We love Chicago, but winter arrives earlier and harsher here than for most of the country. That often translates into dry, itchy skin. I receive many calls this time of year from patients complaining about dry patches, rashes, and more. So here are some general positive ways to deal with your skin in cold weather:
1 – Moisturize more and more often
The moisturizer you used in the spring and summer may not be sufficient for the colder weather. You’ll want one that creates a protective layer on your skin that retains more moisture. Consider a cream rather than a lotion. But, be careful! You’ll always want to choose a moisturizer that’s non-comedogenic, meaning that it’s specially formulated so as not to clog pores. When in doubt, ask us!
2 – Hands down, they count too!
I’m sure you’ve noticed that it’s harder to keep your hands well moisturized, especially in cold, dry weather. This can lead to itchiness and cracking. Your hands will be much happier if you always wear gloves when you go outside. If you prefer wool gloves, consider using cotton glove liners to avoid any irritation the wool might cause.
3 – Keep ‘em dry
Fewer things will make you unhappy in cold weather than wet hands or feet. Sometimes, keeping them dry can be a real challenge, but worth the effort. Wet socks and gloves can irritate your skin and cause itching, cracking, sores, or even a flare-up of eczema. We suggest keeping extra socks and glove or glove liners around…just in case.
4 – Sunscreen still matters
I’ve said this before and it’s worth repeating, sunscreen is not just for sunny summer days. Winter sun can still damage your skin. Always apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands if they’re exposed. Reapply frequently if you stay outside a long time. Helpful hint: Use a moisturizer that has SPF30 so you won’t forget!
5 – Hydrate…everything!
Dry air – both indoors and outside – dry you out, inside and out! That’s why hydrating is so important. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and to keep your skin looking its best.
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I provide both medical and cosmetic dermatological services. Please feel free to contact us to make an appointment.