Skip to content

    Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Soothe Dry Skin When You Have a Cold

    Protect From the Outdoors

    When you have a cold, you should stay home while you're getting better. But if you have to go out, protect your skin.

    The sun, wind, and cold all can be enemies when your skin is dry and sore. Though the sun's rays are less intense in cold weather, they can still burn -- leading to even more peeling, flaking, and itchiness. That's why it's important to wear sunscreen all year long. Look for one that's SPF 30 and says "broad-spectrum" on the label.

    For extra protection from the sun, wear a scarf, hat, and gloves. They can also help save you from the drying effects of cold weather and wind.

    Hydrate Your House and Body

    Dry indoor air can irritate your skin and your sinuses, so keep it moist. Install a whole-house humidifier on your furnace or use separate ones in different rooms.

    Keep humidity set between 30% and 50%. If you use a room humidifier, clean it often so mold or mildew don't build up.

    Keep your skin hydrated from the inside out by getting enough healthy fats and vitamins. Fatty acids like omega-3s help make up your skin's natural, moisture-retaining oil barrier.

    Too few of these healthy fats can give you dry, itchy skin. You can get omega-3s from seafood, especially salmon and tuna, as well as flaxseed, walnuts, and canola oil.

    Foods rich in vitamins also help keep your skin moist and healthy. Eat plenty of poultry, fish, whole grains, and beans.

    1 | 2
    Reviewed on October 22, 2013

    Today on WebMD

    hot toddy
    15 tips to help you feel better.
    man sneezing into elbow
    Do echinacea and vitamin C really help a cold?
     
    teen girl coughing
    Get a good night’s rest with these remedies.
    elder berry
    Eat these to fight colds, flu, and more.
     
    Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
    Slideshow
    cold weather
    VIDEO
     
    Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
    Article
    Boy holding ear
    Slideshow
     
    woman receiving vaccine shot
    Article
    woman with fever
    Article
     
    Waking up from sleep
    Article
    woman with sore throat
    Slideshow