What wouldn’t most of us have given to have had drier air last summer? But now furnace season is in full swing and the air is definitely drier—dry enough to affect how we feel. This doesn’t sound too threatening, but it can have negative effects on our bodies. Many chronic health conditions are exacerbated by the very dry conditions of winter. The dry air doesn’t cause eczema or asthma but it can trigger outbreaks and cause other problems like dry itchy skin and nosebleeds.
Here are some steps you can take to improve your family’s comfort and health this winter:
- Stock up on skin-moisturizing lotions, lip balm and hand crèmes. Don’t just buy them, use them faithfully
- Hand sanitizers can dry skin out—think how often you and the kids use it every day.
- Stay on top of chronic respiratory issues at this time of the year. A simple cold can keep many asthmatics out of school. Keep your prescriptions current by making sure your child is seen every six months
- Follow your doctor’s instructions for dealing with eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions
- Ask your doctor for recommendations about humidifying your home
- Bedtime is a smart time to slather the kiddies with body lotion—dry itchy skin can make it hard for them to fall asleep; who wants that?
- Dry nasal passages can lead to nosebleeds. These are generally not serious but can be a real nuisance for the child. Not so good for pillowcases either. See our website for specific information about treating and preventing nosebleeds.
Dry air tends to sneak up on us; we don’t usually notice a problem until our lips are dry and sore or we notice small cracks on our hands. Be proactive and ready to deal with this problem.