Winter is coming and so is the itchy skin that comes with it!

Why do we get itchy skin in Winter and what are the top 6 ways we can combat itchy skin this Winter? 

Why Do We Get Itchy Skin In Winter? 

Winter and itchy skin go hand in hand, especially the older we get. Our skin contains natural oils and these oils are plentiful in the warmer months. As soon as the temperature drops  wind, heaters, reverse cycle air conditioners, low humidity, hotter showers and other external factors all play a role in a reason why we get that irritable itch.  

Genetics can come into play, with one of the most common skin conditions called ichthyosis. Ichthyosis vulgaris is one of the most common itchy skin conditions that causes the front of our legs to develop a scaly like dryness. The skin is not actually dry in this case, it is an issue with the skin not being able to desquamate (shed) as effectively as it should, hence dead skin builds up causing the scaly skin condition. This tends to run in families and is common with atopic dermatitis.  

Here are some other reasons why you may be feeling the Winter Itch: 

  • Hypothyroidisim 

  • Diabetes 

  • Malnutrition 

  • Atopic Dermatitis, lice, chicken pox, hives 

  • Reaction to drugs/medication 

  • Having hot showers and showering for too long which dries the skin out 

  • Dry Skin or Xerosis 

  • Irritation or allergic reaction to substances like: wool, fabric softener, chemicals, soaps 

  • Pregnancy  

 

Top 5 Ways To Beat The Winter Itch  

Tip #1 How To Beat The Winter Itch: Luke Warm Showers 

I know Winter is the perfect time to thaw out sometimes with a hot steamy shower, but this tip will stop drying your skin out and therefor relieve those itching symptoms. You know you shower is too hot if you leave it looking the same colour as a tomato.  

Tip #2 How To Beat The Winter Itch: Replenish After Every Shower 

I find this tip works for me, I go between using straight up coconut oil or the Skin Matrix Serenity Body Oil after every shower. I go between the 2 as the Serenity Body Oil has a scent and the coconut oil does not. So it just depends on my mood at the time. Replenish and hydrate the skin daily so that the skin remains soft and supple. Our skin naturally contains oils, so when we replenish that oil content we allow our skin to keep that healthy barrier (acid mantle) that protects our skin from UV, environment, wind, moisture loss and bacteria. Use something that is natural and quickly absorbed.  

 

Tip #3 How To Beat The Winter Itch: Take EFA's Daily 

I see this one work, with clients who have really dry skin, Omega Fatty Acids work amazingly for replenishing natural oils within the body. They will not make you break out! Every cell in our body, contains EFA's in the cell wall. They are necessary for cell function, oxygen respiration, cell waste going out. If the cell wall is not permeable (nothing can come in or out) you have one unhappy cell and your skin will become crepey and take on a sallow appearance

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Tip #4 How To Beat The Winter Itch: Exfoliate Lightly 

Do not over exfoliate a dry skin. A dry skin is a compromised skin, follow tips 2 and 3 before giving your skin a good exfoliation. Whilst your skin is dry only exfoliate lightly, then always make sure you replenish with tip 2 straight after.  If your skin is itchy, do not efoliate at all. A light exfoliation would mean washing with a face washer and a more vigourous exfolation could be with the ASAP Body Scrub or the Riffi Mitt

                           

Tip #5 How To Beat The Winter Itch: Stop Using Soap 

Soap by its very nature is drying on the skin. Using soap in a hot steamy shower then not replenishing with natural oils is a recipe for dry, irritating , itchy skin. We made the switch permanently when we starting using goats milk soap on our little baby. After trying it myself and seeing how soft it left my skin after, we jus can't go back - buy from your local markets if you can, alternatively most supermarkets will offer a basic natural goats soap. If you love a liquid soap a great organic alternative is Dr Bronner Castile Soap. They also have bar soaps and toothpaste.  

How do you beat the Winter Itch? Share your tips with us ….. 

Have a question about this topic?  

Complete our Matrix Program, an online skin care consultation for professional advice. 

  

X Happy Skin Days, Sarah Wilkinson, Skin Matrix 

 

References: 

http://www.medicinenet.com/dry_skin/page4.htm