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8 Tips to keep your Skin Healthy in Winter

Winter can wreak havoc on your skin; it can make your skin itchy, dry and irritated. Cold, windy conditions outside can make your skin feel raw, and indoor heat zaps moisture from the air and your skin.

Even the things that make winter beautiful, like sitting near a roaring fire, may dry your skin. A hot shower may seem like an excellent way to become warm, but hot water dries your skin and strips it of its natural oils.

There are various ways to counter the causes of dry winter skin and keep your skin feeling moist. You can do so by making some easy changes to your everyday life.

Here are some other tips to be aware of for keeping your skin healthy throughout the winter season:

Invest in a humidifier to maximize moisture

Use a humidifier in your home or office as it will add moisture to dry winter air and keep your skin hydrated. Run a humidifier in your rooms so you can spend the most time inside it.

Lower the thermostat to avoid dryness

When it is chilly outside, what is the first thing you should do? Crank up the heat! However, central heat can make the air in your house drier. Set the thermostat at a cool yet comfortable temperature — 68°F to 72°F — to have healthy skin.

Limit shower time and temperature

You may be tempted to take a long, steamy shower, but your skin can be much healthy with a 5- to 10-minute lukewarm shower (or bath). You should avoid using too hot water when you are washing your hands.

Washing your hands in cooler water is effective at removing germs than warm water and is less irritating to your skin. If you are using a restroom air hand-dryer, use it just until your hands are damp rather than being completely dry.

Opt for gentle, fragrance-free cleansers

The wrong soap can worsen dry, itchy skin. Regular bar soaps may have irritating fragrances and ingredients. Instead, wash with a fragrance-free, moisturizing gel or cleanser. (And do look for products labelled “fragrance-free,” because “unscented” products may contain fragrances.)

You can prevent winter skin problems using less soap overall, so restrict your lathering to necessary areas, like your hands, armpits, genitals, and feet.

Modify your facial skin-care regimen for the season

During winter, choose cream-based cleansers, and apply toners and astringents sparingly. Many astringents have alcohol, which may dry your skin further.

When your skin is itchy and dry, you should avoid using products that have alcohol and fragrances so your skin can retain its natural oils. At evening, use a rich moisturizer on your face.

Don’t forget your lips. Apply a moisturizing balm (including petroleum jelly or other ointments) can help heal dry, cracked lips and keep them from being chapped. If, your lip product causes a tingling or stinging or sensation, switch to some other product.

Moisturize frequently, especially your hands

Moisturize after wash up to maintain healthy skin. Use an ointment or cream in winter. Lotions are best in warmer, humid climates. Hand-washing, is vital, particularly during cold and flu season.

Constant washing can cause the hands to take a beating. Apply hand cream after every wash can help. It is recommended to wear waterproof gloves when you are washing dishes or cleaning around the house.

Apply sunscreen — even on winter days

On bright winter days, snow reflects the sun’s rays, up to 80 per cent, which increases your risk of exposure. This means whether you’re out on the slopes or just walking through a parking lot on an errand run, it’s significant to apply sunscreen in the harsh winter weather as it is in summer.

The sun’s harmful UV rays permeate clouds during darker, dreary days in winter and still cause damage. Before you go out, apply a moisturizing, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to all exposed places of your body.

Change wet clothes quickly to avoid itchy skin

Wearing wet shoes and clothes can irritate your skin further and cause itchiness. If socks, gloves, and pants become wet, ensure to remove them as soon as possible.

If you still experience dryness and irritation after trying these healthy skin tips, use an over-the-counter, 1 per cent hydrocortisone cream.

If you don’t see any improvement in a couple of days, talk to your skin specialist. You may require a prescription-strength moisturizer to win over winter’s drying effects on your skin.

 

Dr. Gajanan Jadhao

I am a Hair Transplant Surgeon, Cosmetologist and Anesthesiologist in Pune. I have more than 16 years of experience in this field.

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