CareNow® - November 14, 2017

Do you have dry, itchy skin during the colder months of the year? If you do, you’re not alone. Winter weather can wreak havoc on the skin. Proper skin care is a must twelve months a year. Whether it’s the skin on your face or your hands that gets most dry during the winter, it’s important to pay proper attention to your skin during the cold months.

It’s a common misconception that summer is the most important season to protect your skin. While sunburns can be very dangerous, cold, brisk air in the winter chaps skin and can dry it out. If you don’t change your skin care during the cold-weather months, you can develop fine lines and wrinkles. Skin that’s too dry can also itch, flake, crack and even bleed—which can be both unsightly and painful.

If you think you may have minor skin condition, visit your local CareNow® to have it evaluated, or see your dermatologist right away.

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What Are The Causes of Dry Skin?

  • When the temperatures and humidity levels outside drop, it can dry out your skin.
  • During the winter months, space heaters and fireplaces are two key culprits.
  • Long baths and showers with extremely hot water can dry your skin.
  • Soaps, detergents and shampoos that are made to remove oil can also take the moisture from your skin.
  • Those that suffer from eczema and psoriasis are much more likely to suffer from dry skin.

If you’re suffering from dry, chapped skin, there are several ways you can help it return to normal.  

Shorten The Length of Your Shower

Who doesn’t love the occasional long, hot shower when it’s cold outside? Although the water soothes and relaxes, it’s important to remember that hot showers dry out your skin’s natural oils. This leads to dry skin. Less time in the shower means less of a toll on your skin.

You should also close the door in your bathroom while you shower to keep the moist air inside. Warm water (instead of hot) and a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser are best. Finally, only apply enough cleanser to remove dirt and oil; too much can dry out the skin.

Moisturize After Showering and Before Bed

Do you have a go-to moisturizer? Make sure to lather up after showering. This should help reverse the affects of a hot shower by trapping existing moisture in your skin.

You can also fight dry skin while you sleep. Simply apply your moisturizer to dry skin a few minutes before bed. You should also apply moisturizer after washing your face or hands.

When choosing a moisturizer, always opt for an ointment or cream versus a lotion. Creams and ointments with some sort of oil, such as olive oil or jojoba, typically work best. Shea butter is another great option.

Wear Weather Appropriate Clothing

Take advantage of seasonal fashion. Scarves serve a function other than accessorizing your outfit; they can also keep the skin around your neck and on your face safe from whipping winds that will dry your skin out. Gloves are the best way to keep your hands from getting chapped during the winter. Utilizing your wardrobe to cover exposed skin not only keeps you warm, it also protects you from the wintery elements.

Keep Lip Balm in Your Pocket or Purse

Chapped lips are no fun. During the winter, you constantly flaunt them to the cold each time you go outside. Do yourself a favor by adding a tube of your favorite lip balm to your pocket or purse. Applying lip balm throughout the day will keep your lips moist. At night, consider putting Vaseline on your lips so that they can absorb the moisture throughout the night.

Choose Your Products Wisely

ThinkstockPhotos-face-mask

It’s important to choose only gentle, unscented products on your skin. If you’re suffering from dry skin, avoid soaps that contain deodorant and skin care products that include alcohol, retinoids and fragrance. While it can be tempting to save money and buy cheap products, it’s often a good idea to spend a bit more to have a more skin-friendly product. s

Use a Humidifier

Utilizing a humidifier in your bedroom can make a huge difference to your skin. Turning on the heater in your home during the winter months will keep you warm, but will also remove moisture from the air. It might also help to use steam to aid in opening your pores and absorb moisture.

Exfoliate Your Skin

One of the best ways to treat dry skin is by exfoliating it. Slough off dead skin cells that make your skin look flaky by utilizing a nice exfoliating product. One of the most popular brushes to use is the Clarisonic. Simply mix sugar and oils to create an exfoliating scrub and rub it on your skin using the brush.

Could It Be Something More?

Most of the time, dry skin is just that: dry skin. However, there are instances where dry skin can be indicative of something more. If your dry skin is accompanied by redness, swelling, excessive itchiness or crusting, it could be symptomatic of an allergy or eczema.

Psoriasis, a disease that affects an estimated 7.5 million Americans, includes symptoms that are similar to those experienced with dry skin. Scaling, dry skin and red patches are both symptoms of psoriasis. However, there are other symptoms that accompany psoriasis that can help you identify the disease such as painful joints, soreness around the patches and burning sensations around the patches.

When To See CareNow®

By following the above tips, you should be able to treat your dry skin quickly. However, there are instances where you should see a doctor. If your skin doesn’t heal even after you’ve attempted treatment, is accompanied by redness, interferes with sleeping, results in open sores or infections caused by scratching or begins to peel, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

If you find yourself under the weather or struggling with habitually dry skin this season, consider visiting your local CareNow®. To find the nearest CareNow® to you, visit our website.Be sure to check in online to avoid the waiting room!

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Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.