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Keep Your Skin Healthy This Winter

Jan 23, 2017Health Focus

In eastern Idaho, 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, some of the following tips will help to keep your skin happy and healthy this winter.

Clean it

Use a mild soap that has no perfumes, antibacterial agents, or other irritating chemicals. For example, try using a mild, fragrance-free soap such as CeraVe or Cetaphil that doesn’t strip the skin of moisture.

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. Excessive heat from a hot bath or sweating can cause a rash to flare. Take short, lukewarm baths or showers.

Lock in Moisture

Apply moisturizer right after washing your skin; when it is still damp it will absorb moisture best. Pat skin with a towel (don’t rub). The best products are ointments and creams because they contain more moisture-locking oil than lotions do.

To avoid dry, cracked hands and feet, apply a super-thick lotion a few times a week before bed. Wearing special gloves and socks after you’ve moisturized those areas will increase the penetration of the product, leaving you with softer hands and feet.

Curb Itching

If you can’t stop itching dry skin, gently apply a cold compress to help reduce inflammation and the urge to rub or scratch. If your itchy, dry skin gets worse or a rash develops, please call your family doctor or your dermatologist, as this could be a sign of something else.

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. 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

Adam D. Wray, DO, of the Bingham Dermatology Center has extensive training in pigmented and non-pigmented skin lesions, skin surgery, mole and wart removal, and skin cancer screenings. Dr. Wray is always welcoming new patients. To schedule a consultation, please call (208) 782-2930 in Blackfoot and (208) 233-4455 in Pocatello.

Julia McGee, PA-C, of Bingham Dermatology Center, has the knowledge and skills required to help you with all your skincare needs. Julia is always welcoming new patients. To schedule a consultation, call her Blackfoot office at (208) 782-2930 or the Pocatello office at (208) 233-4455.