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    Posted January 19, 2014 by

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    Is that Winter Skin Making You Itchy?

    By: Linda Girgis, MD

    Have you ever noticed that your skin seems drier or itchier in the winter? There are several reasons for this. One has to do with trying to stay warm. Heating systems can dry out the skin. When we crank up the heat in our homes it robs moisture out of our skin. Wool clothing can further irritate this. People who suffer eczema and psoriasis tend to have worsening symptoms over the winter. Again, this has to do with the drying out of the skin.
    Are we doomed to itch? There are several remedies we can do that can help relieve winter dry skin:
    1. Don’t turn up the water very hot in the shower. Keep it warm.
    2. Apply an unscented moisturizer after showering to keep the skin moist.
    3. Use a humidifier in your home.
    4. Decrease stress. Stress can damage the body, including the skin.
    5. Minimize the use of soap. And, again, keep it unscented.
    6. Avoid agents that can cause irritation, such as wool and perfumes.
    7. Avoid excessive exposure to water. This may sound backwards but repeatedly exposing skin to water actually leeches the moisture out of the skin.
    8. Avoid lotions that contain alcohol.
    9. Always use sun screen outdoors, even in the winter.
    10. If you smoke, QUIT. Free radicals caused by smoking cause great damage to the skin.
    As always, common sense is the most helpful health tip anyone can follow.
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