Yes, summer is over for us here living in the Southeastern Pennsylvania region and you know what that means…dry, itchy winter skin is upon us. We know that living in this area, that frigid temperatures can cause havoc on our body’s largest organ, your skin.
We have compiled a list of our top tips for winter skincare to help you get through those dry winter months.The skin is the largest organ of the body – a total area of about 20 square feet and accounts for about 15% of your body weight.
Keep baths and showers not only short (like 5 or 10 minutes) but use warm, not hot water and a mild cleanser. It’s tempting to take a nice long hot shower, but hot water evaporates quickly. The cracks in the skin let the nerves get exposed to the air if you don’t immediately moisturize. Tip: If you enjoy a hot shower or bath, keep the bathroom door closed and moisturize immediately.
Don’t skimp on hand washing – hand sanitizers are a good alternative.
Moisturizing your skin is crucial for keeping it hydrated throughout the winter months. Tip: Moisturize with a cream instead of a lotion. Lotions are not as thick as creams and therefore not as moisturizing during the winter months. Creams come in jars and ointments, where lotions commonly come in a pump. Look for a cream that contains olive oil or jojoba oil.
Also, use a non-greasy hand cream and apply it after every hand washing to relieve dry hands. If you have extremely dry hands, dab a bit of petroleum jelly to your hands before bed. And don’t forget about your lips too. Choose a lip balm that feels good on your lips.
Avoid deodorant soaps, alcohol-based toners and products that may contain fragrance can irritate dry, sensitive skin.
Laundry detergent can be irritating to dry skin. Tip: Choose a laundry detergent that is labeled ‘hypoallergenic’. If you are wearing clothing made of wool, be sure to wear cotton or a soft fabric underneath to avoid irritation.
Wearing gloves can help reduce dry skin – put them on before going outdoors this winter, wear them if you are performing a job that your hands get wet when doing or when any task that involves getting grease or chemicals on your hands.
Add moisture into the air. When it’s cold and dry, water will evaporate off of the skin’s surface much faster. Tip: To add moisture back into the air in your home, using a humidifier is a great solution especially if you like to set your heat up high.
The skin has three main functions: protection, regulation and sensation. Skin permits the sensations of touch, heat and cold and protects us from microbes, and the elements, and regulates body temperature.
If you’re not feeling relief after implementing our tips, make an appointment with one of our dermatologists. In some cases, extremely dry skin may require a written prescription for an ointment or cream. It can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as eczema.
Need an appointment to address your skin concerns? Call (610) 288-2908 or schedule online at www.padermpartners.com
Jason Schoenfeld, M.D.
October 8, 2018