By: Leena Thomas, Specialities Pharmacist

Last week I happened to see a teenage girl browsing the skincare products in the pharmacy. She approached me to get an idea of the best skin moisturizing product that suits her to beat the dry skin problems. I looked at her hands, and those were rough-looking and almost cracked that might bleed.

Most of us experience dry skin on the hands as we practice regular hand washing and sanitizing. The weather gets colder and drier in winter, and we feel itchy dry skin.  The low humidity outdoors and indoors tends to reduce the skin’s water content.

Simple tips to beat dry winter skin

  1. Limit hot water exposure to 5-10 minutes for bath or shower, use only lukewarm water
  2. Apply a moisturizer within 3 minutes after dabbing following a bath or a hand wash and apply every 4 hours in a day for best results.
  3. Use gentle skin cleansers.
  4. Add moisture to the air by using a humidifier.
  5. Avoid ingestion of excess caffeine, alcohol, and spices.
  6. Quit smoking: Nicotine can reduce blood flow that can lead to dry skin.
  7. Manage stress levels as stress may cause dry skin flares for people with eczema and psoriasis.
  8. Drink plenty of fluids.

Know your moisturizer

  1. You may need to try a variety of moisturizers with different ingredients to find those that suit you.
  2. Thick creams or ointments are more effective and less irritating than lotions.
  3. For sensitive skin, make sure the product says fragrance-free. Even the products labelled as “unscented” can have irritant chemicals added to neutralize the orders of other ingredients.
  4. If you are using any medication as cream or ointment for skin problems apply your medication first, wait for 30 minutes to get it absorbed into the skin, then apply the moisturizer.