Solutions for Winter Itch
In the winter months moisture is sucked from the air and the surface of the skin may become dry and itchy. At its worst the skin may become chapped and may even crack.
Cleansing the Skin
- Avoid bathing or showering more than once a day.
- Use lukewarm rather than hot water.
- Add unscented oils to the bath such as Aveeno or Aveeno Bath Powder.
- Use mild soaps such as Aveeno Dry Skin, Pears, and Cetaphil – minimize lather. Thoroughly rinse all soap residues from the skin.
- Use gentle shampoos and conditioners, such as Cliniderm or Johnson & Johnson Baby No Tears.
Moisturizing the Skin
- After bathing, pat the skin dry – do not rub. Apply a moisturizer while the skin is still damp. Suggested non-scented moisturizers may include: Aveeno, Moisturel, DML Fragrance Free, Glaxal base Complex 15.
- Apply moisturizers such as Aveeno to areas of dry skin such as the hands and elbows throughout the day.
- Use unscented laundry detergents such as Tide Free, Cheer Free, All Free & Clear, Arm & Hammer Unscented, Wisk Free or Purex Unscented.
- Use very little unscented detergent with each wash cycle – 1 tablespoon for a regular load.
- Do not use fabric softeners in the washer or dryer.
- Wash all new clothing and linens five times before use or add a quarter cup of powdered milk to the second rinse cycle. The milk will bind to and remove the chemicals within the fabric, such as formaldehyde, which cause irritation.
Skin Care products
- Avoid skin care products containing alcohol and perfumes.
- Avoid scented deodorants – unscented antiperspirants are OK.
- Avoid tight fitting clothes made of material that does not breathe, such as polyesters.
- Add moisture to the air with a humidifier.
- Keep the thermostat to a comfortable level but not too warm.
If you skin becomes chapped, cracked or winter itch is keeping you up at night there are prescription creams that will restore a proper balance of moisture in the skin. See your dermatologist.