Winter in Wisconsin is a dry time. As the temperature drops the air can hold less moisture. Dry cold winds stress the body as it tries to keep the skin moist and protected from the elements. This applies to more than those outdoor enthusiasts. Indoor air also becomes more dry as heating systems draw dry air in from the outside and recycle that air around living environments. Even with humidifiers, many people see winter as a time when they have problems with dry skin. If dryness is severe there can also be sinus dryness, cough, dry hair and dryness in various mucosal membranes. Dry sinuses without enough protective mucous can make a person more susceptible to a common cold.
Some people are more susceptible to the situation than others. Women who are between the ages of 40 and 60 tend to have more problems with dryness as their bodies adapt to changes in the reproductive system. Some people are naturally dry, and some people work in environments that are also dry. (airline flight attendants, warehouse workers, particularly freezer warehouses) For people who are especially susceptible to the affects of dry air, there are things that can be done to help the body deal with the situation.
- Increase the oils in the diet- nut and seed oils help the body seal up the skin and protect it from the effects of dry air. Adding oils can be as simple as using flavored oils on bread, or adding more oils to foods when cooking or adding nuts and seeds to meals or snacks.
- Use moisturizers and lip balms to protect exposed skin- protecting exposed skin from moisture loss allows the body to preserve more moisture in the body and better nourish the whole body.
- Use a scarf and other clothing to protect the body from too much dry winter wind
- Stay hydrated- drink lots of water. Water is still the best way to hydrate the body.
Make sure that living and working environments have some humidity in the air. If you get regularly shocked by static electricity, then the air is too dry. Use a humidifier or find other ways to increase the amount of humidity in the air. If simple changes are not enough then there are herbal formulas that are specific to helping the body manage the moisture levels of the body. Talk to a nationally board certified herbalist to find the herbal medicines that are best at helping your body manage the dry winter weather.