During these seemingly never ending winter months, the cold temps aren't the only thing Rebecca Dahmen has to put up with.
"When winter comes my skin starts to get itchy and dry especially around my knuckles on my hands." Said Dahmen.
The dry skin epidemic tends to pop up when the snowflakes start to fall, giving this chappy condition the nickname "winter itch."
"The humidity is gone out of the air, the environment outside is really dry, the heat is on in the house so everyone's skin is just drying out." Said Dr. Jenny Nelson with Avera Medical Group Dermatology.
Everyone's skin reacts to the cold differently but from Thanksgiving through St. Patty's Day, people are running to see the dermatologist.
"Patients usually come in with the dryness, redness really the main thing is itching or scratching all the time. They scratch their skin open but the itch is the main problem they're seeking to get rid of." Said Dr. Nelson.
That's what brought Rebecca to see Dr. Nelson. Rebecca's been dealing with dry skin for as long as she can remember. Moisturizers and lotions have become a daily routine for her, she's even experimented with different products to help find relief.
"Sometimes I put a little Vaseline on my knuckles where they tend to chat the most and sometimes I actually put gloves on when I sleep to lock that moisture in." Said Dahmen.
"Probably the best thing you can do is moisturize your skin the best time you can do that is right when you get out of the shower or bathtub." Said Dr. Nelson.
Taking quicker showers in lukewarm water can also help crack down on dryness. Anytime your skin gets wet adding a moisturizer or lotion as soon as possible is recommended, that goes for all ages.
"For kids it's basically the same recommendations as adults when you use bland, fragrant free moisturizers. Parents are often worried that if it doesn't say for kids on the label that they shouldn't use it but that's not necessarily true the same moisturizers you use for adults are safe on kids skin." Said Dr. Nelson.
And your kids may also play a role in what's drying out your skin.
"I have a three-year-old so I'm always using hand sanitizer or washing my hands after picking up things from her so I really think that contributes to the dry itchy skin." Said Dahmen.
With the flu season also in full swing hand sanitizers are readily available and unfortunately the alcohol in them can lead to drier skin.
"Yeah, it can definitely dry your skin out but I would still use it!" Said Dr. Nelson.
So be sure you have extra lotion handy so you can worry about something else like shoveling the sidewalk or simply trying to stay warm.
The best moisturizers and lotions to use are the thicker, creamier products that come in tubs instead of pumps. But any lotion you can get on your skin is definitely going to help.
For more information about dry skin or winter itch just call 877-AT-AVERA.