Protect Your Skin from Harsh Winter Air

dermatologist in Salem

Trying to stay healthy during the winter months means avoiding all sorts of obstacles. From colds to the flu, Old Man Winter brings a myriad of terrible threats that take their toll, especially to your skin. At Valley View Dermatology, your trusted Salem dermatologist, we’re here to help protect your skin from the approaching winter weather.

If your skin has started to feel tight and dry or even flaky and itchy, then it has probably lost many of the vital oils it needs to stay moist and smooth. To help keep your skin feeling its best this winter season, try using these tips to treat some common issues.

Chapped Lips

Everybody is susceptible to dry lips during the winter. To keep your puckers from puffing up, make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and use a humidifier around the home. Also apply plenty of petroleum jelly or beeswax to keep your lips soft, and always use lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen whenever you go outside. Make sure you avoid spending too much time outside in the blustery wind, and never lick your lips, no matter how good it might temporarily feel.

Cracked Heels

Individuals who routinely suffer from cracked heels during the winter know how painful the condition can become. If you wear ill-fitting or uncomfortable shoes that have caused calluses to develop around the rims of your heels, they can create even more problems if you have cracked heels. In extreme cases, cracked heels can become infected, which can make walking extremely painful.

To help your feet feel their best, try covering cracked heels in petroleum jelly, wrapping them in plastic wrap, before finally putting on a pair of socks to wear overnight. After three nights of this treatment, you should start noticing an improvement and begin feeling better.

Dry Hands

Since they are so frequently exposed, your hands often receive the worst treatment from the harsh winter air. While it’s important to frequently wash your hands to avoid exposing yourself to harmful cold and flu viruses, this healthy habit also increases how dry your hands become. Give your hands the extra attention they need by using a moisturizer that’s glycerin-based in the morning after waking up, right before bedtime, and any point during the day where your hands feel dry.

Dry Hair

Dealing with dry, frizzy hair can make anyone frustrated enough they just decide to wear hats until spring. However, there are options other than wool stocking caps to keep you looking your best. To protect your hair, try shampooing every other day instead of daily, as shampooing can often strip your hair of oils and moisture needed to keep it looking its best. When bathing, use a mild shampoo and warm water, and apply plenty of conditioner to keep your hair soft, shiny, and hydrated. Be careful not to over-style your hair with a flat iron or blow dryer, and avoid using harsh, chemical-based hair products.

Lock in Moisture

As soon as you exit the shower, pat dry your skin and apply moisturizer in order to retain the moisture your skin has just absorbed. A hyaluronic or glycerin-based moisturizer can maximize the amount of moisture the body absorbs. Mineral oil also makes a good alternative, because it keeps water from evaporating. Make sure you continue to apply moisturizer throughout the day to keep your skin feeling its softest.

Your friendly Salem dermatologists at Valley View Dermatology offer a wide variety of products that can help protect your skin from the cold. Stop by our store today to see what recommendations we may have for your dry skin problems.