Winter weather can prove damaging to your skin

Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 7:02 PM EST
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Outdoor recreation can be fun in the winter, but are you taking proper care of your skin when outside? In this week’s Medical Monday, Kathy McCarty has tips to improve your skin’s health.

When temperatures are cold and humidity is low, the air can draw moisture away from your skin, causing skin to become dry, says Registered Nurse Stephanie Grandy.

“If you combine this with the dry indoor heat, then you end up with parched, cracked, chapped, damaged skin. And if it actually cracks and opens and bleeds, then that sets you up for possible infection, which can be dangerous, especially, you know, people who are diabetic or have other comorbidities,” says Registered Nurse Stephanie Grandy, a Wound Care Specialist with Northern Light A.R. Gould Hospital.

Feet are a particular concern this time of year.

“People with diabetes should remember to take special care of their feet, especially in the winter months. And when they’re choosing shoes and socks, make sure that they fit well, because you can develop blisters and calluses or other lesions. When buying socks, choose breathable material such as wool or anything that is moisture-wicking and will keep your feet from getting sweaty,” says Grandy.

Certain skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis can get worse this time of year. Face, lips and hands tend to be the most exposed parts of our body.

“Moisturize your skin after washing. Wash with warm but not hot water, because hot water can dry your skin out more. And the alcohol-based hand sanitizers that we’re using more now are very drying as well. Be sure to moisturize your face and hands, both morning and evening, and use a moisturizer with sunscreen,” says Grandy.

Grandy says lip balms with fewer ingredients are better. She says another good thing to remember is to stay hydrated. For more information, contact your health care provider. Kathy McCarty, NewsSource 8

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