4 Simple Steps To Keep Your Skin Healthy All Winter Long
Skin care is just as important in the winter as in every other season. Perhaps protecting your skin is even more crucial during these cold months as your skin is subject to dryness, flaking, chapping, and irritation. Fort Collins residents are especially susceptible to winter skin damage thanks to our freezing winter weather and altitude of 5,000 feet.
Here are some dermatology measures you can take to ensure healthy skin this winter. We have also included some dermatology warnings about activities to avoid. Remember, Front Range Dermatology is here for all your skincare needs and dermatology questions.
Good Bathing Habits
Healthy skin starts in the shower or the bath – whichever you prefer. A nice steaming shower may sound great during the winter, but this time of year is the worst for hot water bathing. Scorching water contributes to ridding your skin of protective oils that naturally hold in moisture. Combined with cold, dry air, such skin is prone to over-drying.
Hot baths or showers will also cause your pores to open. This reaction is not what you want when you are about to step outside into a frigid environment. Open pores mean you lose body heat more rapidly and leave you open to colds and other infections.
Take a lukewarm bath or shower – neither too hot nor cold. Most importantly, moisturize your skin immediately after drying off. Use a good quality dermatology lotion or moisturizing cream. Choose one that is oil-based rather than water-based as these lotions will help lock moisture into your skin and prevent chapping. Do not forget to moisturize your face!
Protect Your Digits
It is essential to own a good pair of gloves for a Colorado winter, but gloves only help if you wear them. As you probably know, your digits are usually the first areas to suffer from frostbite. They are also quite subject to chapping and other skin damage from the cold and wind.
Therefore, be sure always to wear gloves, warm socks, and high-quality footwear when outside this winter. Also, check for skin irritation or signs of dermatology damage once you come indoors. It is a good practice to apply lotion as soon as you remove your gloves and socks upon arriving inside. If you suspect skin damage or chronic dryness, call us at Front Range Dermatology in Fort Collins, CO.
Always Add Humidity
It is not just the cold that damages your skin in the winter. It is also the dryness. Lotions and protective dermatology creams can be helpful, but you also need to humidify your environment when possible. When you are indoors, furnaces, stoves, and heaters contribute to dry air, so it is a good idea to add at least one humidifier to your home during wintertime for dermatology reasons. Many dermatology experts also recommend sleeping with a humidifier running in your bedroom.
Also be careful when running the heater in your car or truck. Avoid directing the blowing hot air directly onto your face. Instead, aim the vents to the sides or between the driver’s and passenger’s seats. This practice will allow you to warm up without drying out your skin.
When you are outdoors, use moisturizing dermatology lotions frequently and keep yourself covered in protective clothing. Be sure not to neglect facial areas, particularly your nose and lips. These features are easily chapped, windburned, and dried out.
Do Not Forget about the Sun
You have probably heard dermatology providers going on and on about sun damage and for a good reason. Ultraviolet (UV) rays are the chief cause of skin cancer, a form of cancer that can potentially be quite deadly. However, many people only worry about sun exposure during the warmer months. Remember, just because you do not feel the sun’s rays as much during the winter does not mean these rays are not a threat.
It is for this reason that dermatology experts recommend you wear some form of sunscreen whenever you are outside – every day of the year. Even the winter sun can damage your skin, especially when reflected off abundant snowfall. Protect yourself by protecting your skin. For more information about daily sunscreen use, contact the dermatology professionals at Front Range Dermatology.