Goodbye dry, winter skin

The winter season may bring snowmen and ice skating, but it also brings red noses and dry skin. Our hands are constantly busy, getting washed frequently to avoid getting sick or getting soaked while doing the dishes. It is inevitable that some are going to suffer from dry hands as result of these activities. Taking the time to apply extra moisturizer or lotion to the skin is always a pain. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to treat dry skin and steps people can take to prevent dry hands from happening, or from getting worse.

Working Women’s Expo, or WWE, an Illini Radio Group production, has many recommended treatments for dry hands. One suggestion is to apply a little olive oil to dry patches on the skin. This will make skin extra smooth and add antioxidants.

Eating habits can also affect dry skin, and according to the WWE Web site, a diet that is rich in magnesium and vitamin C helps skin become less prone to dryness. Eating carrots, dark chocolate, salmon and oranges also helps.

WWE also suggests using yogurt as a natural exfoliant to remove all dry flakes from the skin.

Honey can be to be applied to dry lips, filling in the dry cracks and making the lips smooth. WWE also offers a concoction for treating dry hair, which is also affected by dry winter air. For the full recipe and other dry skin remedies, visit WorkingWomensExpo.com.

The main cause for dry skin in the winter is the cold air and indoor heating systems that dry out the air, according to the McKinley Health Center Web site.

McKinley also offers ways to prevent dry skin from happening and steps one can take to stop dry skin from worsening.

Suggestions include lowering the temperature of water while showering or washing hands and applying lotion right after bathing.

They also provide suggestions for several skin care products.

“Lighter lotions such as Moisturel, Curel, Lubriderm, Vaseline Intensive Care, Nivea or Nutriderm spread more easily and may be used for less severe dry skin or in combination with Eucerin after the shower,” according to a handout from McKinley.

Wearing gloves after applying Vaseline to dry, cracked hands will help heal them overnight.

According to MedicineNet, dry hands that are very intense and resistant to lotion or any of the above products could be due to a condition called hand eczema. Symptoms include dry, patchy and itchy red skin. Skin may also be irritated by certain soaps, creams or cleaning products that might come into contact with one’s hands.

“Allergies, stress, irritants and genetic factors are all believed to be related to the development of this condition,” according to MedicineNet’s Web site.

A test by a doctor is needed to determine if this condition is existent.