January 8, 2020, is designated as National Winter Skin Relief Day. This observation helps remind us that our skin is susceptible dryness and cracking due to the severe weather winter season can bring.
Winter can be a particularly harsh season for our skin. During this time of year, temperatures are cold and we spend more time indoors where heating systems tend to deplete the water content in the air. Low humidity in our environment contributes to dry skin.
Dry skin commonly appears as being rough and flaky patches, which can show up anywhere on the body but mostly on the arms and legs. In severe cases, your skin can develop creases and cracks when it is extremely dry.
Drying of the skin typically occurs when the outer layer of the skin, called the stratum corneum, becomes compromised. The stratum corneum which is composed of dead skin cells and natural oils; acts as a protective layer that prevents water from evaporating from the surface. When water evaporates, outer skin cells become flaky and will cause cracks and fissures.
There are steps you can take to retain moisture and prevent dry skin. Here are a few:
• Bathe in warm water, never hot
• Use mild soaps that contain moisturizing creams
• Pat the skin dry with soft towels
• Use a moisturizer several times a day on exposed areas of the body.
• Drink a lot of water
• Apply sunscreen to prevent drying out from the sun’s rays
• Wear gloves
• Avoid wearing wet articles of clothes outdoors.
• Have a humidifier in the home
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.