Importance of Winter Skin Care
Caring for skin during winter takes just a little extra time and effort because the conditions are rather extreme for our tender protective barrier. Skin gets exposed to the elements: cold air, whipping wind, and sun reflecting off the snow. Low humidity is common in colder climates stealing moisture from the skin every second of every day. And indoors it’s blasted with dry heat.
It’s no wonder our skin often ends up dry, flaky, and itchy. And once dryness starts skin can more easily crack and bleed.
You do not need a major overhaul of your skin care regimen during the colder months. You should, however, focus on more hydrating varieties of your products, and reduce irritating products to combat the dryness that winter inevitably brings.
When to contact a dermatologist
Contact a dermatologist about any skin concerns or for advice about tailoring a skincare routine.
For people with conditions such as rosacea, acne, or eczema dermatologists can recommend a suitable treatment plan.
People should make an appointment if they notice any unusual changes, that might indicate skin cancer, including:
-> areas of skin that are different in any way
-> moles that change shape, size or color
-> any new skin growth that is tender, scaly, itchy, or that bleeds
Cellulitis occurs when certain types of bacteria enter through a cut or crack in the skin. It is commonly caused by staphylococcus and streptococcus bacteria.
Although it can occur anywhere on your body, the most common location is the lower leg. Animal bites can cause cellulitis. Bacteria can also enter through areas of dry, flaky skin or swollen skin.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease where patients get thick scaly reddish lesions on skin and scalp. Winters, leading to dryness, increase this condition. Moisturizers containing Shea butter, paraffin, glycerine etc helps but patients should seek proper consultation with a dermatologist as oral and medical medicines to alleviate the symptoms is often needed.
Lips have a very thin layer of skin and unlike other areas of the body they can’t be mostly covered. So in winters they can become extra dry leading to splitting and exfoliating in the form of crusts. People usually lick their lips to make it wet or they peel off the crust which actually aggravates the condition. Repeated application of some lip balms containing glycerine, petroleum jelly, silicone and aloe vera usually helps.
Due to decrease in temperature in winters, the small vessels of extremities like of fingers and toes undergo vasoconstriction leading to decrease blood and oxygen supply to these areas leading to reddish or purplish discoloration with pain and itching called as ‘perniosis’ or commonly referred as chillblains. These episodes can be avoided by keeping these areas warm by wearing gloves and socks, using a room warmer. But, if chillblains develops then one should definitely consult a dermatologist.
People who are usually working out in the open, when exposed to cold winter wind can get skin irritation which causes dry, red burning skin mainly on the face and exposed areas leading to a condition called ‘wind burn’. The best remedy is to cover your skin well with thick clothing like coats, hats and scarves so as to avoid direct exposure to chilly wind.
Urticaria or ‘hives’ is an allergic skin reaction towards some external antigens in which people get red itchy welts on the skin. There are various reasons which can elicit urticarial reactions in the body of which one factor is cold weather leading to ‘cold urticaria’. Treatment involves avoidance of cold exposure and medications like antihistamines.
Tips to follow:
Limit Hot Showers
Winter weather brings the desire for long hot showers. But hot water will further dry out your skin. Limit showers to 15 minutes and use lukewarm water to avoid irritating your skin.
Use unscented soaps, cleansers, and body washes.
A few more that you can make use of:
- Moisturize Frequently
- Switch to Hydrating Cleansers
- Even Acne Prone Skin May Need TLC During the Winter
- Limit hot showers
- Avoid harsh and scrubbed products
- Exfoliate for smooth and supple skin
- You still need sunscreen
- Limit alcohol intake
- Drink lots and lots of water
- Carry lip balm
- Be aware of irritating skin care products
- Use natural and homemade remedies like a banana face pack, oatmeal, milk, almond oil, aloe vera, coconut oil, curd cucumber, honey, etc.
- Opt the homemade remedies to get radiant and glowing skin.
For anyone looking for an optimal skincare routine, the key is choosing products that suit their skin type, skin tone, their age, and any skin conditions, such as acne, rosacea, or eczema. Consistency is also important for Winter Skin Care
If a person has any concerns or wants recommendations, a dermatologist can help.