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Prolonged Cold Snap Causing Dry Skin Problems For Many

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- How cold is it?

Furnaces are working overtime; and if you do venture out, the less exposure to arctic temperatures - courtesy of the polar vortex - the better.

The largest organ of our bodies is hollering "uncle!" We're talking about skin.

"With the hot showers and the cold weather and the wind chill, everything dries out," says Dawn Williams, of Swissvale. "I solve it with organic coconut oil. I drench my body in that."

"Very dry," adds Doreen Tumminello, of Alison Park. "I have to scratch my back on the door jamb."

Dr. Diane Inserra, a dermatologist with the Allegheny Health Network, says this prolonged cold "can be a big problem for skin. Some people are affected more than others."

When you peel off your tights, stockings or socks and you find a sea of white flakes, your legs and heels are becoming alligator hide.

One big no-no with dry skin is coming in for the cold and taking a long, hot shower, says Dr. Inserra.

"That takes the oils out of your skin, and generally, when you wash those oils out of your skin in a hot shower - if you don't replace those oils with a good moisturizer - that tends to make you pretty dry and itchy," says Dr. Inserra.

When you apply moisturizer is also important.

"Most things work if you put it on your skin when it's damp and do it regularly," Dr. Inserra says.

That crazy winter itch from very dry skin can develop into a more serious problem called, winter rash.

"It can be pretty bad, especially from all that scratching, you infect your skin from getting bacteria in there from your fingertips," said Dr. Inserra.

Finally, to prevent those painful cracks in your fingertips, make sure to wear gloves.

"Not waiting until your hands are really painful to put gloves on - that's really important in the winter," Dr. Inserra adds.

More Arctic Blast News
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