Published on October 24, 2018

Prevent dry skin this winter

Is your skin dry and flaky this time of year?

If so, the culprit may be winter weather.

Woman with lip balm“In winter, the air is cold and dry,” explains Anne Gibbons, Nurse Practitioner, Mercy LIFE. “This can strip your skin of moisture.”

If you often get dry winter skin, try these tips:

  1. Take shorter baths or showers. Limit them to no more than 10 minutes. And make sure your bath water is warm—not hot. Otherwise, it can strip away your body’s natural oil.
  2. Be choosy about soaps. Instead of regular soap, try a gentle skin cleanser or a soap with added moisturizers.
  3. Moisturize right after you bathe. Gently pat your skin dry with a towel, and then apply an unscented moisturizer. Skin products that contain fragrance can irritate dry, sensitive skin.
  4. Consider using petroleum jelly. It’s an inexpensive way to moisturize rough, cracked feet, elbows and hands and dry cuticles and lips.
  5. Drink plenty of water. But check with your doctor if you’ve been told to limit how much fluid you drink.
  6. Wear gloves outside. They help prevent dry, raw skin.
  7. Manage diabetes, if you have it. “Controlling your blood sugar may help prevent itchy, dry skin and other skin problems caused by diabetes,” Anne says.