winter weather

Arctic Blast Ushering in ‘Dry Skin Season'

Local dermatologists are warning people to prepare for the cold weather if they want to avoid skin problems this winter

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Winter season is also dry skin season. This weekend's forecasted arctic blast is a good reminder of that.

Dermatologists like Dr. Jay Wofford of U.S. Dermatology Partners is bracing for issues with patients when the temperature drops in DFW.

He said the cold, dry air can strip moisture from your skin.

At the same time, people are often taking longer and hotter showers during the cold weather, in addition to cranking up the heat inside their homes. Both of these habits will further strip moisture from the skin.

“All of that amounts to a perfect storm,” he said.

Cracked skin can also lead to bacteria or fungal infections, especially on your hands or around the mouth.

But finding relief might be as simple as reading the bottle.

“I commonly recommend people gravitate toward a moisturizing cream over a lotion,” said Wofford. “Lotions are usually thinner or thinned up with alcohol, which paradoxically can pull moisture out of the skin. So I recommend looking for a product that says it is a ‘cream’. These tend to hydrate the skin better.”

Wofford said people tend to use lotions because the pump bottle is easier, but that’s because the product is thinned out with the alcohol or propylene glycol.

“Which is not bad. It’s better than nothing but ideally you want to use a moisturizing cream or even an ointment if your skin is really dry, especially if it’s cracked,” he added.

Following these other tips can also help save your skin this winter:

  • Moisturize at least twice a day
  • Limit hot showers and baths
  • Avoid harsh soaps and body washes
  • Use a humidifier inside your home
  • Use sunscreen to prevent sunburns

"It is important to use sunscreen in the winter, you can get sunburned," warned Wofford. "Burned skin can aggravate or exacerbate dry skin, so any type of sunburn or excessive exposure to the sun can compromise the skin barrier and allow more water or moisture to escape from the skin."

For more information on how to remedy dry skin, click here.

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