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How to Deal with Itchy Winter Skin

You can keep scratching your way through winter, or you can stop flaky skin in its tracks. Here's how.


  • Step 1: Switch to baths Switch to baths; showers strip more of your skin's natural oils. Don't make them too hot or too long; both can dry out skin.
  • Step 2: Use bath oil and mild soap Pour bath oil into your tub, and wash with a mild, non-deodorant, fragrance-free soap.
  • TIP: You can also use a bath treatment that contains oatmeal.
  • Step 3: Moisturize Moisturize as soon as you step out of the bath, after gently patting your body with a towel. Reapply during the day – especially before going into the blustery outdoors – and before you go to bed at night.
  • TIP: Choose moisturizer that contains glycerin, hyaluronic acid, or feverfew.
  • Step 4: Wear soft clothes Avoid clothing and bedding made from wool, synthetic materials, and wool blends. Layer clothes to avoid overheating and sweating, which make dry skin worse.
  • Step 5: Turn down the thermostat Reduce the drying effects of central heating by lowering the thermostat to between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Put on a sweater if that's too chilly for you.
  • Step 6: Humidify Add moisture to indoor air with a humidifier. Or make a homemade one by putting a heatproof bowl filled with on top of a radiator or near a heating vent.
  • Step 7: See a doctor See a doctor if you itch all over your body, it's so bad that you can't sleep, or your skin is broken from scratching so much; these are all signs that you may have a more serious medical condition.
  • FACT: Skin is 30 percent less supple in winter thanks to cold air and the drying effects of indoor heating.

You Will Need

  • Warm baths
  • Bath oil
  • Mild soap
  • Moisturizer
  • A lowered thermostat
  • A humidifier or bowls of water
  • An oatmeal bath treatment (optional)

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