It’s that time of year again when uncomfortable dryness takes over the skin of the face, hands and feet. For some, the problem is worse than just a general tight, dry feeling. Skin can get so dry that it results in flaking, cracking, burning, and even eczema can occur which is when the skin becomes inflamed.
Here are some expert tips to tell the difference between dry and dehydrated skin and solutions to get your skin back to feeling its best.
Is Your Skin Dry, Dehydrated, or Both?
- Smaller pore sizes
- Feels dry all over the face, scalp and body
- Lacks water
- Affects any skin type
- May feel oily and dry at the same time
Both Dry and Dehydrated Skin
- Tight feeling
- Dull looking
- Products may sting/burn
- Rough texture
- Fine lines may appear larger or darker
Healthy Tips for Your Skin
Find an ointment moisturizer that is oil-based rather than water-based as the oil will create a layer on top of the skin to protect it and help retain more moisture than a cream or lotion.
Don’t Forget Your Hands
The skin on your hands is thinner than skin on most other parts of the body and has fewer oil glands so your hands may be the first to show signs of winter. Wear gloves when it’s cold and dry outside to prevent skin irritation. Also, be sure to keep your hands moist and prevent itching and cracking by applying an ointment throughout the day. It’s a good idea to also moisturize at night by applying a thick layer of ointment on your hands before going to bed. Even better, sleep with loose cotton gloves or even socks on your hands after moisturizing for extra hydration and to keep ointment from getting on your sheets.
Use a Humidifier
Most people think about using a humidifier when someone is sick. Humidifiers are also excellent tools to add moisture back into the air (and into your skin) in the dry winter months. Try using one daily.
Not only is water good for your overall health, it helps your skin stay hydrated. Drink at least 8-12 glasses of water every day. You may want to increase your water intake if you consume a lot of caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, cola, or energy drinks which can act as a diuretic.
Grease Those Feet
Daily exfoliation of (or gently scrubbing) your feet is important all year long. Exfoliation removes the dead skin cells so your lotion will sink in faster and repair the skin deeper. You should also be moisturizing your feet daily. During the winter months, swap out your usual moisturizer for a petroleum-based lotion instead. Try applying your petroleum-based moisturizer or event plain petroleum jelly to your feet before bed and cover with a pair of loose fitting socks. Your feet will feel amazing in the morning!
If you find that these tips just aren’t doing the trick and your symptoms are worsening, schedule an appointment to rule out other skin conditions and talk about other options you can try to heal your skin.