Skin Deep

How to care for your nose this flu season

When you come down with the flu or a bad cold, the coughing, congestion, aches and pains are usually the main symptoms, but our noses can are often left red and chapped as well. To help your nose survive the near-constant blowing and wiping, here are a few tips that help minimize irritation and soothe delicate skin.

Try to prevent excessive blowing or wiping by taking a decongestant. Look for medications with pseudoephedrine from brands like Robitussin and Sudafed.

When it comes to tissues, you really get what you pay for. Spend a little extra money on tissues with aloe or other soothing ingredients to protect delicate skin. And whatever you do, don’t use toilet paper, napkins or paper towels. They are too rough for this sensitive area.

Avoid foaming cleansers while you’re sick, as these will strip your skin of its natural moisture. A creamy cleanser will help keep protective oils in place.

When you have the cold or flu, apply an anti-inflammatory oil several times a day. I like Shea Terra’s Argan and Rose Oil.

Avoid exfoliating with physical scrubs or glycolic acid until the cold or flu begins to subside. When you’re down to blowing your nose less than three times a day, that’s a good time to start again.

As much as I love over-the-counter retinol and prescription retinoids, give your skin a break when you’re sick. Applying them to irritated skin around the nose is asking for even more redness and chapping.

Drink extra water to replace the fluids lost in nasal secretions. This additional hydration also provides your skin with the water it needs for reparative enzymes to function.

Mark your calendar for next fall so you don’t forget your flu shot!

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