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Do you have dry, cracked skin due to cold weather?

Posted on January 26, 2021 at 1:20 PM

 

If you live in an area where it can be very cold during the Winter, you might find yourself with dry, cracked skin on your hands especially if you do a lot of hand washing. The dry, cracked skin can end up bleeding and/or feeling sore. This is because the relative humidity in your house or building may be below 40%. While many people use cream and/or moisturizers you may want to also look at purchasing a humidifier.

 

The most comfortable relative humidity range is around 40% to 60%. In fact, keeping the relative humidity in this range will also help with your respiratory system and lower the threat from the flu and other ailments including allergies. Most businesses/office buildings handle (or should) this 40% to 60% range with their HVAC system. Most houses where Winter can be very cold, don’t.

 

So how does the relative humidity get below 40% in your house? Outside air will seep into your house through open doors, through seams in the windows and through other methods. The dry air (measured with dew points) outside can be very low (minus single digits to 20s Fahrenheit). Bring that dry air into a house with temperatures in the 60s or low 70s and you can end up with low relative humidity readings in the 20% to 40% range (or even lower). Relative humidity readings below 40% can exacerbate dry, cracked skin. While creams and moisturizers can help, utilizing a humidifier can help increase the relative humidity and make your skin less dry and thus less cracked. A humidifier can also reduce static electricity and slow the drying out of furniture and cabinets. Humidifiers can be found at many retailers this time of the year.


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