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How To Avoid Winters Itch And Effectively Treat It

Aug 17, 2007
Winter can be an absolute nightmare month for our hair and skin. The cold, blustery winds and the extremely cold temperatures can really play havoc with our bodies if they are not fully protected.

We all know that winter can bring dry, flaky skin, but what many of us do not know, is that there is actually a condition called Winters Itch, which obviously only occurs in the winter. It is a condition which causes an itchy, red rash and incredibly dry skin.

Winters Itch and its Causes
There are many reasons why we may develop Winters Itch, and one of those reasons is the heating. With the extremely cold temperatures outside, and the heating turned up full inside, our skin often ends up drying out. So, the first thing you can do to stop this from happening is to turn the heating down even if it is only a little bit, and perhaps even purchase a humidifier which will really help keep the rooms in your house filtered.

Another cause of Winters Itch could be chemical agents. These include detergents and also, when the weather starts getting colder we cover up our skin a lot more. This can cause friction as heavy clothing rubs against the skin, and it can cause the symptoms of Winters Itch.

The amount of hot water you use on your skin also has an effect. The same as hot, dry air robs the skin of its moisture, hot water also does the same thing. This is because hot water strips the skin of its natural essential oils, and that in turn leaves the skin extremely dry. Bathing in cool luke warm water is essential in winter, even if you do want to make it as hot as possible because of the cold weather!

The condition can affect absolutely all ages, whether you are working outdoors in the Winter weather, or weather you are older, or an housewife who has the heating turned up all day. Whoever you are, if you have skin, you are at risk of developing Winters Itch!

Treatment and Prevention of Winters Itch
If you do have Winters Itch, or you simply want to prevent it from happening, there are certain things you can do. These include:

Make Sure The Skin is Well Lubricated
It is important that you keep your skin as moisturized as you can. After every single bath or shower that you take, you really need to start applying a moisturizer to the whole body, in order to keep any moisture locked into the skin. As mentioned earlier, moisture is often lost whilst bathing, so it is always a good idea to moisturize.

The main thing to remember is that you do not have to buy the most expensive moisturizer on the market. The cheaper products such as Petroleum jelly or mineral oil often make the best moisturizers and they are a lot cheaper than other products!

Take Care When Drying The Skin
Rubbing the skin too much can cause it to become dry. Patting the skin dry is always the best way to go about it, and ideally you should only pat it until it is damp, and then apply moisturizer. Surprisingly moisturizer works better when the skin is damp, than if the skin was completely dry. So the next time you bathe, afterwards pat the skin damp and apply moisturizer!

Avoid Harsh Products
Many people make the mistake of washing themselves with harsh soaps and shower gels. You may not even realize that your shower gel or soap is harsh, but if you look on the ingredients list, you should see that it contains alcohol, and that has an extremely damaging effect on dry skin.

Overall you need to take care of Winters Itch the same as you would with any dry skin condition. Keep the skin well moisturized, pat the skin dry, and try and get hold of a humidifier. If the condition does not clear up you really should consult your doctor. They will be able to give you a proper diagnosis and tell you what treatments you should be using. Winters Itch is treatable and it should disappear with time.
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