Tips to help treat dry, cracked skin during the winter months

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 22, 2015)-- Winter air can be as dry as a desert, leaving your skin parched and cracked, even prone to infection.

So when you reach for relief, Dr. Molly Menser, of Sunflower Dermatology, recommends you go for the heavier skin creams.

“Always a cream, or even an ointment,” says Dr. Menser. “Creams and ointments are much more hydrating to the skin than a lotion.”

Lotions simply don’t seal in enough moisture after you bathe. Also many lotions contain dyes and heavy fragrances.

“Certainly skin that’s already dry and irritated is going to be more inflamed or irritated by the presence of fragrance or dyes in the product,”  says Menser.

Dr. Menser recommends Vanicream to her patients. A number of retailers sell it. It’s good on any part of the body including  the face.

She also includes Cerave and Cetaphil on her list of go to skin products.  But if you can stand a little greasiness, cheap Vaseline is great for dry skin.

“My solution to the greasiness is to smear that, but cover it with white cotton gloves or even an old pair of cotton socks at bedtime.”

When you shower or bathe, make it quick. Five minutes or less at a lukewarm temperature is preferred because hot water is more dehydrating.

As for soap, avoid deodorant or anti-bacterial if you have dry skin.  Also blot your skin dry with a towel rather than rubbing it.  Immediately apply creams or ointments.

And if none of these suggestions work, call a dermatologist.

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