Posted by Vered on October 13 2010
One of my kids suffers from eczema, which pretty much makes me an expert on dealing with dry winter skin. Thankfully, her eczema is generally mild, but in wintertime, her skin does tend to flare up and requires constant attention – and hydration. Even if your child doesn’t have a skin condition such as eczema, for many babies and kids, dry winter air often causes dry, itchy skin. Here are my best tips for preventing, and dealing with, dry winter skin:
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize! In winter, there’s no such thing as over-moisturizing! Use a gentle, fragrance-free over the counter lotion such as Cetaphil, and apply it to your child’s skin frequently. 3-4 times a day is great.
Vaseline Is Good! I know that some are worried about using petroleum jelly on human skin, but it makes an excellent skin protectant and is the only thing that truly makes a difference when my child has a bad case of eczema. It’s very oily of course, so dab small amounts, only on the driest areas.
Avoid Extreme Temperatures Keep your home comfortably cool and indoor air will not be as dry. Also, avoid very warm water – use lukewarm water when washing your baby.
Avoid Fragrances and Irritants Be gentle with your child’s skin. Fragrances are a known irritant, as are certain oils and extracts, including peppermint and papaya. Before using a soap or a lotion, read the list of ingredients carefully, and remember that even natural ingredients can be harsh on your baby’s skin.
Use a Humidifier In addition to using a lotion to moisturize your child’s skin, using a humidifier in her room can also help you combat dry winter skin.
Avoid Long Baths Prolonged contact with water will dry your baby’s already-dry skin even more, so keep those baths short, and moisturize his skin immediately after towel drying.
When Outside, Protect Skin When going outside, use clothing and accessories such as gloves and scarves to protect skin from chilly, drying winds. Apply a gentle sunscreen daily, even in winter. Winter sun, especially when combined with snow glare, can damage skin.