Help Your Body Weather Winter

Local Doc Shares Best Ways to Moisturize In Winter

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet of Family Allergy & Asthma Care in Gaithersburg, Md., has some advice for avoiding itchy, dry skin this winter. (Published Monday, Dec 6, 2010)

    Baby, it’s cold outside, so we’ve all cranked up the heat. That’ll keep us warm, but it can also dry out our skin and nasal passages, triggering a host of problems, including allergic reactions, sinus headaches, winter coughs and itchy skin.

    A common skin problem is eczema, a severe form of dry skin.

    “What many people don’t know is that half the patients who have eczema actually have allergies, and like any other allergic disease, there are so many different types of triggers. One of them can be the cold weather," said Dr. Jackie Eghrari-Sabet, of Family Allergy & Asthma Care in Gaithersburg, Md.

    Dr. Jackie shared advice about the best ways to moisturize your body and your nose:

    • Humidifiers. They can relieve dryness but they aren’t the best way moisturize dry skin and noses. The best way to do it is to actually get the water all over and inside you. Drink lots of it. Get the water up your nose using a nasal spray or gel. If you must use a humidifier, be sure to keep it clean so it doesn’t blow around mold.  And don’t keep your house too humid. That’ll grow dust mites which can set off your allergies.
    • Showering & Bathing. Some folks believe you should cut back on washing your skin in winter, especially with hot water. Make the water lukewarm and use the lotion or cream while you’re still wet. Use soap strategically, on the parts of you that actually need soap. Use a liquid cleanser everywhere else.
    • Lotions & Creams. Expensive is not better when it comes to moisturizers. What you really want is something thick, so creams are much better than lotions. Most lotions have alcohol and water, which will evaporate and can leave your skin drier. Petroleum jelly is a great option.  It’s thick and it’s cheap.
    • Moisturize While You Sleep. Night time is the best time to slather lots of thick cream on your hands and feet. Then stick them into gloves or socks to lock in the maximum moisture. For extremely dry, cracked feet, spread on the cream, put plastic wrap around them, then slip on the socks before bedtime. However, do NOT use any medicated or hydrocortisone creams and leave them on all night.
    • Food & Vitamins. A healthy diet will certainly give you healthy skin, but the best place to put things like vitamin E is “on” your skin.