What does your dry skin mean?clinicalpartners
Red, itchy, raw skin is a given during the winter. But what does it mean? Dry skin is not usually a serious health problem, though it can develop and worsen into chronic issues like eczema and broken skin that may become infected. Still, that constant itch and pulling feeling is not pleasant. Here are some possible causes of itchy skin, and suggestions on how to fix them: 1. Hydration Do you drink enough water? Health experts suggest drinking 64 ounces of water a day. That's half of a gallon! Your first step to better hydrated skin is to better hydrate your entire body. You'll feel the benefits from the inside out. 2. Moisturize Use a high quality moisturizer all over your body as soon as you get out of the shower. Petroleum jelly such as Aquaphor is a great product that will give you a lasting moisturized feeling. 3. Humidifiers Use a humidifier in your home to combat that winter heating dry air, which will suck the moisture right out of your skin. You also might find that you cough and sneeze less with a higher humidity level in your home. 4. Avoid scratching That's right, scratching might feel good for a second but ultimately will damage the skin further, making it harder to heal and retain moisture. Use anti-itch cream or lotion instead of scratching. 5. Scents Avoid products with scents added, like laundry detergent, soap, and lotions. These are often alcohol based irritants. 6. Water temperatures Consider turning down the heat in the shower or bath. Hotter water strips moisture out of skin. Also be wary of taking long showers or baths, as the water will actually dehydrate your skin, making it more itchy. Contact us today if you'd like to join our ongoing Pruritus (Itch) study in our Johnston, RI location.