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Winter is here and so is the cold dry air. Because wintertime humidity is so low, what little moisture that remains is quickly sucked up into the air. Moisture also evaporates from your body, leaving your skin, eyes, nose, and throat parched. This season can leave your skin feeling itchy, your sinus scorched, your nose bleeding, and your body being more prone to infection due to less mucus in your nose to protect from invaders!

What can you to do fight the dryness?

  • Use a humidifier – This will add moisture to the dry heated air. Aim for 30% – 50% humidity in your room.
  • Seal your home – Seal off any air leaks to avoid dry cold air from coming in. Keeping your home well insulated will allow you to limit turning up the thermostat.
  • Hydrate – Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep in some moisture in your body. Add fresh fruits or tea for flavor!
  • Shorten shower time – While the hot water might feel good in the moment, it can dry out your skin. Keep showers to less than 15 minutes in length.
  • Moisturize – Use oil-based moisturizers frequently, and especially after showers. Help keep your nasal passageways moist by using salt water (saline) drops or rubbing a little petroleum jelly into each nostril gently with a cotton swab.
  • Protect your eyes – Use a warm compress over your eyes when they are feeling dry which will release the oil in the eyelid glands and improve the quality of tears. Using artificial tear drops can also help to lubricate dry eyes.

Written by Andrea Barberio, PT, DPT

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