Learn how to keep your skin healthy over the cold, dry winter months
Cold temperatures; dry, winter winds; blazing furnaces and fireplaces; it’s no wonder so many people suffer with cracked, sore, dry skin in the wintertime. Today we will take a look at the most common causes of dry skin and how you can keep your skin soft and supple all winter long.
- Drink water.
Often dry skin is a direct result of dehydration. Your body is made up of 60 percent water, and if you aren’t consuming enough water on a daily basis, the effects can show up on your skin. Dry, cracked, flaky skin is often a clear and immediate sign of dehydration. To avoid this, make sure that you are drinking at least eight glasses of water every day and even more if you are physically active.
- Avoid hot showers.
It is so tempting to warm up after a cold day outside with a hot, steamy shower or bath, but bathing in hot temperatures can be very bad for your skin. Hot water actually strips the skin of its natural oils, which are what keep your skin protected and moisturized. Without these oils, your skin will be dry, chapped and itchy. We recommend you shower in tepid or even cool water to help protect your skin and keep it moisturized.
- Use a humidifier.
The hot, dry air blowing out of your furnace does wonders to keep you warm and cozy when it’s cold and blustery outside, but it can wreak havoc on your skin. When the furnace is running, it leaches moisture out of the air and out of your skin as well. This can leave your skin dry and itchy and can dry out your nasal passages. To prevent this from happening, it’s important to use a humidifier in your home. A humidifier will put moisture back into the air and back into your body, keeping your skin soft and supple.
- Don’t forget sunscreen.
Many people think of sunscreen as something only needed in the summer months, but the winter sun can be just as damaging to your skin. Be sure to apply ample sunscreen to your face and any exposed areas before going outside, especially if you will be out frolicking in the snow for long periods of time. This will help to keep your skin safe from UV rays and will prevent sunburns from occurring.
- Keep yourself covered.
Cold winter temperatures and winter winds can dry out your skin and leave it chapped and sore. Use protective clothing like toques, scarves, balaclavas and mittens to protect your head, face, neck and extremities. Layer clothing on the rest of your body to keep it warm and protected as well. Windburn can cause very uncomfortable rashes, and the cold outside temperatures can quickly dry out exposed skin.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
Replace all of the moisture in your skin that you lose during the winter months by regularly applying a high quality moisturizer. We suggest you moisturize your skin within three minutes of leaving the shower and apply it while your skin is still slightly damp. This will help your skin retain more moisture and help to keep it hydrated. Certain areas of the body, like your hands, have fewer oil glands and therefore tend to dry out more quickly. Use a good hand lotion throughout the day to keep these areas from cracking.
It’s important to take the proper precautions to keep your skin healthy throughout the winter months. Chapped, cracked skin will allow bacteria to enter and might cause infections to occur, not to mention that it can be extremely uncomfortable. An after-hours clinic can assist you if you or your child is suffering from severely dry or chapped skin. There are many topical prescription options that will help to relieve your discomfort, heal your skin and have you ready to tackle the remaining winter months ahead. Visit our Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center in Little Rock, Arkansas for all of your health care needs. Our staff of emergency-trained physicians will provide you with fast and friendly service.
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