Wondering if your nagging cold is actually an allergy? Or what about your new skin cream that made your hands break out? Distinguishing an allergy from a non-allergic condition is not always a clear-cut task. But knowing the difference can sometimes help you solve what's ailing you, which in turn could mean faster relief.
Mary Fields knows just how difficult pinpointing an allergy can be. The 64-year-old Bronx resident tells WebMD she was convinced her frequent hives were caused by something in...
You may think pre-moistened wipes are gentler than plain-old tissue, but many diaper wipes or those made for removing makeup contain fragrance, detergents, or other chemicals that may further irritate cracked, dry skin, says Neil Schachter, MD, author of The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds & Flu.
Use soft tissue or toilet paper instead. Those with aloe may feel especially gentle.
2. Pat, Don’t Wipe
When you do blow your nose, pat your nostrils and the skin around your nose dry instead of rubbing or wiping, says New York dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD.
When you pat, you get less friction and skin irritation than if you rub. That saves you some pain later.
3. Moisturize Multiple Times a Day
Several times a day -- after every blow, even -- dab a small amount of a gentle petrolatum-based product around your nostrils and onto any irritated patches of skin around your nose.
“Ointments are more helpful than creams or lotions, because they form a waterproof seal that lets the skin underneath heal itself,” Zeichner says.
4. Watch for an Infection
If you have deep skin cracks around the nose that don’t seem to heal, or if they become covered with a yellowish or honey-colored crust, you may have a skin infection.
If you think that’s the case, dab on a small amount of antibiotic ointment to the area three times a day, Zeichner says. It will moisturize and fight germs at the same time.
5. Flush More So You Can Blow Less
Rinse your nasal passages with a gentle saline (salt water) solution twice a day, morning and night, Schachter says. This will ease your congestion and rinse mucus out of your nasal passages without you having to blow your nose.
“Anything that can lower skin friction will keep the nose in better shape,” Zeichner says. (And remember, pat dry afterward -- don’t wipe.)