Winter not a good time for skin

By Staff Writer • Published: January 31st, 2014
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

The weather outside is frightful. And when the mercury dips, your skin is often what ends up looking scary. Cold weather can dry out your skin, leaving you feeling as itchy and scaly as Godzilla in a scratchy wool sweater.

But just like bringing in your plants during a freeze and scraping frost off your windshield in the morning, caring for your skin during the winter months just takes a little extra work.

So what advice do dermatologists offer to keep your skin soft and the itch at bay?

Step one: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. To get the most out of your moisturizer, doctors advise applying it before you towel off after a shower or bath. What type of moisturizer you choose matters too. The secret? If you have sensitive skin use a brand free of dyes or fragrance. Also, dry-skinned folk should choose creams instead of lotions or opt for concoctions that contain petroleum. Another option is to slather on baby oil instead of lotion.

Step two: Step away from the soap … occasionally. Soap can dry out skin and experts say unless you’re rolling around in dirt or sweating at the gym, you don’t need to use it every day. Also, turn down the temperature in the shower. Hot water can have a drying effect on your skin, too.

Step three: Shield your skin from the elements. Bundle up when you go outside and don’t forget to use sunscreen. You may not be headed out for a day at the beach but U-V rays can still damage your skin even when it’s cold.

Step four: Call your dermatologist. If your skin is really dry or you develop a rash, your problem may not be winter skin; it could be something more serious.

These tips should help you make sure Godzilla is the only scary one this winter.