By Julie Davis
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 31, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Winter can be harsh on your skin, especially your hands and face. Try these fast, easy and inexpensive steps to avoid the chapping and flaking that comes with the season.
Resist taking hot showers and long soaks, both of which remove your skin's natural oil barrier, causing it to dry out more easily, suggests the American Academy of Dermatology. The water temperature should be between the high 90s and 100 degrees, no higher.
Immediately after bathing, seal in any moisture your skin absorbed by slathering on a thick moisturizer. Choose an ointment or a cream, not a thin lotion. For daytime, use nourishing products with sun protection. The sun's rays can still age you, even in cold weather months.
Washing hands frequently is essential to avoid the spread of cold and flu germs, but to avoid chapping, moisturize them after every rinse. And always wear warm gloves when outdoors and protective ones when using cleaning products or washing dishes.
Don't forget your lips, which can also fall prey to dryness. Dab on lip balm to prevent chapping. It can be as simple as plain petroleum jelly. Resist licking lips that are dry -- that actually increases dryness.
If your skin is easily irritated, avoid all scented products and harsh deodorant-type soaps. Wear cotton or silk clothes next to your skin before layering on woolens.
If the air in your home is dry from your heating system, use a humidifier, especially at night, to put moisture back in the air. If the same situation exists at work, consider a desktop unit.
Don't wait to see signs of dryness. Be proactive to save your skin from winter's wrath.
Get additional winter skin tips from Wake Forest Baptist Health.
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