How to Relieve Top Winter Skin Ailments

man putting lotion on handsHow’s your skin feeling after facing sub-zero temperatures and howling wind chills? If the answer is “not great,” you are not alone. Wintry conditions can make even the most hydrated person prone to irritated skin. Josh Ellison, MD, with Memorial Physician Services—North Dirksen, shares some common tips to combat the symptoms of dry skin, chapped lips and damaged hair.

Dry itchy skin is quite common, especially in severe cold. However, flare-ups of a common skin condition called eczema also occur in the very cold. To decrease the symptoms of eczema and dry, itchy skin, Dr. Ellison suggests the following:

  • Wash in warm rather than hot water (especially if bathing multiple times per day).
  • Use moisturizing soaps.
  • Use unscented lotions up to twice daily.
  • Look for “noncomedogenic” lotions – this means they won’t clog pores.

Don’t neglect chapped lips, which are common as well, he said. To help avoid this problem:

  • Avoid licking lips.
  • Keep lip balm handy and use throughout day.
  • Consider using Vaseline, which works best compared to chap sticks and other lip balms, especially for overnight use.

 Dandruff is also problematic (dry skin of the scalp). To help prevent this

  • Use dandruff shampoo specifically.
  • Only wash hair every other day.