How to Heal Dry, Winter Skin

It’s official. The cold winter months are upon us. While the winter season means snow days, hot chocolate, and time together, it also brings some unwanted issues. Due to chilling winds and a lack of moisture in the air, skin often becomes dry or chapped. Learn how you can protect your skin from the cold and keep it happy and healthy.

Stay Moisturized
The key to keeping skin soft and smooth is simple—just stay moisturized! If your skin is chapped and dehydrated, it is probably because of the lack of moisture in the cold, winter air, and the dry heat from indoor heating systems. This causes your skin to dry out and become itchy, ashy, and cracked. Be sure to keep moisture-locking lotions with you at all times, including lip salve. You may want to invest in a thick overnight cream if you are really struggling with parchedness. Pay close attention to moisturizing your face, hands, and knees, as these usually get the most exposure to the cold, dry air. However, staying moisturized doesn’t just mean slathering on lotion. Hydrated skin starts from the inside out! Be sure to drink plenty of water and eat water-rich foods, like greens and berries.

Add a Humidifier
As mentioned above, one of the main reasons for dry, winter skin is the dry, winter air! You may consider installing a humidifier in your home. This adds moisture back into the air, so your skin stays moisturized. Not only is it good for your skin, but it helps with issues like your dehydrated, scratchy throat as you sleep. Buying a humidifier doesn’t have to be a huge investment. While you can purchase one to be installed throughout your house, you can also buy a small plug-in humidifier for the office desk or bedside table.

Change Things Up
You may see your skin begin to change in the winter. Often, those who experience combination or oily skin, notice a change in skin texture, which is usually as a result of the chilly weather. Take note of changes in your skin and buy products accordingly. Try using more of a cream cleanser as opposed to a harsher, gel-like cleanser. This adds just a touch more hydration and is gentle on the skin.

Say “No” to Scalding
Some days, all you want to do is escape the cold and hop in a piping-hot shower! While this may seem ideal, try turning the water temperature down a few degrees. The hot water from the shower can scald your skin, making it even drier. By turning the water temperature down a few degrees, you can save your skin the pain and get plenty of warmth. While you’re in the shower, there are great moisturizing body washes that can hydrate your skin and make you smell wonderful. If you want a more natural moisturizer, slather on a bit of coconut oil during your shower to make your skin soft and luscious.

Get Outside
It may seem like quite the hurdle to get outside, especially in the winter! However, if there is a sunny day and the temperature rises a bit, then get outside! Your skin thrives off the sun’s rays, giving you essential vitamin D. The sun is its warmest from noon to 2 p.m. so try taking a brisk walk during your lunch break tomorrow!

Seek Help
For some, the dryness of winter brings more than just dehydrates the skin, it inflames existing conditions. Those who suffer from psoriasis, for example, often experience worsening symptoms during the winter. Due to cold temperatures keeping you indoors for most of the day, your skin is missing out on sunlight that often has a positive effect on psoriasis. If you struggle with psoriasis, don’t compensate with fake tanning from a sunbed. Visit your dermatologist for treatment options, like phototherapy. This is a safe alternative, administered by your dermatologist, that can help improve symptoms of psoriasis.

If you struggle with dry skin or have an existing condition that is made worse in the winter months, it’s time to see how a dermatologist can help. The staff at Anne Arundel Dermatology is well qualified and ready to make a difference in your skin health! Visit us online at AADermatology.com/Book to schedule your appointment online.

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