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Fight Back Against Dry Winter Skin

College Park Family Care January 12, 2017

By: Holly McCoppin, MD,
Dermatologist and MOHS Surgeon
College Park Family Care Center Specialty Office

  1. Moisturize your skin frequently. Use a thick, bland emollient at least daily (more often if your skin feels dry or itchy). Ointments are more moisturizing than creams, which are more moisturizing than lotions. Put your ointment or cream on immediately after getting out of the shower or bath, ideally within 3 minutes. When you step out of the shower or bath, that water on your skins starts to evaporate. That’s why it’s important to get your moisturizer on right away. Avoid moisturizers with fragrance or dyes.
  2. Lower the temperature of the water in your shower or bath. Luke warm water is better for dry skin than steaming hot water. The intense heat of the water can break down the lipid barriers in the skin, which can lead to a loss of moisture.
  3. Avoid using harsh soaps, peels, masks, and alcohol-based toners and astringents. These can strip essential oil from your skin. Switch to gentle skin cleansers without fragrance or dyes.
  4. Don’t forget to continue wearing your sunscreen. Some UV rays can penetrate the clouds, so even on overcast days you need to sun protect your exposed skin.
  5. Consider adding humidity to the air in your home. The humidity, or moisture in the air, drops during winter. Turn on the humidifier associated with your central heat if available. Place portable humidifiers in the bedrooms and common areas in your home to help bring moisture back into the air.

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