But I think that now summer knows how I feel about it, and has decided not to like me back. As soon as it gets hot, I start getting a whole bunch of skin complaints– scaly hands, contact dermatitis on my ankles and behind my knees, itchy upper arms. So what’s an (almost) frugal girl to do?
Well, find alternatives to high priced lotions and creams, which in my experience don’t really relieve the itch anyway.
Solution 1. Don’t let your skin dry out. Soap is actually quite drying, so in the summer I use less soap. And no, it’s not because I live in France! I just make sure to use soap less often on the dry and itchy areas. I also really like the non-soapy cleaners like cetaphil… the generic version of course!
Solution 2. Keep cool and dry. Just like licking your lips in the wintertime is the best way to make them chapped, so is not drying off really well in the summer. So I make sure to dry my hands really well, with a nice dry kitchen towel, especially when I’m doing a lot of cooking all at once.
Solution 3. Over the counter remedies. Two of the treatments that I have found to help the most are over the counter antibiotic ointment and over the counter anti-itch cream. I slather my hands in the former, and my ankles and knees in the latter before I go to bed at night, and they do seem to help.
Solution 4. Natural solutions. If the itching gets really bad, I put some finely ground oatmeal (about 1/4 cup) into a washcloth, dip it into some warm water and then dab on the dry spots. Like your mom used to do with oatmeal baths, when you had the chicken pox, just not so hard on the drains! I’ve heard that a lot of people have good luck with things like tea-tree oil or lavender oil, but I tend to break out even worse with those.
Solution 5. Cover up. Or rather, stay out of the sun. I can think of little that I would like less than to go hang out in the sun or at the beach for the afternoon. Even when I take my kids to the pool we make sure to go to the neighborhood pool that has a nice grassy lawn and lots of trees to hide under. Not only does this help me avoid immediate skin complaints, but with my fair skin and history of bad sunburns, I figure it’s best to avoid tempting fate when I can.
Any advice? Of frugal tips? How do you solve skin complaints?
*Actually, I grew up in the Valley, and can do a mean Valley Girl impression- even in French!