Is the Weather Causing You to Have Dry, Itchy Skin?

It's that time of year not only for holiday shopping and family gatherings, but it's also the time when you start to notice dry, itchy skin.

As the humidity drops, the moisture in our skin goes with it!

Dr. Deanna Lites talks to experts about how to prevent scratchy skin.

Winter is upon us. Sure, you can tell by the falling temperatures, but a change in your skin can also be a sign.

Dr. Clarissa yang, a dermatologist at Brigham Women's Hospital, said, "There's a lot of changes that you see in the environment. The cold, decreased humidity with forced heat especially in the winter can change how our skin appears."

So how can you avoid dry winter skin?

First off, avoid washing with hot water. It feels good on a cold morning, but hot water can strip your skin of important protective oils and leave it feeling dry. Dermatologist Clarissa Yang recommends lukewarm water.

"We ask people to limit showers to 15 to 20 minutes. After that you get a more drying effect."

And apply moisturizer right after a shower or bath to lock moisture in the skin.

Dr. Yang says many people think increasing water consumption during the winter will help moisturize your skin, but that's a myth. Water alone isn't enough.

Again, reach for the moisturizer, and don't forget the sunscreen. Even in the winter your skin is exposed to the sun's harmful rays.

Dr. Yang recommends taking a vitamin D supplement, too.

"Most people will need 800-1200 international units a day."

She also adds if your winter skin persists as a problem, it might be a good idea to see your doctor for help while you wait for spring.

One of the best investments you can make this winter for your skin is a humidifier to combat the drying effects of indoor heat.

Skin needs about 30 percent humidity in the air to maintain moisture.


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