June 26, 2017

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Winter Skin Care Tips

Winter Skin Care TipsDealing with skin care issues in the winter can be no fun.  The air is cold and dry and our skin seems to suffer.   Does your skin feel dry and rough?  Do you have places where it cracks and peels or maybe you have a rash and wonder what you can do?  I’ve put together a few quick and easy tips that can help you get back on track to having beautiful healthier looking winter skin.

I call this my skin regimen:

  • drink lots of fluids
  • use lukewarm water when bathing or showering
  • clean your skin with mild soaps
  • lubricate your skin with thick emollient lotions/creams that hydrate the skin
  • don’t forget the SPF when putting on face lotion and makeup

Do you have dry itchy skin?

If you have dry, itchy skin and you aren’t following my skin regimen, I would recommend that you start there.  My favorite creams to help hydrate your skin are Vanicream and Cerave.  If you have a rash, peeling, cracking or patchy skin then you should consider making an appointment to see a dermatologist.  Sometimes a short course of topical steroids are needed to get back to healthier looking skin.  Once the problem area has cleared up, start back with the skin regimen.

You should also try to avoid using irritants like alcohol-based hand sanitizers and use one with a lotion base instead. The alcohol base can be hard on your skin and will dry your skin out faster.  I recommend using a mild soap when washing your hands and do your best to keep your hands out of chemicals while cleaning.

Do you love to take baths or relax in the hot tub?

Remember that during the winter, you should use lukewarm water when bathing.  Even though adding bubbles to your water makes it look and feel more comforting, it’s best to skip the bubble bath and fragrances which can pull moisture out of your skin and can cause eczema type rashes.  I recommend that you use mild soaps and enjoy the water while you sit and relax.  When you are done with your bath, the most important next step is to moisturize while your skin is still damp.

If you like to jump in the hot tub on a cool winter night, just remember that the water is filled with a lot of chemicals so make sure that you shower off immediately and moisturize.

Don’t forget about the sun

The suns rays, regardless if you see them or not, do come through and that means that you can get sunburn even on a cloudy day.  You should always wear lotion on your hands and face that contains an SPF.  They are easy to find and come in a lot of moisturizers and face make-ups.  For general use when you are just in and out and aren’t in the sun for long periods of time, I recommend that you use an SPF of 15-30 every day.

Soaps and skin cleansers

Everyone’s skin is a little different but when cleansing skin in the winter, I tell my patients that if they are not dealing with acne or any other diseases of the face to just use a very mild wash.  Use a very mild soap as harsh soaps will dry out your skin. It’s common for me to have patients come in and tell me that they are using soaps like Dial or Lever 2000 for their face and body, but these are very drying.  If you are looking for a mild soap, try Dove Sensitive Skin or Aveeno Advanced Care. My favorite face cleansers are Cetaphil, Cerave and Aveeno which are all formulated by dermatologists and are very mild.

Exercising and fluids

Leah Schammel, DO, Dermatology

Leah Schammel, DO, Dermatology, ACMC

Drinking lots of water and fluids during the winter is good for your skin because water helps to maintain a natural amount of hydration. Your skin is made up of small cells and all of your cells need hydration and moisture.  The majority of our body is actually water and skin is our largest organ.  Maintaining hydration and exercising will improve your circulation and will give your skin better color.

Dry cracked lips

If you have dry, cracked lips my favorite product to use is Aqaphor made by Eucerin.  It’s good Vaseline and it will clear up your cracks by applying multiple times a day.  It doesn’t have an SPF in it but it’s still my favorite!

Caring for your skin in the winter can be as simple as making a few small changes and finding just the right products that will work the best for your skin type.  If you have more complicated issues with your skin, the dermatologist is just a phone call away!

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