Winter’s not the only time to pay attention to your family’s skin health. Sun, chlorine and even air-conditioning can deplete skin’s natural moisture, leaving it feeling dry and uncomfortable. Deborah S. Sarnoff, M.D., New York City Cosmetic Dermatologist and Associate Clinical Professor of Dermatology, NYU School of Medicine, offers these tips to help families keep the “itchies” at bay:
• In the Pool-According to recent studies, swimming in chlorinated or sea water causes a 20 percent reduction in skin hydration, which can lead to dry and itchy skin. Worse, the uncomfortable feeling can last up to four hours after swimming. Eucerin Calming Creme, which is formulated with oatmeal, is used for treating itchy, dry, post-pool skin. It’s clinically proven to moisturize for 24 hours, meaning no matter how many dips you take in the pool, your skin will feel hydrated and healthy.
• In the Bath-Women who shave their legs can calm after-shave irritation and dryness with a thick moisturizer containing glycerin. Dr. Sarnoff recommends applying a moisturizer immediately after a shower or bath to lock moisture into the skin. If skin is especially irritated, apply a soothing ointment, such as Aquaphor, to the affected area.
• In The House-Air-conditioning can zap moisture from the air in your home and from your skin. Keep effective hand and body moisturizers in the house for those dry-skin moments, and consider investing in a humidifier for your home.
• For Him-Men often take off their shirts in the hot weather, which can lead to drier skin. When the temperature rises, dermatologists advise heavier, “greasier” moisturizers such as creams and ointments because these are more effective at holding moisture in skin and helping heal dry areas.
• For The Kids-Moisturizer is a summer camp essential. Pediatricians recommend using moisturizers that contain oatmeal to calm the dry-skin itch, and which are also nonirritating, so they’re safe for children with sensitive skin and eczema.
Moisturizer can be especially important for kids’ skin during warm months.