Do you dread the winter months? Especially the effect that cold weather has on your skin? We understand. Dry, flaky, itchy and irritated skin is not a pleasant or comfortable feeling.
Winter months are harsh. If you live in a place that experiences extreme seasonal changes, this article is for you. Read on to find out how to deal with winter skin problems and prevent them.
Types Of Winter Skin Problems & Solutions
1. Dry And Irritated Nose
You have a constant urge to scratch your nose in the winter, isn't it? A dry and itchy nose is one of the most irritating winter problems. To prevent yourself from the discomfort of a dry and irritated nose, try these simple home remedies.
- Keep your body hydrated at all times by drinking a lot of water. You might not feel thirsty naturally during winter, but drinking enough water is important to keep dryness at bay. Keep away sugary beverages that can further cause dryness in the nose.
- If it's too irritating, you may get some relief from the over-the-counter saline nasal spray or drops.
- Give yourself a treat to a steaming warm bath. However, don't spend too much time because prolonged hot baths can further dry your nose.
- Use a humidifier that keeps up the moisture content of your room.
- Use a water-based moisturizer  on both the nostrils when you feel dryness.
Word Of Caution
If you’re using petroleum jelly to moisten the nose, ensure that it doesn't reach your lungs. Petroleum jelly reaching the lungs can cause abscess.
2. Chapped Lips
In the winter months, there is very little humidity in the air that can cause chapped lips. Anyone can get chapped lips if they have dry skin. But, the possibilities increase if you’re taking vitamin A supplements, retinoids, lithium, or chemotherapy drugs.
Chafing is a common skin problem that can happen for many reasons like the inner thighs rubbing together. Chafing can also happen during winter when the air is dry.
It occurs when the epidermis or the outer layer of the skin is subjected to repetitive friction, leading to damage and exposure of the lower dermis layer. When dermis gets exposed, the skin feels irritated and uncomfortable. This is known as chafing.
- If you have chafed skin, ensure to keep the area clean by taking shower once a day at least in warm water. Use soap to clean the area to reduce the risk of any bacterial infection.
- Pat dry the area after washing. Ensure no water is left on skin.
- Apply a moisturizer and massage smoothly to help the moisturizer get absorbed.
- It is also a good idea to apply a barrier cream or a medicated powder to help the skin heal faster.
4. Shaving Cuts
You may be accustomed to dry shaving, but it can get tricky in the winter months when the skin is already dry. This exposes the skin to the risk of more shaving cuts and nicks.
- Instead of using water or normal soap, try using a moisturizing foam while shaving.
- You may also try adding a pinch of your regular conditioner to your shaving cream. This will help to soothe dry skin.
5. Dry & Itchy Patches
Dry, itchy patches might not sound serious. But it can get painful -- literally. The most common symptoms of dry and itchy skin are scales, redness, itching with small cracks in the skin.
- You can cure and prevent dry itchy skin with minor lifestyle changes. Start with using a rich moisturizer.
- Bath in lukewarm water.
- Apply moisturizer before going to bed at night.
- Switch to a moisturizing soap instead of harsh ones.
- Pat dry after a bath and then apply moisturizer when the skin is still a bit wet.
If your itchiness persists, your dermatologist may recommend a topical lotion to apply.
6. Cracked Heels
- With a little bit of care, you can take care of your cracked heels well.
- Gel socks or wearing socks with medicated cream can help your heels to stay moisturized at all times.
- Use a loofah or pumice stone to gently scrub off the dead cells from the cracked heels.
- Use rich foot creams, butter, natural oils, or moisturizer before going to bed. This will allow the heels to absorb the cream and get moisturized.
7. Eyebrows Itch and Flakes
Just like an itchy and flaky scalp, the eyebrows too can get itchy and flaky. This is mainly due to a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis. Although the exact cause is not known, seborrheic dermatitis worsens in winter.
- You may use an anti-itch cream that can help to reduce the itchiness around the eyebrows.
- Keeping the eyebrows moisturized can also help to reduce the itchiness.
- You may apply cool compress for 15-30 minutes to get some relief from the itchiness.
- Antihistamine medicines can also give you relief from the itchiness.
8. UV Damage
UVB rays are the main cause of sunburns , especially on high altitudes and on reflective surfaces like snow. Since the snow reflects 80% of the UV light so effectively, you get exposed to the harmful UVB rays twice. This causes further damage to your skin.
- The best way to stay protected from UV damage is by covering up all the exposed parts of the body.
- Use face covering sunglasses while going out in the snow.
- Use a hat that will keep you warm while protecting your face from the UV rays.
9. Irritation And Redness
Irritation and redness of the skin may occur due to many reasons, cold winter weather being one of them. When the skin gets exposed to too much cold air, it loses its natural moisture and oil, leaving the skin dry. If left untreated, it may lead to irritation and redness.
- Winter rash can be treated easily at home. Apply a lot of moisturizers all over the skin to soothe it.
- Apply natural oils like coconut oil and almond oil to lock the natural hydration of the skin.
- Use a humidifier to keep your surrounding air at home humid.
- Reach out to your dermatologist if irritation persists.
Tips To Prevent Winter Skin Problems
1. The most common winter skin problem is dry skin. To avoid dry skin problems, keep your skin moisturized at all times. You can either try the readymade moisturizers that are available in the stores or use natural moisturizers like coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, etc.
2. You may feel a good way to warm up during winter is taking a dip in a hot shower. But the American Academy of Dermatology  notes that too much hot shower can rip off the natural oil from your skin. Try lukewarm water instead and moisturize once you are out of the bath.
3. The best way to maintain the natural glow of the skin is by drinking a lot of water and clear fluids throughout the day.
4. Replenish the skin by applying deep nourishing cream at night before bedtime. This way, the skin will get enough time to heal and replenish while you sleep.
Extreme dry and dehydrated skin is normal in winter. It brings in a plethora of skin problems like rashes, itching, redness, cracks, flaky skin, etc. While all these problems make you uncomfortable, you can treat them easily at home with the tips discussed above.
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