Winter is coming. Protect your skin.

Winter is coming. Protect your skin.

Winter is coming, and that cold weather can bring some unwanted changes to your skin.

A study in the British Journal of Dermatology helped explain how your skin is affected, by explaining a breakdown of the outermost layer of skin when exposed to colder temperatures, causing cell shrinkage and a change in the skin’s surface and texture.

Cold temperatures affect our skin by stripping the barrier function and damaging small blood vessels, and when the outermost layer of our skin is weakened, it is more susceptible to the effects of the cold weather.

“The most common complaint in winter is dry, itchy skin known as xerosis,” says Dr. Michael Jude Welsch, a dermatologist with Advocate Christ Medical Center. He suggests using over the counter moisturizers after showering because they can help lock in moisture and repair the skin’s barrier function.

Keep your skin healthy this winter by following these tips:

  • Take shorter, lukewarm showers. Long, hot showers strip away your skin’s natural oils causing it to lose moisture.
  • Use a mild soap only in areas that need it, i.e. face, armpits, privates and feet. Let the water just run over the rest of the body.
  • Moisturize immediately after bathing. This helps seal in moisture while your skin is still wet.
  • Use sunscreen. Cumulative effects of sun exposure can lead to skin cancers.
  • Stay away from laundry detergents and fabric softeners with fragrance.
  • Keep your skin covered in cold temperatures.

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About the Author

Stacy Malliaras
Stacy Malliaras

Stacy Malliaras, health enews contributor, is a marketing specialist for Advocate Aurora Health. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a degree in Public Relations and a Minor in Advertising. She enjoys spending time with friends and family and traveling.