Anyone with dry or sensitive skin knows that winter is the time when skin dries out and rashes are worse. It can be tough to keep skin healthy during cold weather, but here are a few things you can do to help:
- Take short baths or showers. Bathing for too long can actually strip the moisture out of the skin.
- Use lukewarm water for bathing, as hot water can also be drying.
- Rather than lotion, use a cream or ointment for moisturizing (i.e. a jar or tube is better than a pump).
- Apply moisturizing cream within three minutes of getting out of the bathtub. This helps seal in moisture that the skin absorbed.
- Moisturize frequently, at a minimum of twice per day. This means not just after bathing. You can never apply too much moisturizer!
- Only use fragrance-free or perfume-free products, including soaps, lotions and detergents.
- Consider not using soap with every bath, especially for young children who aren’t getting dirty and smelly.
- Make sure to drink plenty of water. Hydrate your skin from the inside!
- Run a humidifier in the bedroom, and consider getting a whole house humidifier if the air is quite dry.
If you have a rash that doesn’t improve with moisturizing alone, check with your doctor. Sometimes over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream (1 percent) will help with mild inflammation. However, there are some conditions that will worsen with that treatment. It’s always important to talk with your doctor about treatment plans.