Keep your skin healthy this winter with tips from a dermatologist

November 15, 2021

By Geoffrey Potts, M.D.

Michigan weather can be especially brutal to the skin in the fall and winter due to mixture of the wet, cold and windy, dry air changing day to day. The most important tip to keep skin healthy during this time is to use moisturizer on the skin frequently throughout the day. The best moisturizers are fragrance free and tend to come in jars and tubes rather than pump bottles. Moisturizer should be applied after bathing, and baths should be kept lukewarm and short rather than hot and long.

Washing hands often (especially during this pandemic) can cause drying and cracking of skin so more frequent hand moisturizer application is important. Applying moisturizer and leaving it on overnight with cotton or jersey gloves can help lock in moisture to keep hands nice and soft.

For the face, oil-free moisturizers are better for people with oily or acne prone skin. Cleansers should be fragrance free to avoid irritating the skin and fabric softeners or dryer sheets should be avoided for those with sensitive skin. If moisturizers alone are not enough for children or adults with eczema prone skin, seeing a board-certified dermatologist for prescription cortisone is helpful to treat the itchy skin during flares.

For those with sun sensitivity, concern about aging of skin or high risk for skin cancer, using sun blocks containing zinc oxide are recommended on all exposed areas. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can still cause damage even on the cloudy days of the winter in Michigan. Lip balms containing SPF (sun protection factor) are helpful to avoid chapping lips. Avoid highly flavored lip balms though as they can cause allergy.

Improve home conditions by considering standalone humidifiers in bedrooms or whole house humidifiers to help reduce dry skin and static. Too much humidity indoors, however, can cause condensation and mold, so be mindful when using these products.

Scheduling regular appointments with your dermatologist is a great way to prepare your skin for the upcoming winter months. Wayne Health has board-certified dermatologists who are ready to get your skin to its best health. To make an appointment with a Wayne Health dermatologist, visit our appointment page or call (877) 929-6342.

Keep your skin healthy this winter with tips from a dermatologist
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