It's dry, it's itchy, it may be red or flaking, there may be rough, scaly patches. It happens most often when climate changes. Winter skin rash can normally be treated at home with some simple steps. However, if the rash becomes painful or these steps do not help, consult your doctor.
Winter rash strikes when the skin loses too much moisture. Winter's cold, dry air and central heating can literally suck moisture from the skin. Winter rash most often appears on the hands and feet, but in can occur anywhere on the body.
What can you do?
- First and foremost, moisturize often using skin care products that contain urea or lactic acid. Apply moisturizer after taking a shower while skin is still damp.
- Avoid fragranced skin care products. These may contain harsh chemical that further irritate the skin.
- Natural products like aloe vera gel and coconut oil both contain antibacterial properties, as well as being moisturizing and both are safe to use on cracked skin.
- Coconut oil can also improve the skin's barrier function.
- Avoid olive oil. Although it has anti-inflammatory properties, it promotes water loss in the skin.
- Avocado oil has vitamin C, D, and E. These are especially nourishing for dry skin.
- Avoid harsh soaps. Avoid cleansers and body washes that contain alcohols, parabens or synthetic dyes.
- Turn down the heat. Just a couple of degrees can make a difference.
- Keep a humidifier running. This can offset the dryness of the heated air.
- Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Drink lots of water.