Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Any Suggestions on How to Combat Dry Winter Skin?

As soon as the temperature drops I start to beg Andy to scratch my back for me.  I do this all through the year, but in the winter it multiplies to the point where I ask him every hour or so.  It borders on ridiculous.  He went so far as to buy me one of those back scratchers that is on a telescoping post and I have somehow lost it, and now as the snow starts to fall, I am once again miserable.

When we were first married and I started this seasonal trend of discomfort, Andy watched me scratching my shins and arms and said "why don't you just use sandpaper?"  I honestly thought he was making a useful suggestion and he was absolutely horrified to see me practically removing the skin from my right leg one day when I decided it was worth a shot.  If you ask him he will tell you that I have red welts and places where it looks like Freddy Krueger attacked me up and down my legs and pretty much anywhere I can reach.

I have tried tons of creams, lotions, salves, ointments and treatments.  Hardly anything works.  I've switched brands of laundry detergent to one that is extra gentle and doesn't make the problem worse, but it is persistent and constantly annoying.  I've tried the Le Edge which is a tool that exfoliates but I tend to get overzealous and then I sit and sob because my legs hurt so bad. I need a solution and I'm at a total loss as to how to fix it.

Here are some things I know - I seem to have a sensitivity to Shea butter and it is the moisturizer of the moment.  I read the labels of lotions and creams trying to find ones that are free of dyes, fragrance, parabens and Shea and it is really difficult to locate them.  It seems like the more "natural" a product is the more likely it is to break me out in hives.

I have used products with aloe in them and they will work for awhile but I have to reapply them constantly because the relief they bring is fleeting.  Straight aloe makes my skin feel even drier for some reason and uncomfortably tight immediately after I apply it..

I'm also allergic to wool and lanolin.  I found this out when I played trumpet because my friend  greased the valves of my horn for me using anhydrous lanolin and my hands were raw and bleeding in places after playing a show.  It was horrible and was really difficult to remove and my poor mom had to clean it off for me because I couldn't even hold onto it.

I'm afraid to try new moisturizers at times because I always think the next big allergic reaction is lurking around the corner.  I have used Argan oil and it doesn't bother me, but it is crazy expensive and when I tried to find a cheaper version than the Josie Maran brand (which is what I use as a facial moisturizer) I wound up with something that broke me out so bad I cried.  It had some kind of carrier oil added to it and whatever it was made my skin feel like it was on fire.

If any of you have any suggestion I am all ears.  The more the temperature drops the worse it gets, and I am open to trying just about anything I can afford.  I've already started drinking more water and I also turned the temperature way down in the shower (even though I love the feel of the hot water on my tortured skin) because I know it can be really drying.

Can you help me figure out something that will save me from an all day marathon of ripping my skin off?


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