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Treating Dry Skin

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

I am reminded once again of the cold weather and the problems that ensue with dry skin, dry mucous membranes and frequent upper respiratory infections. The best way to counter the effects of the winter weather is by using moisturizers on the skin, and lubricants in the nasal passages, and by good hand washing, which also leads to dry skin. It seems to be a vicious cycle. The only solace is that we are well into winter weather and its effects.

The air is cold, the heat is running and your skin gets dehydrated. Bathing and showering with your usual soaps may not work at this time of year. You might try using a more gentle soap such as Vanicream, Cetaphil, Purpose, or Basis. Try bathing a little less frequently, with shorter periods in the bath. Every other day would be fine during the winter. The hotter the water the more drying it may be, so turn it down a notch to where it is warm and comfortable.

If the kids are bathing, let them play awhile before lathering them up, and once soapy, rinse and get them out of the bath water. Pat dry lightly and while they are still a bit, damp rub in a moisturizer, and creams are better than lotion. Vanicream, Cetaphil cream or Eucerin creams.

A little Vaseline up the nostrils before bedtime will keep the nasal passages moisturized too.

Keep it up until spring. That’s yours daily dose, we’ll chat again tomorrow.

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