Combat the Dreaded Winter Rash Dry Skin
Why do I itch so much in the winter?
Winter is in full effect for many parts of the US and so is the dreaded winter rash or winter itch.
This time of year many of us get that dry, itchy, red, and scaly skin that ordinary skin lotions can't treat.
Winter brings cold, dry air with almost no humidity. When you couple that with the fact we live in heated homes creates the perfect storm for dry skin and winter rash.
“Think of it as dry air sucking the moisture out of the skin,” said Susan Taylor, MD, Associate Professor of Dermatology at Penn Medicine.
“It’s that loss of moisture from upper layers of the skin that causes it to dry out.”
Another key contributor to dry skin is the shower or bath. Hot water strips off the skin's natural oils and waxes.
Frequent hand washing and anti-bacterial gels also contribute to dry skin. Detergent hand soaps and chemicals do their job and kill germs. The downside is those chemical are harsh and will also dry out your hands.
Are you a swimmer? The chemicals in swimming pools also strip out the skin's oils.
How CBD affects your skin
Many cannabis topicals on the market, like Naturally Mignon's CBD Butter, contain cannabidiol (CBD).
CBD is easily absorbed through the skin and its effectiveness in treating dry skin conditions is gaining interest in the medical community.
Cedars-Sinai dermatologist and skin cancer surgeon Dr. Nima Gharavi says using a CBD skin care product may help with treating severely dry skin.
"However, more studies are needed to see if CBD or other chemical agents found in the cannabis plant directly improve skin quality and have other health benefits," Dr. Gharavi says.
"I'd like to see more data on how CBD, in the form of a topical agent, could have promising or comparable anti-inflammatory effects as a steroid."
How to treat winter itch
Ordinary skin lotions are not very effective for severely dry skin conditions such as winter itch. You need something with a little more firepower.
Skin products that contain oils and waxes require a little more time to absorb into the skin as compared to a lotion. The feel is more oily, but this provides moisture barrier that lasts far longer than lotion.
A good technique to use is to pat yourself dry with a towel after a shower or bath. With your skin still moist, apply an intensive moisturizer. This will help the moisturizer trap water in the skin.
Look for these ingredients in winter itch relief products:
- Olive oil, safflower, coconut oil
- Mineral oil
- Hyaluronic acid
- Petroleum jelly
- Limit showers or baths to 5 minutes
- Use lukewarm water
- Use a low detergent soap that contains natural oils
- Pat your skin dry with a towel after shower
- Apply moisturizer 2 times a day
- Use a bedroom humidifier at night
- Try a cannabis topical with CBD