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Keep Winter Skin At Bay

December 31, 2009

Just because the temperatures are dropping doesn’t mean you should drop your skin care routine. Dermatologists at Baylor College of Medicine say continuing to wear sun block and moisturizers during the colder months is important for healthy skin year round.

“It’s very common to have dry skin during winter due to the colder, drier weather and the use of heaters,” said Dr. John Wolf, professor and chair of dermatology at BCM. “Going untreated, dry skin could lead to discomfort or even an itchy, painful rash known as winter itch.”

Trap moisture

The key to prevention is moisturizing the skin. Wolf recommends starting with a lukewarm shower using a mild soap for sensitive skin. Before completely drying off, apply lotion or hand cream to damp skin.

“This traps moisture onto your skin,” Wolf said. “If you are adding lotion or hand cream to dry skin there will be some relief but you aren’t hydrating the skin as well as you could be.”

Use sun block

Wolf said the type of lotion isn’t as important as when you put the moisturizer on. As long as you like the brand and it doesn’t irritate your skin then it will work. For dry skin that needs extra help, Wolf suggests using a lotion or cream that contains petroleum jelly.

“For your face, make sure to find a lotion that includes some type of sun block (SPF) protection,” Wolf added. “The sun’s rays can still be harmful during the winter.”

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