And it is winter here with cold temps and gusting winds to boot. If you are one with sensitive skin (eczema, psoriasis) these conditions make matters worse. This dry environment can trigger severe flares and weaken your skin barrier, making it easier for skin to dehydrate allowing irritants to sneak in.
Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes and not for diagnosis. More details.
Scratching your dry patches just irritates skin more and you’re moving germs in there now.
Some of us may slather on heavy hand creams and butters which can make performing our task difficult, these are better left for the end of your day.
You’re better off to go another route for instant relief. Without a single scratch try this tip.
The Dry Itchy Skin Hack
Maybe you have heard of this. Here’s an experiment to try if you haven’t already, put your moisturizing creams in the fridge. Now most of us may not need our beauty products chilled but for those with dry, itchy skin it works.
Most moisturizers contain ceramides which strengthen our skin barrier. These are put in products to soothe dry, itchy skin. But if you are in the moment of having an intense itch for instant relief it helps to have your product chilled.
Why Put Moisturizer in Fridge?
Let me ask you this, does your face itch when you work out? One reason is when our body produces heat or sweat, as with your activities this can make our capillaries expand. When this takes place our body’s surrounding nerve cells become stimulated giving the message to our brain of an itch signal.
Cooler temperatures have the opposite effect. Instead of expanding capillaries the blood vessels constrict (aka vasoconstriction) this tricks the nerves that have gotten an itch signal. Thus leading to a cooling, soothing sensation, feeling a whole lot better right (relief).
So slathering on your now cool cream with its nourishing ingredients provides instant itch relief because your blood vessels have constricted tricking your nerves from responding with that irritating itch (ahhh).
Another option is to use your ice roller over your moisturized skin. This is a handy device and quite convenient to use. It is made to hold cold. I can leave my ice roller on my desk for hours and it is still chilled.
The temperature of the device helps to absorb products to the deeper layers of your skin. The benefit getting those product nutrients were needed down deep.
These are quick fixes for busy fingers that could make things worse. Still work on strengthening that skin barrier. If the itching persists you might dig deeper and consult your dermatologist.
Other Tips to use for Dry Skin Relief
Hydrate. We can stay hydrated drinking water all year round. It is always important to drink your required amount of water each day. This plumps up our skin and moves toxin and waste out of our system.
If you were to need medical attention it’s a challenge inserting an IV into someone who is dehydrated (I had a cat suffer). An extra procedure is Hydration Therapy. So drink your water!
Paraffin Bath Tank. These are great if you happen to own one. It is relaxing to soak hands, elbows and feet in. The wax forms a film on your skin locking in moisture making your skin silky soft. Plus this also helps with arthritis and inflammation.
It involves heat. Avoid doing this if you should have any open sores on the area you are submerging in the wax. Watch your time.
A Paraffin facial or hand treatment is sometimes offered at a salon/spa. This is not for Rosacea. *Do not apply on face at home.
*Warning: Wax can get pretty hot! Using a Paraffin Bath Tank may have contradictions to certain conditions or medication. If you have a medical condition consult your Doctor first.
Emollients. These are products that soften and soothe the skin, although they can be greasy or non-greasy. Emollients can be a bit heavier in quantity versus your regular moisturizer.
Natural ingredients might be:
- Aloe Vera
- Coconut oil
- Lanolin (harvested from domestic sheep)
Synthetic ingredients that might be:
- Lanolin alcohol
- Cetyl acetate
Moisturizers need to contain oils, ingredients to soften the skin, along with water. Applying the moisturizer on damp skin is the best action, right after your shower or bath.
Having been on a budget I have used Baby Oil. You can buy it at the dollar store. I think it holds moisture in well. I used it right after my shower when my skin was damp. It really softens the skin.
But you want to be careful with the bottoms of your feet. It is a good idea to put on socks after applying the baby oil to prevent slipping and falling. You could also put socks on your hands for a deep treatment.
Harsh Soaps and Alcohol. Currently, we can’t avoid hand sanitizer with alcohol but this can be done with other areas of your skin. Alcohol dries out our skin and causes irritation (this goes for consumed as well as in products).
Try not to strip your skin barrier of natural oils with harsh soaps.
Soaps to use:
Hot Showers and Baths should be limited if you suffer with dry, itchy skin. Instead use warm water temps and 10 minutes will do. The heat can rob your skin of natural oils. Also pat and don’t rub your skin dry.
Indoor Humidifier may improve dry skin by adding moisture back in the air of your home.
You may also achieve this by boiling water on the stove or placing a pan of water on a furnace. Let this evaporate and cool.
Turning the hot water on in your shower without you in it will also put moisture in your living area.
*Please be careful though that kids and pets cannot get near the hot water.
Misting your plants is good for them as well as you.
Cover up when you’re outside protecting your skin from the harsh wind and cold. This means wearing your hats, gloves and scarfs.
Wearing your winter clothes will prevent you from getting sunburned that could irritate already sensitive skin. You know you can still get sunburned in the winter so wear sunscreen.
Dry Lips can also suffer anytime of the year. Remember to use your chapstick or a lip balm. Lips also need to be exfoliated.
Vaseline can be used in a pinch or as a night time treatment. Vaseline is also good and inexpensive for small dry skin patches.
Dry, itchy skin needs attention. Give it some care and protection. Don’t forget to moisturize inside and outside.
Does Winter bring dry, itchy skin for you?
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Header Photo person touching their shoulder by Ximena Mora from Pexels