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Most Americans know the parched feeling after a long flight or a cold, dry night — the effects are often visible with flakey skin, stuffy noses and chapped lips. In fact, a recent survey of U.S. moms revealed that the most annoying winter ailments to their families are dry skin and chapped lips, followed by stuffy noses.
Launching this week, the Vicks® Moisture Map is an online tool created by team of scientists to help families understand how too little humidity can create issues for the body, pets and even the home.
The interactive map pinpoints the top 10 driest cities across the country by synthesizing weather data and geographical data from several sources.
“When looking at the top cities in America with the driest air, the Southwest definitely has a cluster due to the desert environment in states like New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada.
Even though hot and dry go hand in hand — so does cold and dry — and experts believe the flu season may spike in winter months due to low humidity levels,” said Dr. Ted Myatt, ScD., senior scientist with Environmental Health and Engineering and the University of Rhode Island. “New scientific research indicates keeping your home’s relative humidity levels between 40-60 percent can decrease influenza survival in the air and on countertops, doorknobs, and other surfaces. That’s why it’s so important to check your humidity levels and increase indoor humidity with a humidifier.”
As temperatures plummet this fall, so do humidity levels, which can reach lows of 10 percent — the dryness of the Sahara Desert. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention cites that at least 81 million Americans experience dry, itchy or scaly skin during the winter due to colder, dryer air and over-heated homes. Humidifiers help counteract the effects of dry, harsh winter air by adding essential moisture to any room. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends using a cool mist humidifier throughout the winter months to help relieve congestion and coughs, especially for kids.
Top 10 U.S. Cities with the Driest Air:
2. Colorado Springs, Colo.
3. Denver, Colo.
4. Las Vegas, Nev.
5. Phoenix, Ariz.
6. Tucson, Ariz.
7. Minneapolis, Minn.
8. Salt Lake City, Utah
9. Ogden, Utah
10. Madison, Wis.
Visit ColdAndFluShop.com/MoistureMap for more helpful tips on combating dry air and to see an interactive map of the driest cities in America.