. Do the following to prevent flare-ups during the cold weather:
- Moisturize often. McGee recommends using a mild, fragrance-free soap such as CeraVe or Cetaphil that doesn’t strip the skin of moisture. Apply moisturizing cream after every wash. Pat skin with a towel (don’t rub), and apply lotion while skin is damp to lock in moisture.
- Keep it cool. Excessive heat from a hot bath or sweating can cause a rash to flare. Take short, lukewarm baths or showers.
- Curb itching. Gently apply a cold compress to help reduce inflammation and the urge to rub or scratch.
It’s important to take your child to a dermatologist if he or she has intense itching; patches of dryness and roughness; swelling; lesions that ooze, crust or scale; or skin discoloration.
Your Skin Care Resource
Julia McGee, PA-C, of Bingham Dermatology has the knowledge and skills to help you with all your skincare needs. Julia sees patients on the first floor of the Bingham Memorial Medical Plaza in Blackfoot, and at thePhysicians and Surgeons Clinic of Pocatello. To schedule a consultation, call her Blackfoot office at 208/782-2930 or the Pocatello office at 208/233-4455.