Dry skin can be an irritating part of winter, but it’s possible to crack and become infected if left untreated. Severe or chronic cases of dry skin may require a diagnosis and medical treatment. If you are dealing with dry skin, call or visit AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale. Our physicians are trained in emergency care services that are not life-threatening

Diagnosing Dry Skin

Dry skin is typically diagnosed just by looking at it. Several things can cause it, but factors such as age, health, environmental conditions, or time spent outdoors can all make symptoms worse. Signs of dry skin include:

  • Skin tightness, especially after swimming or bathing
  • Itching
  • Flaking, scaling, or peeling
  • Fine lines or cracks that may bleed
  • Gray or ashy skin

Causes of dry skin can also have an impact on the remedy. Climates that are cold and dry often have a large effect on a patient’s skin. Additionally, moving indoors and sitting by a warm fire or space heater also pulls moisture out of the skin to dry it further. Lastly, hot water from baths or showers dries out the skin, and doing that daily can have damaging effects. Certain skincare products that have harsh products in them can be harmful to already dry skin. Understanding the causes can help eliminate certain factors, such as products, to help improve skin over time. 

Home Remedies

When taking a shower or bath at night, it may be best to avoid the hot water. Lukewarm showers are not as drying to the skin as hot showers. Be sure to use products such as soaps or facewash that are aimed toward gentle skin and have added moisturizers. Eliminating harsh products is better for the skin in general, not just for dry skin. Lastly, after drying off from the shower, use a cream-based moisturizer. When the skin is still damp, that is the time to lock in moisture, and cream-based does not come off as quickly as oil-based. 

Wearing loose-fitting or soft clothing can also help save your skin. Fabrics such as wool are rough on the skin and irritate it, so silks and cotton are better to allow your skin room to breathe. When going outside where it is windy or cold, be sure to bundle up and protect the skin. Any skin that is directly in the elements will get irritated faster and dry out. 

At home, use a humidifier while sleeping or throughout the day if you work from home. The cold seasons pull moisture from the air, so using a humidifier can help add some back. While sleeping, humidifiers can also help you breathe if you are sick with any congestion. Lastly, if you find your skin is irritated from your clothing, it may be due to your detergent. Some laundry detergents are made for sensitive skin, and that can help keep your skin calm.