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Winter is upon us. As it gets colder and flu season settles in for the long-haul, dry skin becomes more of a problem. Between washing your hands often to keep clean during the day, and the cool, dry air, it is difficult to escape dry winter skin. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to manage.

Why is winter so hard on skin?

In winter, the moisture content in the air is a lot lower. Combine this with wind, turning on the heat, and washing your skin in the shower and your hands during the day, dry skin becomes a serious problem. The lower moisture content in the air and the cold winds, heating, and warm water can all strip your skin of its natural moisture and oils and leave you dry, itchy, and in pain. Unfortunately, this can be hard to combat once it has set in—or at least it can start to feel like it. However, there are ways to get lasting relief and actually restore your skin.

Treat dry skin before it’s a problem

Getting ahead of your dry skin problem is one of the best ways to treat it. Prevention is always the best treatment plan. Start moisturizing your skin with a heavy cream or a greasier petrolatum-based product (if you don’t mind it) regularly before the cold really sets in and maintain your regimen once winter is in full swing.

Skip the sanitizer

Hand sanitizer to remove/kill bacteria from the skin sounds like a great idea in theory, especially during flu season. However, in practice, it can be really harmful to your skin. The alcohol or other active ingredients in hand sanitizer can be damaging to your skin’s natural barrier and leave you with dry, cracked skin, even without the added pressures of winter. Nothing replaces good old fashioned hand-washing. If you have the option, walk over to the sink before opting for the sanitizer. And after washing, apply your thicker moisturizer.

Pass on the lotion

Lotions smell nice and festive, but they really aren’t the best solution when it comes to treating dry, cracked winter skin. Lotions have too much water, which evaporates rapidly from your skin rather than trapping the moisture on it. This means that the water in your skin will just keep evaporating and send you right back to having dry skin again instead of fortifying the natural barrier on your skin. Basically, lotion really isn’t actually helping the problem. Grab a heavy cream or a petroleum jelly product to fortify your skin’s protective barrier. 

Petroleum jelly

When it comes to managing dry skin in the winter, one of the best things you can do is use petrolatum-based products/petroleum jelly. Instead of just hydrating your skin, it actually works to rebuild and fortify the protective barrier on your skin that holds in the water and oils that you need. For lasting relief and healing from dry winter skin, give petroleum jelly or a heavy cream that has less water content a shot.

Get familiar with ingredients lists

When you walk down grocery store aisles, you’re likely thinking about the ingredients in the foods you’re buying. This practice should follow you into the cosmetics section of the store. When it comes to choosing cosmetics, hair care products, and skincare products, the list of ingredients matters. If you’re not sure what you should be looking for in your skincare products, look for hydrating products with:

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Petrolatum
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • glycerin
  • Ceramides

These ingredients will give you added hydrating power for your hands, face, and body.

If you’re having trouble finding a good solution to your dry skin problem, talk to your board-certified dermatologist at Aesthetic & Dermatology Center about a healing product that will provide lasting relief. Dry, cracked, painful winter skin doesn’t have to be a problem this winter.

Call Dr. Green or Dr. Walia today at Aesthetic & Dermatology Center at (301) 610-0663 to get a personalized treatment plan for your dry winter skin!

All of the information in this blog are for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical advice. Always speak to your board-certified dermatologist before starting or stopping a treatment plan. To learn more about how this information can and cannot be used, see our site disclaimer.