Why does the skin itch in winter
Dry skin: what helps in winter?
Cold and heated air often lead to dry skin: it itches, flakes and tightens all over the body. If the skin lacks moisture, small cracks can appear, especially on fingers, elbows, knees and feet. These areas are more permeable for germs, bacteria and fungi. With the right care, you can prevent your skin from drying out, even in winter.
Structure of the skin
The outermost layer is the so-called epidermis. It protects the deeper layers from external environmental influences. Below is the dermis, in which nerves, skin glands and blood vessels are anchored. The innermost layer of skin is the subcutaneous tissue. It consists of adipose and connective tissue.
Sebum glands provide protection
The sebum glands in the dermis provide the protective acid mantle that is supposed to protect against moisture loss and damage. If they produce too little fat, the skin becomes dry, cracked and thin as parchment over time. With increasing age, the sebum production decreases, the protective acid mantle becomes thinner and thinner. If the skin continues to dry out, itching and eczema develop.
Take care of your skin properly in winter
Many commercially available skin care products contain mineral oils such as paraffin because they are smooth, inexpensive, odorless and long-lasting. In the long run, however, they make the skin rough and dry. People with sensitive skin should make sure that their care product contains as few ingredients as possible and no additives such as dyes, fragrances or alcohol. They can irritate the skin.
Natural, well-tolerated alternatives are almond, jojoba and wheat germ oil and shea butter. In winter, skin care products should contain more oil and less moisture. The ideal ratio depends on the skin type. Consultation with a dermatologist or beautician can be useful here. Urea is a good moisturizer and is found in synthetic form in skin creams. Active ingredients such as panthenol, pantothenic acid, allantoin and vitamin E have a lipid replenishing effect.
Take care when showering and bathing
Hot water and too much soap damage the protective skin coat and lead to itching and dry skin. That is why shower baths should be short and not hot, especially in winter. You should only lather the critical areas and not the whole body. Extensive bubble baths are a strain on the skin and should be avoided as a matter of principle. There is nothing wrong with an occasional wellness bath of 10 to 15 minutes if the water is not more than 39 degrees and a moisturizing oil bath is used.
Do not wash your hands too often
In winter, in particular, hands are washed frequently to prevent infections. Washing oils reduce the dehydration of the skin. An alternative to hand washing are hand disinfectants, which are less stressful to the skin than soap. Dishwashing detergent extremely degreases the skin. Sensitive people should wear rubber gloves when washing dishes or cleaning.
Good nutrition for the skin
With the right nutrition in winter, the skin can be strengthened from the inside. Vegetable oils made from flaxseed. Chia seeds or hemp care for the skin from the inside with essential omega-3 fatty acids. It is best to eat fatty fish, avocados and salads with the right oils. Also important: drink a lot.
Do not scratch if you have eczema
Eczema is a range of skin rashes that cause non-contagious inflammation of the top layer of the skin. The skin is not just dry, but also red and flaky, itchy and wet. This can even cause vesicles and nodules to form; bacteria and fungi can penetrate through tiny cracks in the skin barrier and cause diseases. Anyone who scratches because of the itching makes the problem worse. Only a cortisone cream can help against eczema, it fights the inflammation.
Soap: how good is it for the skin?
Soap is essential for hand washing. However, it disrupts the skin's natural protective layer. Dermatologists therefore advise using soap sparingly. more
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