As the summer dawns and the winter arrives, we are greeted with colder temperatures, lower relative humidity, and, sadly, dry skin! The constant itch and discomfort can be annoying and even aggravating, driving people indoors to their heated houses where their development of dry skin is unknowingly worsening. Luckily, this ruthless cycle can be countered by knowing the causes of dry skin and learning a few preventive steps.
Dry skin being a common issue in affected by many factors. Here we will review the major factors and address them individually.
The weather: The winter brings colder temperatures. In fact, your skin may lose about 20 – 25 percent of its ability to hold water in the cold months of winter, due to the water in your skin evaporating more quickly. This can cause your skin to look flaky, dry, red, itchy and irritated.
When the winter has taken its toll on our bodies, we all seek refuge in our houses, crank up the thermostats and hop into the hot shower. However, many do not know that these common practices only makes things worse. Coming in from the outside, we often take long, hot showers or baths. Some of us use scrubs and/or loofahs. We also tend to turn on central heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters, etc… Which can all attribute to dry skin. That being said, the cold outdoors and dry indoors, it can make it extremely difficult to escape dry skin.
The first step and the most important one is to establish a good skin care routine. The staff at Dr. Eyal Levit’s practice, Levit Dermatology, is dedicated to providing the public with basic skin care information and routines. Dr. Levit himself has many recommendations concerning skin care especially in the winter.
He recommends to avoid prolonged showers and wash with warm water for less than 10 minutes to minimize risk of losing the natural skin oils that help protect the skin barrier and reduce loss of skin moisture . The “wiper blade,” (coined by Dr. Levit) method, which is done by doing brief and fast downwards strokes with the hand to remove excess water on your skin rather than rubbing, is also recommended to avoid further removing the natural oils on our skin. While your skin is damp, immediately apply your choice of moisturizers in a downward motion following the grain of your hair.
Lastly, make sure that during the day moisturizing creams are continually applied as needed to the exposed skin areas as face and hands that get the brunt of the wind and astringents from over washing to maintain hygene.
Dry skin due to cold weather is a very common issue and is quite manageable with a good skincare routine. Although there are numerous other medical reasons and conditions that can cause dry and irritated skin, if you or a close one are suffering and believe you may need further evaluation please do not hesitate to contact a board certified dermatologist.
For any further questions or to join us on our monthly open house lecture/discussions please call to reserve your place at (718) 375-7546 or email us at our Email: Skin@levitdermatology.com. You can follow us on social media #levitdermatology.
Our practice is located at 35 West End Ave Brooklyn, NY 11235.