HEBER — Six-year-old Owen Jones knows everything about dinosaurs, including what kind of skin they have, which he's all too familiar with himself. His mom, Jeni Jones, jokes he has lizard skin.
Ever since he was born, Owen has dealt with extremely dry skin, especially during the winter months, which has also caused him to wake-up with bloody noses multiple times a week.
Owen said he woke up with blood on his blanket and pillow — scary for a 6-year-old.
Like son, like father. Owen’s dad, Jason Jones, also deals with dry skin.
“Oh, I definitely have more lotions than my wife does,” Jason Jones unabashedly admitted. “I was waking up in the middle of the night every night so itchy,” he said.
Other symptoms included a scratchy throat, cracked hands and a bloody nose.
The Jones family has tried every skin care lotion and product on the market to beat their dry skin.
Intermountain Healthcare's Dr. Dylan Alston tells people to not waste their money on lotion. “Creams are better because they hydrate more,” he said.
He encourages people to use a cream approved by the National Foundation of Eczema like Theraplex or Vanicream.
Alston explained that the relative humidity in Utah air is very low, which combined with wind can lead to chapping or drying of the skin. Additionally, Alston said cold air sucks the moisture out of the air leaving us very dry.
He encourages people to not dry off completely with a towel when they get out of the shower.
“You actually want a little moisture on your skin, so when you go to apply your moisturizer on top we are now trapping the water from our shower into the skin,” Alston explained. He also recommends putting a little Vaseline or some nasal saline gel inside your nose to prevent bloody noses.
But moisturizers alone weren’t enough for the Joneses. They finally decided to install a whole house humidifier.
“It’s connected to our furnace and the water line comes up through here,” Jeni Jones pointed out in her basement.
She used to put a portable humidifier in each bedroom in the house, but she said it wasn’t cutting it anymore. Jeni Jones would often forget to fill up the humidifier when it was empty or the family often tripped over the humidifier spilling water all over the carpet.
It runs whenever the furnace is on to increase the humidity in their house. Jeni Jones said they’ve found running the humidifier at 20 percent humidity is the sweet spot for their family.
Since installing it, both Owen and Jason haven’t had a bloody nose. “It’s nice not to have to be dealing with it,” Jason Jones remarked.
Nowadays, the cold dry weather doesn’t both them nearly as much and they can now enjoy riding bikes outside together without exacerbating their dry skin.
“It’s made all the difference for us this winter,” Jeni Jones exclaimed.
Alston also recommends turning off ceiling fans in the winter and installing a water softener to avoid hard minerals on your skin.