Most people realize that, in the wintertime, their skin gets dry, and it’s that dry skin that causes winter itch. But not many people understand why does their skin get dry in the wintertime, and if I explain that to you, it will be much easier for you to understand what measures you can take to both prevent dry winter itch as well as to treat it.
In the winter, of course, the air is much colder and that colder air holds much less moisture—that’s why there’s lower humidities during the wintertime. If there’s less moisture in the air, then it’s much easier for any moisture on your skin to jump off your skin, to evaporate into the air—that causes drying of your skin. In the wintertime, of course, there are strong, cold winds. Those strong, cold winds further amplify the evaporation from your skin. That’s why we talk about wind chill factors in the winter—we don’t talk about them in the summertime. And lastly, heating systems which keep us comfortable in the wintertime, don’t keep us that comfortable because most of them don’t add any moisture to the air and many of them actually rob moisture from the air and, in doing so, again promote more evaporation from the surface of your skin. All of this contributes to your dry skin in the wintertime and your itching. In another episode of DermTV, I will discuss how you can treat this and other ways that you can prevent it.