Protect your skin this winter

Protect your skin this winter

Colder temperatures can bring some unwanted changes to your skin.

A study in the British Journal of Dermatology helps explain how a breakdown of the outermost layer of skin occurs 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 Health Care. 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:

  • Taking shorter, lukewarm showers. Long, hot showers strip away your skin’s natural oils causing it to lose moisture.
  • Using 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.
  • Moisturizing immediately after bathing. This helps seal in moisture while your skin is still wet.
  • Using sunscreen. Cumulative effects of sun exposure can lead to skin cancers.
  • Staying away from laundry detergents and fabric softeners with fragrance.
  • Keeping your skin covered in cold temperatures.

If you can’t seem to remedy your dry skin, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist in Illinois or Wisconsin

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.