When the winter months roll in, we see a major decrease in the humidity in the air, and this translates to dry skin. Children are at particular risk for this condition, as they aren’t always thinking about ways to combat dehydrated, itchy skin.
Here are some tips to help children fight dry skin this winter.
Wearing clothing appropriate for the weather is one of the simplest ways to protect their skin. Adding an extra layer to their typical outdoor gear is a good rule to follow. Keep hats, mittens, and scarves handy for extra levels of outdoor protection.
Utilize Shorter, Lukewarm Baths
Keeping showers and baths to a minimum length helps keep healthy hydration locked into dry skin. Too long underwater and the skin can be sapped of all its moisture. Hot water is also not recommended. Keeping the temperature tepid helps to keep the skin from drying out. Water that is too hot triggers nerve endings to become sensitive, which can lead to itchy skin.
Use Quality Soap and Moisturizer
Avoiding overly scented soaps is a good practice, as many of these scents are provided by chemicals that dry out the skin. Try keeping soaps hypoallergenic, and deodorant-free as well, as this limits exposure to things that can irritate the skin. Moisturizer isn’t something that we should just be used with age. Choose the right kind of moisturizer, preferably something with more oil in it, like a body butter or cream product. Applying it to damp skin after a bath and covering up is the best way to lock in moisture.
Humidify the Air
Using a humidifier is a great way to help control the climate, and force moisture into a child’s typical exposure zones. Having a humidifier running aids in combating that dry, itchy, winter skin. Keeping the humidity around 40% with a whole-house humidifier is the best way, but a smaller, cool mist room humidifier is another good option.
Talk to Your Doctor
Are you seeing more than just run-of-the-mill winter skin? Consulting with your pediatrician is the best route. Anything from laundry detergent to environmental factors can affect the sensitive skin of a child, but it could be something more serious. If there’s a lot of patchy redness, schedule an appointment so the pediatrician can see the flare-up in its full form, and make the best assessment.
Protect your little one from the harshness of winter climates by incorporating as many of these tips as are appropriate to their needs.
The information and content on our website should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment or advice from your doctor.