Protecting Your Skin This Winter

skin doctor in Wilsonville

You don’t need the advice of a skin doctor in Wilsonville to know that the cold, dry air of winter can really wreak havoc on the health of your skin. At times, it can almost feel like there’s no escape from the raw feeling that comes from stepping outside, only to have your skin feel itchy, dry and irritated when exposed to the dry air inside.

Most of the activities that we enjoy during the winter – such as sitting in front of a roaring fire – can cause our skin to dry out. Even pushing back the morning chill by taking a long, hot shower has its costs, as hot water actually dries out our skin by stripping it of much needed natural oils.

Fortunately, your skin doctor in Wilsonville at Valley View Dermatology has a few simple recommendations on how you can combat the causes of dry winter skin so you can keep looking and feeling your best. From blotting your skin dry after taking a warm, not hot, shower to using a thick moisturizer after bathing to help seal the water into your skin, here are a few tips that will help you survive the winter.

Tip 1.) Buy a humidifier to maximize the moisture in your home

Placing a humidifier in your bedroom will add moisture to the dry air emitted by your heater and help keep your skin feeling hydrated. Since you spend most of your time at home asleep, placing your humidifier in the bedroom makes the most sense, but you can certainly by one for the living room as well.

Tip 2.) Reduce the amount of time you spend showering

A nice long, hot shower feels especially good after coming in out of the cold or as a way to jumpstart your day on a chilly morning. Despite how great this may feel, however, your skin will be much better off if you spend just 5 to 10 minutes taking a warm shower instead. You should also consider washing your hands in cold or warm water as well. As a general rule, if the water is hot enough to turn your skin pink it needs to be turned down. Don’t worry about germs. Studies have found cold water just as effective as removing germs as when washing with hot water.

Tip 3.) Lower the thermostat to reduce dryness

Cranking the heat up when it’s cold outside might feel good, but your home’s central heat can actually cause the air to become even drier. To maintain the optimal amount of moisture in your skin, try setting the temperature between 68 to 72 degrees.

Tip 4.) Embrace moisturizing

Applying a moisturizer to your skin after washing is one of the best ways to help ensure your skin stays hydrated during the winter. Creams or ointments work the best in winter, as lotions should be reserved for the warmer months of the year. The one area of the body likely to suffer the most during the winter is your hands, so make sure to take extra care moisturizing them after stepping out of the shower or cleaning your dishes.

Tips 5.) Don’t forget the sunscreen

While the weather outside might be frightful, it’s nothing compared to the damage the sun can do to your skin, even during the winter. In fact, on a bright winter day, snow can reflect the sun’s rays by up to 80, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. So whether you’re running errands, skiing down the slopes or playing in the snow, you need to apply an SPF sunscreen of at least 15 or higher to any exposed areas of your skin.