Prevent Dry Skin This Winter
The majority of Phoenicians here in the valley love the long overdue cool weather. It’s almost like winning a prize for competing in the “who can endure the summer months of Arizona.” For some, time spent outside over the next few months might triple, and rightfully so; soak it up! However, just because it isn’t scorching hot doesn’t mean our skin is not at risk. The suns UV rays are still extremely damaging, especially without sunscreen, and the air is still very dry, which can lead to many undesirable outcomes.
“The Valley of the Sun” is not the only place that has increased dryness in the winter. Most of the world actually deals with winter dryness. Air holds water; this is also called humidity, the moisture we can sometimes even feel in the air. As air cools it is unable to hold as much moisture in it, especially when that air makes its way inside and warms up. This is when our skin really becomes vulnerable. 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.