5 Winter Skin Care Tips
The low humidity common in many parts of the United States during winter can cause dry, irritated skin. When skin becomes dry and irritated, eczema can flare. Here are some tips to help skin feel more comfortable during winter or anytime the air is dry:
1. Use a humidifier to place moisture in the air. This can keep skin from drying and becoming cracked and itchy.
2. Switch to an oil-based moisturizer and moisturize frequently. The more oil a moisturizer contains the more effectively it protects against moisture loss. Ointments are especially beneficial when humidity is low. Ointments should not be used on areas of the body that tend to get hot and sweaty.
3. Before Going Outside in Winter:
(A) Apply a heavy layer of moisturizing broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to the face, hands, and any other skin that may be exposed. Sunscreen is important in winter as the sun’s reflective powers are great year round. Today, several products are available that combine oily, moisturizing cream with sunscreen.
(B)Grab those gloves. Protecting hands from the cold air and low humidity plays an important role in preventing flare-ups. Make sure that gloves are made from material that does not irritate your skin. Some patients wear a cotton glove next to the skin and a glove of different fabric over the cotton one.
4. Dress in layers. The most common triggers of the itch/scratch cycle are sweating and overheating. Wearing layers allows you to remove clothing as needed to prevent overheating.
5. Shed wet clothes and shoes immediately. These can irritate the skin and cause a flare-up.