Your Skin Needs Extra Care in Winter
By Paul Rothbart
As the largest organ in the body, the skin should never be neglected. It requires more than just washing and drying. Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of the disease and make no mistake, it can be dangerous and even fatal. People tend to practice better skincare habits in the summer when they use sunscreen and wear hats to protect themselves from the more direct rays of the sun. In winter, it's cold and you cover most of your skin, so it needs less care, right? Not at all. Your skin always needs care and in the winter, it can use some extra love.
In the winter when it's cold, the air tends to be much drier. This impacts your skin. It can feel like the air is sucking the moisture out of it. You may get red blotches and your skin will itch. It may also flake and take on an ashy appearance. At the extreme, your skin becomes leathery and can crack and bleed. I've been there. It hurts and can cause severe damage to the skin. You need to use a good moisturizer multiple times each day. First thing in the morning and right before bed are good times to apply it. Moisturizer should also be used 2-3 times throughout the day, depending on the condition of your skin. Your hands, face, and feet tend to be the most vulnerable but moisturize any part that feels dry. Enlist help if you need to get your back.
Don't Stop Using Sunscreen
Winter doesn't conjure up images of fun in the sun, but people still engage in outdoor activities. Skiing, skating, and snowboarding are popular winter sports, and even building snowmen and snowball fights have you outdoors. Although you have far less exposed skin, your face and perhaps hands are open to the sun. Light also reflects off the snow, so you get hit from multiple angles. Use sunscreen on exposed surfaces and protect your skin.
You don't sweat as much in winter and don't usually feel thirsty as often. Although you need less water than in summer, don't neglect staying hydrated. It's important for healthy skin. Doctors and health professionals recommend eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This also applies in winter.
Your skin is one of the most important parts of your body and needs some special care. In the winter, it dries out much more easily while still being vulnerable to sun exposure and dehydration. Take just as good care of it as you do at any time of year.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Houston, Tex.