Five simple winter skin tips

Guest Column
Stephen Runde, MD
MercyCare Monticello

     Declining temperatures and dry air can wreak havoc on your skin. The cold air can leave your skin irritated, red and itchy. Here are some simple tips for avoiding winter skin dryness:

     • Limit shower time and temperature. A long, hot shower feels great on a cold day, but it isn’t great for your skin. Long, hot showers can cause cracks in the skin and cause winter itch. Keep showers under 10 minutes and avoid dialing up the temp.

     • Moisturize often. Creams and ointments can be better than lotions in the winter months. Moisturize after you shower and use hand cream after washing your hands to avoid red, cracked knuckles.

     • Keep using your daily sunscreen. Snow can reflect the sun’s rays and increase your exposure, so continue your daily sunscreen routine. Look for SPF of 15 or greater in a moisturizer or face cream.

     • Lip balm is your friend. Frequent use of lip balm can help combat cracked, winter lips. Stock up and keep tubes in your car, at work, and in your bathroom. Apply frequently, especially before bed and prior to going outside.

     • Weather can trigger Eczema. If you suffer from Eczema, the cold air can cause flare-ups. Protect your skin throughout the day by staying moisturized and hydrated with a humidifier.

     Ask your doctor if you have concerns about your skin. If you or your family member needs a primary care provider, call MercyCare Monticello at 319-465-5937.



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