How to Prevent Dry, Itchy Skin

While you can’t prevent dry skin in the winter months, there are ways to reduce the problem.

Q: My skin is so dry and itchy during the winter months. Moisturizer isn’t helping. Any advice?

A. While you can’t prevent dry skin, there are ways to reduce the problem. If you take a shower or bath daily, cut back to every other day; if that’s not appealing, make your showers and baths quicker and use water that’s warm but not extremely hot. A simple, economical tip for treating dry skin all over your body is to apply baby oil (or another moisturizer) before drying off to help lock in moisture. If your hands and feet are problem areas, try applying Vasoline (or your choice of product) at night, and put on socks or thin gloves to prevent the product from rubbing off.

Dr. Madelyn H. Fernstrom, Ph.D., C.N.S., is the founder and director of UPMC’s Weight Management Center. She is the diet and nutrition editor for NBC’s “Today Show” and is the author of The Runner’s Diet and The Real You Diet. Also, visit “Health Journal with Dr. Madelyn Fernstrom,” a health and wellness blog at

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