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Experts Offer Tips for Winter Skin

Update Date: Dec 02, 2013 03:32 PM EST

Experts are offering tips to help people protect themselves from itchy, dry skin this winter.

Dr. Robyn Gmyrek, a dermatologist and director of the Skin and Laser Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center told HealthDay that people should take precautions to guard themselves against the "winter itch".

Gmyrek explains that the cold dry air of winter can drain they skin of moisture and cause an itchy feeling known as "winter itch".  

Gmyrek offers a few recommendations for healthy skin this winter:

-       Moisturize with petrolatum or cream-based lotions. You should apply them directly to damp skin right after a bath or shower so that the lotion can help trap surface moisture.  People with sensitive skin should use moisturizers without fragrance or lanolin.

-       Don't take multiple showers a day. Excessive cleaning can cut down the skin's natural moisturizers. Gmyrek says washing your hands, face, feet and between the folds of your skin once a day is enough. You can shower daily, but avoid using soap every day.

-       Avoid using hot water and soap. Instead, take short, and lukewarm showers of baths of a non-irritating, non-detergent-based cleanser.

-       Get a room humidifier, which can help stop air from becoming too dry.

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