Has your skin turned dry, itchy and scaly? Do you feel as if you belong at Reptile Gardens?
With some basic skin-care remedies, you can protect your skin until wetter spring weather rolls around.
A long, hot shower or soak in the bathtub may be a great way to warm up or wake up in the morning, but it also parches your skin.
Though it seems counterintuitive, hot water strips natural oils from your epidermis, leaving skin even drier.
Tips to help heal itchy, dry skin
Instead, choose a quick, lukewarm shower, which removes the minimum amount of natural moisturization.
In addition, pick a gentle body wash over harsher soap.
Limit showers to no more than once a day; if you are still having skin troubles, you may need to decrease showering to every other day or every third day.
After getting out of the shower, gently pat your body dry. This leaves a few droplets of water on the surface of your skin. Lotions and other moisturizers do not actively hydrate your skin; rather, they prevent moisture from evaporating.
For best results, apply a skin balm within a couple minutes of getting out of the shower to lock water droplets next to your skin. Good options include thick creams (Eucerin, Aquaphor) or even petroleum jelly (Vasoline). Fancy lotions may have fun scents and pretty colors, but additives can be more aggravating to dry winter skin. For extra-dry skin, moisturize twice a day or more often.
Before going to bed, smear on your potion of choice and then cover to hold moisture into the skin. If your arms and legs are dry, you might choose tight-fitting pajamas or even long underwear.
For dry hands or feet, cotton gloves and socks at night also will help skin to heal while you sleep. When working or playing outside, cover up to protect your skin from the drying effects of wind.
Wear waterproof gloves if you must immerse your hands in hot water, such as when washing dishes. Adding a humidifier in your house can counteract our dry environment.