With cold weather in full force, a lot of us are battling itchy winter skin but there are some easy, and rather inexpensive ways to alleviate or at least reduce the discomfort.

I loathe being cold for many reasons. One is the maddening itch that accompanies dry, winter skin. You know what I'm talking about - the itch that you just can't seem to scratch. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to ease the itch.

Humidity Will Help

Invest in a humidifier. Most newer homes are so well insulated and so efficient, that the furnace reduces the humidity in your home to almost nothing. Arid air will not only suck the moisture right out of your skin but it will also make it feel colder inside your home. By adding humidity back into the air, not only will your skin benefit, but so will your sinuses. As an added bonus, it will make your home feel warmer so you can turn the thermostat down a few degrees, saving your skin and some cash.

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Shower Less Frequently and In Cooler Water

Dermatologists recommend that you avoid taking hot showers, and say warm showers are better for your skin, especially in the winter. Hot showers and harsh soaps can strip the body of its natural lipid barrier, causing moisture loss from the skin. You may also want to incorporate a moisturizing body wash as well. UC Davis Health recommends showers over baths.

<p> </p><p>Most people don’t need to shower every day. Keep it short and avoid hot water. While hot water may feel good on your dry skin, it removes more of the skin’s natural oils and evaporates faster, pulling the moisture from your skin along with it.</p><p>Turn the dial down, use lukewarm water, and choose showers over baths.</p>
Photo by Amplitude Magazin on Unsplash

Lotion Is Your Friend

If you aren't one for using lotion, now is a good time to start. To rid yourself of winter itch, you've got to hydrate your skin. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using ointments or creams that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerine, lanolin, shea butter, mineral oil, or jojoba oil.

<p> </p><p>Ointments and creams are more effective and less irritating than lotions</p>
Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

Hydrate From the Inside Out

Speaking of hydration - It is imperative that you drink enough water during the cold, winter months. No amount of moisturizers or lotions can take the place of hydrating from the inside out. That glass of H2O will do more than you might think.  A good rule of thumb is to take your body weight in pounds and divide by 2 to calculate approximately how many ounces of water you should be drinking in a day for adequate hydration. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, you would need approximately 90 ounces of water each day.

Limit Time Outdoors

The cold of the outdoors can really do a number on your skin. If you must be outdoors, limit the time you spend outside as much as possible. If you do have to go outside when it is cold, make sure you protect and cover your skin.

Dry, winter skin is no fun but these tips can help ease the itch this season.

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