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How to Deal with Dry Skin in the Winter and When to Seek Care

There are plenty of things that people dislike about wintertime. From an increase in viruses like the flu, COVID-19, and the common cold to freezing temperatures and icy hazards, keeping yourself healthy can be difficult.

One of the most common conditions that people complain about in the winter is dry skin. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including cold temperatures, decreased humidity, and the use of heaters indoors.

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent dry skin in the wintertime. Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of dry skin and how you can keep yours feeling soft and hydrated this winter.

Causes of Dry Skin in The Winter

Even people that don’t typically suffer from dry skin can experience it in the winter. This is due to an increase in factors that contribute to drying out the skin during the colder months.

Spending more time indoors is perhaps the biggest culprit. In general, indoor air is less humid than outdoor air, which means moisture is pulled away from your skin. Using heaters to keep your home comfortable during the winter can dry out the air even further.

Of course, spending time inside isn’t the only thing that can dry your skin out. Most of us enjoy taking a long, hot shower to warm up after being outdoors or waking up in a cool room. But did you know that hot showers are likely contributing to your dry skin?

The hot water causes your skin’s pores to open, allowing moisture and natural oils to escape. This can leave you feeling dry and itchy throughout the rest of the day.

How to Prevent Dry Skin

Although it isn’t totally possible to prevent dry skin (especially in the winter), taking proactive steps can help keep your skin hydrated.

For instance, you may want to consider investing in a humidifier. This can help increase the humidity levels of the air in your home and counteract the effects of using a heater. You may notice that it helps your skin feel more hydrated.

Another preventative step is to spend less time in the hot shower. Ideally, your showers should last no longer than 10 minutes. You should also try to decrease the heat to stop your pores from opening as much.

Finally, be conscious about what products you’re using on your skin. Stay away from harsh soaps and disinfectants when possible. Also try to avoid heavily scented lotions as these can dry your skin out more than hydrating it. Instead, opt for a gentle, moisturizing lotion with natural ingredients. 

When to See a Doctor for Dry Skin

If you’ve been dealing with dry skin for a prolonged amount of time, it might be worth taking a trip to the doctor. Sometimes dry skin isn’t just related to the winter weather but could be caused by another condition.

Meanwhile, eczema and psoriasis can also cause moderate to severe skin dryness. If you also experience a rash or redness that doesn’t seem to go away, it could be a sign that your dry skin isn’t related to the weather.

Visiting your doctor is a good first step towards figuring out what’s causing your dryness. The provider will perform an exam and determine what may be responsible for your symptoms. From there, you can work together to create the best course of treatment.

Velocity Urgent Care is Here to Help

At Velocity Urgent Care, we’re standing by to get you back to feeling your best. Whether you’re dealing with dry skin from winter-related factors or something like eczema, we are here to help.

You can stop by one of our clinics at any time or schedule an appointment to skip the wait. Our friendly, board-certified providers will perform an exam to get to the root of your dry skin and figure out which treatment options would be best.

If your dry skin is being caused by something other than wintertime, we can also refer you to a specialist for more focused care.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking serious safety precautions to ensure that our locations are as clean as possible. We’ve put strict sterilization protocols into place and are carefully handling patients who may be contagious to ensure that each one of our clinics is safe for those who need urgent medical care or occupational health services.

Velocity Urgent Care offers convenient online registration that helps you limit your contact with others during a visit. You can sign up for an appointment online ahead of time and arrive when it’s time to be seen to skip the waiting room. We even offer text message updates so you can wait in the car (if you prefer) until it’s time for your appointment.

Velocity Urgent Care is an in-network provider for most major insurance plans, meaning you can be seen for the cost of your co-pay and deductible. All of our locations also accept Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare. Veterans Administration beneficiaries are also welcome. To find out more about our services, locations, hours, and more, visit www.velocityuc.com.