Protecting your skin from the elements during the winter months is just as important as it is in the summer months. The cold and crisp winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin. This weather often causes the skin to become dry, itchy and irritated. The winter can present an even greater challenge for those with common skin conditions like rosacea, eczema and psoriasis. The cold weather can lead to winter flare-ups and worsening skin conditions.
There are many simple ways to combat the causes of dry winter skin and flare-ups to help keep your skin feeling moist and supple all season long. These tips include simple changes to your everyday skin care routine.
Maximize the moisture in your environment
Your indoor space starts to lose humidity if the heat is always on. Using a humidifier in your home or office can help to add moisture to the dry winter air. This moisture will help to keep your skin hydrated. Running a humidifier in the rooms that you spend the most time in, including your bedroom should help prevent dry, itchy skin.
Add a winter-friendly moisturizer to your daily routine
While you are adding moisture to the air with your humidifier, add a winter friendly moisturizer to your skin. Moisturizers are great against the dehydrating effects of winter. When selecting a moisturizer, select a cream or ointment for the winter time. Creams are thicker in consistency than lotions and provide a barrier that keeps the skin ultra-hydrated. Be sure to add a facial moisturizer to your routine as well, preferably a serum with glycerin or hyaluronic acid that have humectant properties that help retain moisture. Remember to moisturize daily, especially if you intend to be outside in the winter weather frequently.
Avoid hot showers and baths
A nice long soak in a hot bubbly bath or long shower sounds nice after a long day, right? It sure does; however, it can cause damage to the skin. The heat from the high temperature water tends to dehydrate the skin even further as it breaks down lipid barriers in the skin, which is worse for the skin during the winter months. Try bathing or showering with warm water instead and decreasing the amount of time you spend in the water. A 5- to 10-minute lukewarm shower or bath is suggested. Additionally, adding oatmeal or bath oils to your bath can help to add moisture to the skin while you soak.
Don’t forget your sunscreen
Even on cold winter days, sunscreen is still important. When the winter days are bright and the snow is on the ground, the snow reflects the sun’s rays. This sun reflection can increase your risk of exposure. Even when there is no snow on the ground, the sun’s rays can permeate through the clouds and cause damage. Be prepared! Before you go outside, apply sunscreen with a moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher to all areas of the body (face, neck, chest and hands) that may be exposed.
Protect your skin with clothing
The cold winter weather can cause many people to experience dry skin. The hands are a common place to experience dryness. Wearing gloves in cold temperatures can help prevent the skin from drying out.
Keep in mind, while these tips are a good starting point for winter skincare, everyone’s skin care needs are different. When these simple at-home steps do not work, it may be time to see your local dermatologist for some further treatment options.
Dermatology Partners is a physician-led dermatology group with locations throughout Pennsylvania and Delaware. Its providers treat a full spectrum of diseases of the skin, hair and nails and specialize in the detection and treatment of skin cancers, including Mohs surgery. The organization prides itself on its ability to offer patients immediate appointments so there is no need to wait weeks or months to receive care.
Dermatology Partners is the region’s fastest-growing dermatology practice with 29 offices in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Since 2012, Dermatology Partners has been dedicated to providing exceptional and leading-edge dermatology services to patients with its growing, talented team of medical practitioners. Dermatology Partners specializes in the detention and treatment of skin cancers and treats a full spectrum of diseases of the skin, hair, and nails. To find out more about Dermatology Partners, or to book an appointment at one of their convenient locations, visit www.dermpartners.com or call 888-895-3376.