Winter dry skin: Causes, treatment, and more

Winter is here! Not dealing with the sun’s scorching heat, we have cooler temperatures and snowflakes falling, but with that, our skin also becomes flaky and whitish.
Many people have skin problems in winter, like dry skin, flaky skin, red and white patches, itching, etc. Our skin loses its radiance and charm in winter. It loses moisture and plump and brings a lot of skin issues. Some have mild problems, but others can also have severe skin problems.
But have you ever wondered why it happens? Why does our skin lose its charm during the winter season? If not, you are at the right place. Here in this article, we will tell you about the causes that affect our skin during winter and how you can prevent skin damage.

Causes of dry skin in winter-
Many factors can damage our skin during the winter season. The following are the primary causes of winter skin dryness-

  • Low temperature: When the temperature gets lower, it affects the skin directly. When it comes in contact with our skin, the cold air takes away its moisture. The humidity is also relatively low during winter, so the moisture does not stay on the skin for longer. The ones living in windy or colder conditions often have dry skin problems.
  • Artificial heating: We all use some kind of artificial heating when it gets too cold. Whether central heating, wood burning, space heaters, or stoves reduce the area’s humidity. It affects the natural moisture and oils in the skin, making it dry and itchy.
  • Wrong bathing practice: Wrong bathing practices, like using too hot water, can also damage your skin. You should always use hot water for washing your hair or bathing. It can cause flakiness and dryness. You should use lukewarm water. Also, do not scrub or rub your skin too vigorously. It can make the skin even drier. Rubbing the skin with a towel can be problematic.
  • Soaps: Certain soaps extract oil from your skin, making the skin dry.
  • Age- After a certain age, the skin tends to be drier and is generally moistureless.
  • Skin problems: Some people already have skin problems like eczema or psoriasis, which make the skin very dry and, with winters, become even more parched.

Symptoms of dry skin

  • The appearance of cracks and fine lines on the skin.
  • Scaling or peeling of the skin.
  • Flakiness and roughness on the skin.
  • Change in skin color from red to white to brown or black.
  • The skin becomes dehydrated as a result of loss of moisture.
  • The skin can have skin infections, like yellow crusts, or an area on the skin with pus due to dryness.
  • Wrinkles on the skin and loosening of the skin.
  • You may feel pain or a burning sensation on the skin. Even when water touches the skin, you may feel pain.

How to treat dry skin in winter?

Use the right moisturizer-

Your skincare routine needs a change from summer to winter. So do your products. We all use non-sticky, non greasy, and light moisturizers during summer. But we need thicker moisturizers in winter. It would be best to avoid moisturizers with retinol as they take away the skin’s oil. Instead, use a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, propylene glycol, petroleum jelly, stearic acid, and glycerin. These ingredients keep the moisture intact in the skin. These ingredients absorb moisture from the air, so your skin has more moisture and will not get dry.

Your diet is important too-

Including fats in your diet can help prevent dryness in your skin. You can include fats like walnuts, avocadoes, meat, olive oil, etc. You should not drink too much coffee as it has caffeine, a diuretic that can cause dehydration in the body. You should drink ample water even during the winter season. People always make the mistake of drinking less water during winter. Yes, we do not feel as thirsty as we do during summer, but our body requires a certain amount of water content to keep us hydrated. Therefore, eight glasses of water are essential even during winter.

Keep yourself covered when you go out.

Covering up your hands, head, and face if you go out in the cold or wind will be best. It directly touches and dries up the skin, so wear gloves, cover yourself with a scarf and then go out.

It would be best if you had moisture in the surrounding environment- Winters reduce the amount of humidity in the air. So, you need to create moisture in the air. You can install a humidifier that will balance the humidity or make a DIY humidifier.

Dealing with chapped lips-

Remember to apply lip balm or petroleum jelly on your lips. Our lips are very soft, and if they have cracks, they tend to bleed very fast. You also apply coconut oil or shea butter on your lips to keep the moisture locked. Exfoliate the lips to remove the dry and dead skin. Try to breathe through your nose; breathing through your mouth makes the mouth dry. You may think that licking your lips moisturizes them, but instead, it makes the lips even more dehydrated.

Natural products: Instead of using chemicals and expensive skin care products, you use home ingredients and do your skin care. For example, you can make a homemade scrub with sugar and honey and massage your face with raw milk. Applying coconut oil before sleeping will also help soothe your skin.

When to go to a doctor?

You can use these precautions first and try some homemade remedies, but if your skin still feels dry, visit a doctor. Or if your skin is peeling too much, there are cracks, and blood is oozing out from your skin, you must immediately make an appointment with a doctor. Sometimes our skin requires specific chemical treatments, as there can be an underlying problem.

Dry skin is a common issue that we all face, but sometimes it can be more than that. You can follow the preventions and remedies for dry skin on your own. But if there is any infection or a problem, immediately visit a dermatologist.

Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors