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Winter Weather And Skin Care

November 23, 2010

Summer may be over, but that doesn’t mean the vacations stop. Many people head for the mountains and dermatologists says caring for skin during the colder months only means adding a little extra to your summer routine.

“The cold temperatures, wind and sunlight work together to cause irritation to your skin,” said Dr. John Wolf, professor and chair of dermatology at BCM. “It is difficult to distinguish between wind burn and sun burn, so it is a good idea to focus on overall skin care.”
Use extra moisturizer

Wolf suggests using extra moisturizer during these trips as well as moisturizing sun block with an SPF of 30 or higher. At higher altitudes the ultraviolet rays from the sun are more intense and those who don’t usually suffer sunburns are more sensitive.
Fever blisters more common

“Some people may suffer from fever blisters more often during the colder months,” said Wolf. “They can be provoked by the cold, wind and sun at higher altitudes.”

People who suffer from severe outbreaks of fever blisters may want to talk to their doctor to see if there are prescriptions to prevent such outbreaks Wolf says. Chapped lips are more prevalent during colder months as well, but using a lip balm with an SPF factor of 30 or even a thick coat of zinc oxide may help keep them at bay.

During colder weather many people will take hot showers, sit in a sauna or even enjoy a hot tub. Wolf said this can actually increase dry and itchy skin. He suggests using moisturizer while still damp, before completely drying off.

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