During the summer when our skin is exposed, we tend to pay more attention to its needs. We can see the dry skin and immediately apply lotion, or we notice the redness and quickly slather on more sunscreen. When the seasons change, we pull out our sweaters, parkas, and scarves, and having covered up, we don’t see the constant reminders to care for our skin.
That’s unfortunate, because the cold winter months are hard on your delicate skin. If you’re guilty of the “out of sight, out of mind” approach to skin care, our team at Easton Dermatology Associates has a few tips that will help you get your skin routine back on your radar, so you can emerge in spring with a vital, healthy glow.
Your body makes its own moisture by producing natural oils that protect your skin — don’t strip it away. Taking long baths or showers can draw out the oils and leave your skin dry. Also, pat your skin dry afterward, don’t rub, so that you can retain your natural moisture and avoid scuffing up your skin.
Since moisture control is one of the trickiest parts of winter skin care, you may have to monitor your dryness level more closely than during the rest of the year. Flaky, ashen, parched-looking skin can benefit from a heavier lotion than you normally use. Oil-based lotions and creams create a barrier to keep moisture in. Pay extra attention to elbows and knees.
You can also add moisture to your environment by running a humidifier to counteract the dry air created by heaters and fireplaces.
During the hot summer months, it seems that everyone has a water bottle in their hands, but not so much in the winter. Unfortunately, that’s one of the causes of dry skin. Just because you aren’t sweating in the heat of July doesn’t mean your skin isn’t thirsty. Quench it by drinking plenty of water every day.
If you have any skin conditions, like rosacea, psoriasis, melasma, or eczema, the cold winter air and whipping wind can trigger flare-ups. Make sure you have plenty of prescription medication on hand if you use it, or come in for a skin analysis, so we can get you started on a personalized treatment that will keep you comfortable year round.
One of the biggest skin care mistakes people make in the winter is that they put away their sunscreen. Your skin is just as vulnerable to sun damage during the winter, maybe even more so, because you don’t realize when you’re in danger. The harmful UV rays are incredibly potent, even when there are clouds in the sky. Also, sun reflects off snow when you’re skiing, so make sure you apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen all year long.
To be on the safe side, now is a good time to get a skin cancer screening to find out if you have any signs of precancerous cells that we can treat easily in the early stages.
Don’t let winter trick you into thinking you can put skin care on hold. Follow these steps to maintain strong, healthy skin, and come in to see us if you have any concerns. Contact us at either of our two locations in Easton and Salisbury, Maryland — our experienced team is here to answer your questions and to help you achieve healthy, glowing skin.