Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Is Winter Itch Troubling You?

Well, it's that time of year again. December 21, 2012, marked the first day of winter for this season and with it comes a whole new season of itching and scratching! The dreaded winter itch will be spreading throughout the population. People everywhere will be itching, scratching, rubbing and seeking relief any way they possibly can. All of this activity is due to the drying effects of the winter climate. The cold season heralds in dry air which causes the skin to lose a good amount of the essentials oils that normally keep the skin soft and supple.

Normally, a person does not have any issues dealing with the dry weather, but as we get older, such normal activity starts to become a chore. This is because as we age, our body's ability to handle the onslaught of temperature extremes becomes more difficult. Add to that the fact that as people age, they tend to take more medicines and many of these medicines have drying properties as a side effect. Just to name a few, here are three major classes of pharmaceuticals which can cause dry skin. The first is the family of antihistamines which are used for a wide variety of allergy and cough & cold products commonly used in the winter. The second is the family of anticholinergic drugs which are used for many disorders ranging from stomach potions to bladder disorders to breathing disorders. The third category is the family of statins which most people are familiar with for their cholesterol reducing ability. While a build up of cholesterol has been implicated in heart disease, cholesterol also has beneficial properties in keeping the skin from drying out.

So, what exactly is a person supposed to do to guard against winter itch? The short answer is to moisturize your skin often. A better answer is to moisturize your skin often and all over. It is very common to see a person apply skin moisture to the palm of their hands and then proceed to rub it all over their hands and then bring their hands up to their face and finish off by moisturizing their face. While this is good, it is not complete. You need to apply the precious lotions and potions all over your body. Arms, legs, abdomen, back, EVERYWHERE... got it. Back application can usually be handled with the aid of a back applicator. This looks like a back scratcher but it has a pad on the end which will receive the lotion that you place on it for application.

Finally, you need to know that the best time to apply moisture all over your body is right after showering or bathing. Do not wipe yourself completely dry but in fact just dab off all the extra water. Now with your skin moist, apply your lotion and rub in gently. Stay away from lotions that have perfumes and any other unnecessary chemicals.

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