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As winter approaches, many people will be spending more time indoors and turning up their home heating systems. This can lead to dry skin and even dry skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis flaring up. If you suffer from dry skin during the winter months, winters can make it worse. Here are some tips for preventing dry skin during winter and managing dry skin conditions if you already have them.
What causes dry skin in winters?
Turning up the heat inside your home can make your skin feel drier. The reason is that heating systems are designed to eliminate excess humidity in the air. This means the relative humidity within your home can drop very low, making it more difficult for moisture from within your body to stay on its surface where it’s needed. Heat also accelerates the evaporation of water through our skin, which makes it feel that much dryer again!
- Cold Weather
Most people feel that cold weather causes dry skin – and they’re right! The lower temperature itself doesn’t cause any extra drying on our skin. Still, it does increase the evaporation of water from our skin because water evaporates more quickly in cold air than in warm. This makes our skin feel drier and chapped and can make our dry skin conditions even worse by taking away some of the moisture they need to get better.
When winter sets in, many people are less thirsty because their body’s internal temperature tends to drop slightly too. If you’re not drinking enough water during this time, you will be dehydrated, which means your skin will lose moisture faster than usual due to lower water levels inside your body. Keep hydrated throughout the day with plenty of fluids! It might also help to follow these tips for preventing eczema if you have it too.
- Dry Air
Winter is usually when the air in our homes is driest because heating systems generally increase air circulation by turning fans on inside them. If your home doesn’t have adequate ventilation or you can’t open windows to eliminate some of this excess humidity, your skin will make it feel even more dry and itchy! This is why people with asthma are often worse during winter, too – their lungs are already irritated by low humidity levels in the air!
What are the signs of dry skin?
Common signs of dry skin include:
-A tight, flaky, itchy, or heavy feeling of the skin
-Dry patches on elbows, knees, or feet
-Red or scaly patches of skin that can be more widespread than usual (like on the face)
-Dry, dull hair and curly hair
-A burning sensation on the skin when using soap to wash your hands or body
How to prevent dry skin in winter?
- Keep Moisturized
The best way to avoid dry skin during winter is to keep your skin properly moisturized throughout the day. Try using a humidifier near where you spend most of your time, especially your office or bedroom, to make the humidity levels more comfortable for you. If you notice dryness on your body’s extremities like hands and feet, try using a good quality body lotion every day. If that isn’t enough, then consider investing in an electric mains-powered foot spa – they’re great at naturally exfoliating dead skin cells while moisturizing your feet at the same time!
- Moisturize right after bathing
When you get out of the shower or bath, water evaporates most quickly from your skin. It’s essential to moisturize straight away with a nourishing lotion or cream before this happens. Also, avoid drying soaps, if possible, as they can be pretty harsh on the skin, and when you use soaps, opt for a moisturizing formula.
- Eat more fatty fish
Eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, sardines, trout, or tuna can help to improve dry skin conditions by keeping your skin cells healthy and hydrated from within! Check out these lists of top 10 protein sources and highest protein vegetables for some inspiration.
- Drink plenty of fluids
The most important thing you can do if you suffer from dry skin during winter is to stay hydrated all the time! Even if you don’t feel thirsty, especially when it’s cold outside, make sure to drink water throughout the day and avoid alcohol or caffeine as they both dehydrate your body. You might want to follow these tips for drinking more water for good health anyway! It also helps to eat foods containing a lot of moisture, like fruit and vegetables – check out these lists of high-fluid and low-fluid foods.
- Try a humidifier at home
If your home has deficient humidity levels because of its heating system, then you might want to invest in a humidifier for your home. Just be sure not to add any oil or scent to it as they can cause buildup, and your skin will breathe easier without them! If you don’t have central heating and your home is dry during wintertime, try using a humidifier at night time while you sleep, so the moist air has more time to absorb into the bedroom’s atmosphere.
- Try an exfoliator
Exfoliating your body with mildly abrasive products like apricot scrub or salt scrubs can help eliminate dead flaky skin cells leaving behind smoother feeling skin that looks instantly brighter, too – bonus! Although avoid using these if you have any open cuts or wounds.
- Exercise more
The best way to increase blood flow to the skin is by exercising regularly – this not only improves circulation but encourages sweat glands to do their thing too! So try moving around more often during the day, raise your heart rate with short bursts of activity like fast walking instead of taking the elevator and try working out more often on top of it too.
- Avoid extremely hot or cold temperatures
Don’t stay in extremely hot or cold places for long periods as this can strip your skin’s moisture very quickly, and keep yourself covered up with extra layers when you go outside to protect your body from the wind and cold weather.
- Apply Sunscreen
If you are planning on being outside during the day, especially if it’s sunny, make sure to apply sunscreen to any exposed skin elements as this can help prevent UV damage that could cause your skin problems later on.
- Don’t smoke or drink alcohol
Smoking and drinking excessively both have very dehydrating effects so try staying away from these habits whenever possible as they’re not good for your body in general! If you can’t stay away completely, just cut down as much as possible, and you’ll notice a difference soon enough. Drinking lots of water will counteract some of the adverse effects of these unhealthy lifestyle choices, too (but don’t rely solely on that – try quitting too!)
- Follow cleansing rituals
Make cleansing part of your daily ritual all year round but especially during wintertime, as this is when dirt and sweat can become trapped in pores, clogging them up, which can cause skin problems down the road.
- Eat a diet high in zinc
Zinc is an essential mineral that supports skin cell regeneration, so if you’re looking to improve your skin’s appearance, then eat more of this nutrient as it can help restore damaged cells and enhance cell growth for younger appearing skin at the same time! Foods with good mineral levels are oysters, beef or lamb liver, pumpkin seeds, and eggs, so try adding some of these into your daily diet plan for best results.
- Apply aloe vera before bedtime
Aloe vera is a plant that produces a clear gel used as an ingredient in skincare formulas for many years because of its powerful moisturizing elements. So look out for products containing aloe vera, use it alone as a nighttime moisturizer, or try applying a homemade face mask with this ingredient to reap its full benefits throughout the night.
- Drink chamomile tea
Tea contains tannins with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, so herbal teas like chamomile can work wonders on skin conditions such as acne! It also has mild bleaching properties from the flavonoids it contains – try using this as a natural toner or spot by adding your favorite organic loose leaf tea to a spray bottle of water and applying it with a cotton pad when needed.
- Use calming essential oils
Try adding relaxing scents from lavender, chamomile, or sandalwood essential oils into your skincare routine to help calm any redness and irritation.
- Avoid dry heating elements
Make sure you switch off radiators and close the fireplace damper before going to bed or leaving your home for an extended period, as these heat sources suck moisture out of the air in the room, leading to even drier skin conditions – this also includes dry winter winds outside too! Try using humidifiers instead, if possible, for better results!
- Use petroleum jelly
Petroleum jelly makes an excellent nighttime cream replacement that works just as well. Plus, it’s super affordable, so easy on the wallet too! Just apply a thin layer over cleansed skin while laying down to let it soak into your skin while you sleep.
- Try coconut oil
Coconut oil is one of my all-time favorite natural skincare ingredients as it contains powerful antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties that work wonders for any acne or blemished skin type – plus, on top of this, it’s a great moisturizer too! Try using some on its own as a night time moisturizer or mix with other moisturizing agents for best results.
- Use witch hazel water
Witch hazel water makes an excellent face toner because it has astringent qualities that help shrink pores by contracting the tissue, which tightens them up, allowing them to hold onto moisture more efficiently while also working well at removing excess dirt and bacteria safely without causing redness or irritation.
- Use jojoba oil
Jojoba oil is a great natural moisturizer because it contains nutrients like vitamin E and B complex that work together to improve skin elasticity, making it look more youthful, reducing acne breakouts, and giving you a clearer complexion. Plus, on top of this, it’s also lightweight and non-greasy, so perfect for night time use and won’t cause any problems with makeup either!
When to visit a skin doctor for dry skin?
Most of the time, you’ll be able to take care of minor dry skin issues like flaky skin and patches at home; however, there are some situations when it’s best to visit your doctor or dermatologist. One instance will be if you have a secondary infection such as impetigo, caused by bacteria overgrowing in broken skin, so it needs antibiotics treatment to clear up. You might also need medical help if severe itching lasts more than 3-4 weeks or worsens over time, especially after showering when your body is most vulnerable. If this happens, then always seek advice from your doctor immediately!
Homeopathic treatment for dry skin:
If you’re concerned that you may have an underlying skin condition causing your dry skin, then it’s best to visit your doctor for a check-up. However, if there are no red flags or extreme causes for concern after checking, try treating the dryness naturally by using some homeopathic remedies instead.
- Homeopathy can be used to treat dry skin conditions by using remedies made from natural ingredients that stimulate our immune system to produce white blood cells that help fight disease and infection – two of the most common ingredients used in this way include Belladonna and Silica.
- However, because everyone is different, it’s always best to visit a homeopathy doctor so that they can select the best remedy for your individual needs. Homeopathic treatment is customized to your specific symptoms, physical and mental constitution, and any other health concerns you have – all of which they will take into account before deciding on the most appropriate treatment to prescribe.
In severe cases, it’s also possible that a homeopathic practitioner may also need to do a minor examination of your skin too to determine if any visible signs point towards a skin condition associated with dry skin – this is important because it can help rule out or confirm an external cause for your symptoms. To visit a registered homeopathy doctor, you can book an appointment through OHO Homeopathy now!