12/10/2014 12:03 pm ET Updated Feb 09, 2015

It's Dry Skin Season! 8 Ways to Stop Flaking Out

Sam Edwards via Getty Images

By Shira Scott for

Flaking, cracking, itching. That about describes what Mother Nature does to my skin when the temperature begins to slowly make its descent into the 40s, 30s, 20s and below, and I don't fight back. I've become kind of a pro at keeping my skin silky smooth year-round thanks to lots of great advice from doctors, friends and yes, the internet. Here are eight tips that really work to manage and even prevent dry skin.

1. Take a short shower in warm, not hot, water. And give the tub a time out. While long, hot baths (with candles and a glass of wine, which is also a no-no) may be soothing, they can dry the skin.

2. Apply a rich moisturizing cream, lotion or ointment several times a day. Read the label carefully to make sure the product doesn't contain alcohol.

3. Wash your skin with a gentle cleanser. Avoid antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers during the colder months.

4. Use a humidifier at home to maintain air moisture. You may need to place several around the house if you don't have one installed in your heating system.

5. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid booze. Alcohol can cause dehydration.

6. Protect your skin from wind, snow and freezing temperatures by wearing gloves, a scarf and a hat. Your face and hands are particularly vulnerable.

7. Try not to scratch or rub your skin.

8. Avoid irritating or itchy clothing. You know that sweater you love that keeps you scratching all day? It may be time to give it away.

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