By Bernard Freeman
Blasts from heaters may keep us warm and toasty, but they can also parch our skin and leave it itchy and dry. Follow these guidelines for keeping your skin soft and smooth all year long.
Grab a Cream, Not a Lotion
Thicker creams protect better than thinner lotions says Cleveland Clinic dermatologist Dr. Christine Poblete-Lopez. Also, protect your face from windburn and frostbite with thick ointments. Use the creams two or three times a day, and make at least one of those applications right after you get out of the bath or shower to lock in moisture. Visit your local health and beauty store for tips on what products to use.
Avoid Hot Water
Speaking of showers, avoid hanging out in a hot shower or immersing yourself in a scalding bath. It feels great on sore muscles, sure, but it can also dry out your skin. Limit yourself to five to 10 minutes and one bath or shower per day.
You also might consider swapping your regular soap for a more gentle cleanser. Avoid soaps and detergents with a fragrance, as those scents can also cause itching.
Make sure you get your eight glasses and then some, if you need it. Also, it’s gross, but pay attention to the color of your urine. If you’re hydrated, your urine should be clear or light yellow. Pay attention as well to your thirst. When you’re thirsty, drink. If you stay hydrated, so does your skin.
When to Call the Doctor
You need to see a doctor if you have persistent dry, itchy skin; you feel itchy without a visible rash; dryness and itching keep you from sleeping; or you have open cuts or scratches from itching.