Have you noticed your skin getting more dry as the winter weather rolls in? Do you have cracks on your hands or fingers? If so, you’re not alone.
“As the seasons change, the environment for the skin is changing. The humidity level is changing,” explains Indy Chabra, a dermatologist at Midlands Clinic in Sioux City, South Dakota.
Xerosis (or dry skin) is caused from a loss of too much water or oil in skin. Many factors contribute to xerosis, including age, skin diseases (like eczema), frequent hand-washing, certain medications, and winter weather.
For healthy winter skin, apply moisturizer within five minutes of showering, and also before bedtime. A ceramide-based moisturizer (recommended by many dermatologists) can effectively be absorbed to moisturize your skin, but it may take up to seven days to see and feel it working.
When washing your hands (or any other part of your body), use lukewarm water and a gentle soap, so as to not dry your skin. Try a hand cream rather than a lotion; apply and let it absorb rather than quickly rubbing it in. (As always, with any soap or moisturizer, if irritation and/or discomfort occur, seek out the care of a health professional.)
Humidifiers can help air in homes from becoming too dry, contributing to the effect of winter weather on your skin.
Remember to take the simple, daily steps you can to clean and protect your dry skin.