When the weather outside is frightful, your skin deserves extra protection against the elements. "The dryness of winter air is the problem; cold air does not hold moisture," says Rhode Island Hospital dermatologist Carmela Vittorio, MD. "A well-maintained humidifier prevents indoor air from over-drying. And use a moisturizer. You don't have to buy expensive creams-petroleum jelly is all you need." Dr. Vittorio recommends applying a small amount to wet skin right after a shower. "If petroleum jelly is too sticky for you, try a water-based cream."
When it comes to soap and water, do yourself a favor and skip that hot bath. It may sound soothing, but hot water makes itchy skin worse. Take a lukewarm bath or shower instead and immediately smooth on moisturizer to prevent roughness and cracking.