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      Dealing with dry skin in the winter

      A local dermatologist recommends to avoid showering every day to keep your skin from drying out.

      "Everybody likes to take a nice shower once or twice a day and soap liberally," said dermatologist Milton Soderberg, "and that's rough on your skin. It washes off all your natural oils, and that's not good. It's really healthier to take a shower about twice a week."

      Soderberg says to soap selectively, only where you need it most: the oily and sweaty areas from your head to your toes. Soaping too much can cause dry and flaking skin.

      "If it distresses you to be dry and flaking, you can, after your shower, pat dry and then put on a lotion," Soderberg said.

      "The body butters are a great, oil-based product that will penetrate into the skin," said Denise Townsend, with Marquette Food Co-op Wellness Buyer Bodycare.

      It's best to apply these moisturizers immediately after showering to trap moisture into the skin.

      Drinking more water isn't the answer either.

      "It's certainly a good idea for other parts of our body, our kidneys especially. But as far as it making our skin more supple and less flaky in the winter, I don't think so," Soderberg said.

      Townsend says don't forget about protecting your lips. Lip balm is a great portable way to keep lips moisturized on the go, but overnight oil treatments could be even better for your lips and face.

      "At nighttime it'd be a great idea to put body oil on your face so that when you're not eating at night and you're just relaxed and going to bed, it'll seep in and heal up those cracks," Townsend said.

      Painful cracks develop in the skin when the drying becomes severe.

      "Sometimes for the fissures like that, the open cracks, putting on some superglue can help; it'll stay in place for a while. Or you can put on something heavy and greasy like Vaseline and a band-aid around it," Soderberg said.

      And if your occupation requires frequent hand-washing, it's best to use a hand lotion after every wash.