If you live in the Northeastern part of the country like I do, Winter brings snow, ice, freezing temperatures and shorter days. It can also bring a dry skin condition known as the “Winter Itch”. This can make your skin dryer than usual and cause you to itch and scratch excessively. If you suffer from this problem like I used to, then use these homemade treatments to cure Winter Itch.
The first thing to do to help keep your skin hydrated during the cold-weather months, is to make sure you drink plenty of water. In the summertime, it’s easy to stay hydrated because the hot weather makes you thirsty. In the wintertime, though, we tend to turn to hot chocolate and other such drinks to help us stay warm. The problem is, though, we don’t drink as much as we should. Drink six to eight- eight ounce glasses of water every day, and your body should be properly hydrated.
Another homemade treatment to cure the annoying Winter Itch is to add even more water to your body. But this time, you’ll need to add it to the outside instead. Bathe in warm water, never hot. Hot water will make your dry skin become even more itchy and irritated. And, everytime you bathe, set aside fifteen minutes to soak in the bathtub afterwards. If your Winter Itch is especially bothersome, empty out your bath water and fill the tub half full with cool water. Pour a couple cups of ground oatmeal into the water and swish it around. Climb in and soak your dry, itchy skin in the soothing oatmeal.
During your bath, if you insist on using a harsh antibacterial or deodorant soap, use it only on your feet, armpits and genital area. On the rest of your body, use a milder, moisturizing soap. Or, use a shower gel that’s gentle on the skin and won’t strip it of the oils and moisture it needs to stay soft and supple. Then, before you finish your bath, rinse off completely with clean water to remove any soap residue that can further dry your skin.
The next step is to get out of the tub and pat- don’t rub- your skin dry with an absorbent towel. Then, immediately apply a moisturizer to your skin while it’s still moist. One of the best homemade treatments is to use baby oil. It’s inexpensive to buy, it smells good, and it will help cure the Winter Itch if you use it after every bath.
Another efficient, homemade treatment to cure the Winter Itch is to make sure your home isn’t too dry. Heated air is lower in humidity than cool air. Therefore, while we’re trying to keep our homes warm during the cold-weather months, we’re also creating a drier indoor environment. And that will affect the dryness of your skin. You can easily use a hygrometer that’s located in the central part of your house- away from bathrooms and kitchens- to monitor the humidity. Hygrometers can be found at department stores, at hardwares and at home supply stores.
Look at a standard hygrometer dial and you’ll see that 15 – 30% is considered to be “very dry.” If that doesn’t sound like “real dry air”, consider that the average humidity of the Sahara Dessert is a mere 25%.
35- 65% is the “normal” amount of humidity that should be in your house. To help add moisture to the air and relieve the Winter Itch, you can use a humidifier. Read and follow the manufacturer’s directions in order to get the best results. Humidifiers are an effective, homemade treatment for dry skin. However, if you overdo it and put too much humidity in your home, the results can be disastrous.
And finally, to cure rough, flaky patches of the Winter Itch, rub petroleum jelly directly on the affected area for relief.