Moisturizers, warm showers and more are important to combat the effects of winter on the skin | South Land

Jane Ammeson Times correspondent

Cracked and scaly skin is a sure sign of winter.

We apply lotion, sometimes too much, but often this is not enough to solve the problem of dry skin.

“Extremes are what typically cause skin problems,” says Dr. A. David Soleymani, founder of Dermio and Dermio Dermatology with offices in Munster, Dyer, DeMotte, Valparaiso and Chicago. “Prolonged exposure to cold, especially extreme cold, as well as wind can wreak havoc on the skin. Those with pre-existing skin conditions such as eczema or rosacea tend to fare worse Forced air can also be very dry in these conditions, so be sure to use a humidifier during the winter months to keep your skin healthy.

According to Dr. Namrata Shah, a dermatologist with the Franciscan Physician Network in Dyer, low humidity inside and out dries out the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin.

Sometimes referred to as “winter skin syndrome,” according to recently released results from a CeraVe survey conducted online by Harris Poll of 2,000 American adults, 83% of Americans say their skin looks different in winter than the rest of the world. ‘year. Six out of 10 rate it as “unhealthy” during the winter months. Dryness ranks at 77% and itching at 41% of respondents.

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“It’s important to change the way we bathe,” says Shah, a member of the American Academy of Dermatology. “As nice as it is when you’re cold to stand under hot water or relax in a hot bath for a long time, it dries out the skin. We should use lukewarm water and not stay under it for more than 5-10 minutes.

It is also important to use mild, fragrance-free soaps.

“There are many good mild soaps such as Dove Unscented, Cetaphil Mild Cleansing Soap, and Basis Soap,” says Soleymani, a member of the American Academy of Dermatology. “After bathing, using a good emollient to seal in the moisture in your bath or shower is a good thing. Ointments are best but are also messy. Creams are better than lotions and usually contain ceramides which help maintain skin hydration.

Shah recommends patting the skin dry and applying moisturizer while the skin is still damp. “It helps lock the moisturizer into the skin,” she says.

Her recommendations for moisturizers include Vanicream, a brand with products that include moisturizers and cleansers. Vanicream offers products for sensitive skin free of perfume, dyes, parabens, lanolin and formaldehyde releasers.

But Shah’s favorite is CeraVe which uses ceramide technology, small fat molecules that help skin retain its elasticity and smoothness.

“Ceramide products help skin retain moisture and elasticity by supporting the skin’s barrier function,” she says. “It’s really lovely and this and Vanicream are cheap and can be taken over the counter at drugstores and stores like Target. It keeps the outer layer nice and healthy.

Soleymani points out that non-comedogenic moisturizers, which contain ingredients that won’t clog or block pores, are best for the face, especially for those prone to acne.

“Moisturizers such as Cetaphil, Aveeno, or CeraVe cream are great for the body,” he says.

Soleymani says the need for sunscreen on those sunny days is debatable.

“If you’re driving to work in the dark and driving home in the dark, a daily FPS doesn’t make much sense to me,” says Soleymani. “If you work somewhere with windows and lots of sun exposure or drive in the sun, a good sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is recommended, especially if you have a history of skin cancer.”

It is also necessary for those who are active outdoors, including hikers, runners, skiers and snowboarders, or anyone in the sun no matter the time of year.

“SPF 30 or higher is good, and it should have both UVA and UVB,” says Shah. “UV light reflects off you, so when you’re on snow, that makes it even more important.”

We may also take other actions.

“If your skin is sensitive, consider replacing your laundry detergent with an unscented ‘free and clear’ brand and consider using unscented fabric softeners,” Soleymani says.