The winter air can leave a chill in the air and on our skin that chaps and chafes our skin. And, the additional heat, can warm our hearts and our home, but dry out the air and again, our skin, leaving it dehydrated and dry. And, in both cases we can experience a common condition known as winter itch.
According to experts dry skin is a direct by-product of a loss of moisture. They note, that depending on which layer (dermis or epidermis) the water content of the skin can vary, but is estimated at 80% for the epidermis, but much dry for the dermis, or surface layer of skin. In fact, according to the experts the dermis is comprised of dead skin cells and has a water content of about 10-30 percent.
When the outer layer, the stratum corneum dries out, it loses its luster and results in dry skin. And, skin that is low on water and dry will fissure, making it more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections.
Moisturizers can help rehydrate the skin preventing further water loss and dryness. While some may result in skin swelling slightly reducing fine line and wrinkles and making pores appear smaller, they do not repair sun damage. However, they can also help skin feel softer and smoother. And experts notes the four target areas moisturizers generally address.
1. Skin barrier repairs
2. Increasing water content
3. Diminishing amount of water loss
4. Restoring skin’s capacity to attract, hold and redistribute water.
And, experts offer the following suggestions for dealing with dry skin and winter itch.
· Refrain from hot tubs and hot baths. While the heat may feel soothing, it’s actually serves to strip your skin of essential oils and depletes it of water, making skin drier and matters worse.
· Lather you ligaments while still wet. Applying moisturizer to damp skin helps seal in the moisture.
· Creamy, rich moisturizers are the best kind. Consider putting some petroleum jelly on your hands covered with cotton gloves while you sleep at night to keep hands supple and smooth.
· Note that moisturizers containing lactic acid or urea can draw water into the skin.
· Moisturize hands after each washing or when coming in from the cold.