Winterize Your Skin
Weather and climate changes can greatly affect your skin. With freezing temperatures outside, one’s natural inclination is to crank up the heat inside. However, the use of heat depletes the humidity from the air and the constant cycle of cold to heat can leave skin dry, chapped, flaky and itchy. Winter dry skin can be extremely uncomfortable as irritation from excessive dryness can frequently result in cracking and itching of the skin, commonly referred to as “winter itch”. For individuals who already suffer from severe dry skin conditions, like eczema, winter weather can exacerbate their skin leading to flare ups.
I spoke with my good friend and leading dermatologist, Dr. Kenneth Beer, and he gave me several strategies which can be used to “winterize” your skin and help fight off dryness during the winter months:
- Use a humidifier. – Heating systems and furnaces can sap moisture from skin and exacerbate dryness. The use of humidifiers, in the rooms which you spend the most time, will help to maintain moisture levels in-doors. If buying a humidifier for your home is not in your budget, this can be as easy as placing a pot of water in front of your air ducts or on top of the radiator.
- Take lukewarm showers and baths. – There may be nothing more appealing on a cold day than a hot shower or bath, but the intense heat can deplete moisture from the skin and lead to dryness and itching. Moisturizing immediately after showering or bathing, while skin is damp can help to lock-in moisture and provide longer lasting relief from dryness and chapping.
- Drink plenty of water. – Drinking water helps to moisturize your body from the inside and prevent dehydration.
- Include healthy oils and fats in your diet. – Add healthy oils and fats, like omega 3 fish oil, to your diet to help maintain skin’s moisture balance.
- Dress appropriately. – Dressing in layers not only keeps your body warm, but allows you to easily remove clothing as needed to prevent overheating. Also, be sure and wear gloves. Hands are particularly prone to severe dryness during the winter months which can result in painful cracking and splitting of the skin. Gloves or mittens help to keep hands warm and protected.
- Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize! – Skin needs extra protection from dryness during the winter months. Be sure and apply a moisturizer regularly to replace essential moisture and protect skin from cracking, itching and irritation. You may even need to switch to a heavier moisturizer formulation during the winter months.
Theraplex offers several solutions to help “winterize” your skin and protect it from the dryness of winter weather:
- Theraplex ClearLotion – this oil emollient can be applied to wet or damp skin after showering or bathing to seal in essential moisture and provide continuous moisturization and protection from dryness and help prevent winter itch.
- Theraplex Emollient – this rich emollient contains the highest concentration of special petrolatum fraction to provide the most effective moisturization and protection for severe dry skin. It is ideal for use on dry, cracked hands and feet and to help skin from chapping and exposure from extremely cold winds and weather.
- Theraplex ULTRA – this enriched body butter soothes dry skin and helps to provide superior moisturization and protection from winter dryness and chapping. It is ideal as a cuticle and lip moisturizer or as a facial moisturizer/protectant to prevent wind burn and chapping while outdoors.
- Theraplex HydroLotion – this water-in-oil emulsion helps repair dry skin damage and protect skin’s natural barrier from the harsh, drying effects of winter weather. This daily skin moisturizer is designed to be applied as frequently as needed to maintain skins moisture balance.
- Theraplex FT Exfoliating Emollient – contains all of the superior moisturization and protective properties of Theraplex Emollient, but in a soothing formulation which provides gentle exfoliation to remove rough, dry skin. Ideal for: rough, callused feet, plaque psoriasis, and keratosis pilaris.
Hopefully, these tips will help you keep your skin soft, smooth and protected this winter season. However, not all scaly, red skin is just dry. Many skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, can flare in the winter months. So, if your “dry” skin doesn’t improve within a week or two, consider making an appointment with your dermatologist to avoid a long, itchy season.