The colder temperatures of fall and winter bring with it the inevitable itchiness of dry and flaky skin.  To help minimize the effects of winter on our skin, here are tips from a dermatologist at the Children’s National Hospital in Washington D.C.

Avoid Fragrances:

Avoid all scented products such as perfume, lotions, and spritzes.  Fragrances are often associated with skin allergies that can cause redness and inflammation.  Any kind of allergy or rash will dry out the skin and this will get worse in the colder weather.

Protect Your Hands:

Wear gloves in colder weather and avoid washing your hands with harsh soaps. Moisturize your hands after washing them to offset the drying effects of soap.

Do not Over-Lather in the Shower:

Most people use too much soap when they bathe which can dry out and irritate the skin.  Lather up areas that need the extra deep clean (underarms, groin, and feet) and go easy on the rest of your body.

Wash Your Hair Upside Down:

Residue from your shampoo or condition can dry out your neck and back as it drips down.  This can lead to dry skin and rashes.  The longer the hair the more susceptible you are.  Consider flipping your head upside down to wash, condition, and rinse your hair while in the shower.  Wrap your hair in a towel ASAP when you are done of your shower.

Limit Abrasion:

Avoid scrubbing with loofas, sponges, or washcloths as they create friction that can remove natural oils that help keep your skin moist and lubricated.

Use a Moisturizer:

Use a fragrance-free moisturizer generously after bathing.  Look for products that absorb quickly into the skin. Use a facial moisturizer each time after washing your face.