It’s a “Dry Cool”
Most Phoenicians know and hear the term “it’s a dry heat” all too often. Many of us are also often reminded about how to protect our skin during those hot and dry months. When it’s hot and sunny we are more easily reminded and conditioned to protect our skin; but what about now? It’s finally cool outside; temps are down and the sun isn’t scorching our skin. Now we can say “it’s a dry cool.” It almost doesn’t seem fair that after we endure an Arizona summer, we then have to keep our guard up during the beautiful winter months too.
Respectfully, we are not the only ones; most of the world deals with winter dryness. As the air cools, humidity and moisture decreases. The outer layer of skin consists mostly of dead skin cells and protective oils which help hold in moisture. As the skin becomes dryer it flakes off easier leaving the layers below more susceptible. Two of the most common reactions from dry winter skin are itchiness and cracking. Aside from the annoyance and displeasing aesthetics, far worse outcomes can result. Consistent scratching can lead to dermatitis where the skin becomes extremely red and inflamed and possibly leading to the thickening of the skin. The thick dry skin will crack easier, especially on the hands and feet, making it much harder to heal while leaving you more susceptible to infection.
Here are some tips for this winter’s dry skin:
- Drink More Water – Just because it’s cooler out doesn’t mean you don’t need it
- Shorten Your Showers – Try and keep them under ten minutes
- One Shower A Day – One every 24 hours if possible
- Warm not Hot – The hot shower may feel good but can dry you out
- Easy On The Soap – Focus on the “hot spots” Underarms, groin, feet and face
- Mild Soaps – Use less harsh soaps and keep your natural oils
- Gently Dry Off – Pad yourself dry with the towel and avoid rubbing
- Moisturize Immediately – Lather up within 3 minutes of your shower
- Remember Your SPF – Sunscreen is important year around
The market is saturated with lotions, creams, oils, balms and soaps. If you are unsure about the quality and safety of a particular product and or looking for more information for healthier skin, do not hesitate to contact your health care provider for assistance.