Dry skin is very common during the winter for people living in colder climates. As the air gets colder, it gets drier. Most cases of dry skin are manageable and go away when it starts getting warm again. Others can leave you itchy, with cracked skin that may bleed or become infected. Visit AFC Urgent Care Stoneham for any treatable illnesses or injuries.
Symptoms of dry skin
Dry skin ranges in how severe the symptoms are. How much time you spent outside, your age and your health can all impact the symptoms. Signs of dry skin include:
- Tightness on the skin
- Skin that looks and feels rough
- Flaking, scaling, or peeling
- Gray or ashy skin
If your dry skin is interfering with your quality of sleep or your skin is beginning to peel, you may want to see a doctor. Medicated ointments or creams can be prescribed to help bring moisture back to the skin in severe cases. Always try some of the following tips to prevent dry skin before going to a doctor since most cases can be handled at home.
Ways to prevent dry skin
Moisturizing at least twice a day is the best way to prevent dry skin from getting worse. Use a thick, lotion moisturizer especially after showering, to help lock in the moisture. In fact, showers should be shorter and with warm water instead of hot. Hot water strips the skin and damages the keratin cells on the outermost layer of skin. This often causes dry skin to get worse.
Drinking fluids frequently throughout the day has multiple health benefits, but it can also help hydrate your skin. In any case, to stay healthy, eating a balanced diet will help you feel your best inside and out. Additionally, be sure to cover your skin when going outside. Any part of your skin that is not covered in the cold can become dry very quickly or make current dry skin worse.
When washing your hands or face, use cleansers that are made for sensitive skin. These are more gentle and have added moisture, they are not harsh on the skin. After washing your hands, be sure to use lotion right after, similar to moisturizing after a shower. Our hands are one of the first places to dry out with how frequently we use them. If cleaning with chemicals, be sure to cover your hands with gloves.