It is that time of year again – Nebraska’s cold winter weather has thoroughly set in and is drying out our skin! Skin care is extra important during this time of the year, especially for people with naturally dry, sensitive skin. Dry air outdoors coupled with indoor heat are the leading causes of winter dry skin, but don’t fret. Here are some helpful tips about how you can combat the problems of wintertime dry skin, and what dermatologist-recommended skin care products can help your skin stay hydrated.
Wintertime Dry Skin
The best dermatologists in Omaha know that your suffering is at its worst from dry skin near the end of the winter. This is because your skin has been continually drying out for so many months in a row. This time is approaching, and we are seeing more and more patients with very dry skin. Many of these folks have symptoms of itching which can be quite severe at times, even to the point of interfering with daily activities or disrupting their sleep.
We wanted to put together a quick list of helpful tips that you can implement to give rapid relief from wintertime dry skin.
There are countless moisturizers available, but we favor CeraVe, Vanicream, and Aquaphor. Most importantly, use moisturizer liberally and twice a day in the winter months. Thicker creams tend to have better moisturization properties than lotions.
Avoid harsh or abrasive cleansers on your skin, especially during the winter months. Aggressive cleaning including rubbing and scrubbing can make the skin more easily irritated and even drier. If you use products containing salicylic acid, consider protecting your hands by wearing gloves in order to prevent dry hands.
For regular overall body usage, we prefer Dove bar soap. When it comes to the face, the same soap can be used or if preferred, one of the foaming, gentle cleansers such as Cetaphil or CeraVe works well. Lastly, avoid using hot water and opt for lukewarm water to prevent dry skin.
Use of a diffuser or humidifier in areas where you spend most of your time can be exceedingly helpful. Consider running one of these devices in your bedroom overnight. You might benefit from starting it 3-4 hours before bedtime, closing the doors to your bedroom, then running it throughout the night to improve humidity levels.
Helpful Guide: Best Humidifiers for Dry Skin
Harsh environmental conditions in the winter, including exposure to repeat cold-warm cycles and windburn, can further dry your skin and worsen symptoms. In Omaha, the weather one afternoon can be full of sunshine that melts all the snow and ice followed by blizzard-like conditions the next day.
Do your best to minimize these exposures by applying moisturizer to act as a skin barrier. This will help keep your skin feeling healthy and hydrated all winter long.
Baths and Showers
Try to keep your showers or baths to no more than once daily. Repetitive washing of the skin will leach away many of our natural oils/moisturizers, causing dry skin.
Take Care of Your Hands
Finally, there is a special note we would like to share about dry skin on the hands. This is always more of a problem in the winter due to all the reasons we have noted. This has been especially the case this last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. All of us have been washing and sanitizing our hands more than ever, further worsening issues with dry and itchy skin.
Please think about following all the tips we have noted, and especially putting a nice thick coat of moisturizer on your hands right when you get into bed at bedtime. Consider keeping a bottle of your moisturizer at your bedside for this purpose.
We hope this information finds you healthy, and happy and delivers you from the issues of dry winter skin. If we may be of any additional assistance, please reach out to us.
Advanced Dermatology of the Midlands | Best Dermatologist Omaha & Council Bluffs, IA | Board Certified Dermatologists
At Advanced Dermatology the Midlands Our vision is to deliver the highest level of dermatological care, using the most advanced technology and evidence-based medicine in a personalized and compassionate environment. Contact us to schedule a consultation.