Winterproofing your skin - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Winterproofing your skin

Madison (WKOW) -- Harsh winds and frigid temperatures, along with dry indoor heating, can transform your skin from soft and supple to itchy and flaky.

  In this Medical Minute, a few tips on ways to winterproof your skin.

  Cold weather does a number on Latanya Workman's skin.

  She said, "I notice that my skin is extremely dry. It's just normally my face and my legs."

  And she's not alone.

  Almost everyone suffers from irritated skin in the winter.

  Doctor Susan Taylor added, "the skin changes as the seasons change, and particularly in the winter, we notice that the skin becomes very dry, it becomes flaky and ashy, and it can become very itchy."

  Doctor Taylor says preventing this winter misery starts in the shower.

  "Limit your baths or showers to about five minutes. We want you in and out; you have to be efficient," said Doctor Taylor.

  Other important tips: use lukewarm water, not hot.

  Once you're done, lightly pat dry, and then seal in the moisture with a lotion or cream.

  Doctor Taylor said, "putting that moisturizer on is going to help repair the barrier."

  Look for moisturizers with humectants that draw moisture to the skin, or thicker ones, called occlusives, which create a protective barrier.

  "You can use something as simple as white petrolatum," said Doctor Taylor, "also known as vaseline, we also have eucerin and aquaphor. They're all inexpensive. They can be purchased at any store, grocery store or pharmacy."

  Latanya's found relief using a body butter that contains soothing emollients and moisturizing humectants.

  Workman said, "because if I don't, my skin is just, it's itchy all day, and I can't handle it at work, you know, being itchy, so I, I've been religious about it."

  Your skin will also benefit by adding a humidifier or even houseplants in your rooms.

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