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Taking Care of Your Skin During the Winter Months

By Stephen R. Farris

Does winter weather cause your skin to dry out and flake? It usually happens each year for the majority of us. The air becomes colder and the humidity drops. We begin to see a slight flakiness building up on our hands and arms; eventually, our legs begin to itch and flake, as well. With all the itching from dry skin, the flakes start to land on our clothes, making us look as if we've been fighting with a snowman -- or snowwoman. 

Because the temperature is cooler and lower humidity, our skin has difficulty getting the moisture it needs. You might think a nice hot shower or bath would help, but that can actually make matters worse. Dry skin can lead to dermatitis and/or eczema, or even bacterial infections.

However, there are some steps you can take to lessen the effects of dry skin and keep it smooth and moist during the winter.

First Step

Avoid hot showers and baths. No, I don't mean by skipping, but use less hot water. Try going lukewarm instead. Frequent bathing -- at least a couple of times a day or more -- can strip the oil from your skin, leading to it drying out. If you do take frequent baths or showers, use the 10-minute or less method. 

Second Step

When bathing or washing up, use just enough soap or hand sanitizer to clean your body and hands with. Too much soap can cause a film buildup that could prevent moisture from getting to your skin. 

Third Step

Try using a moisturizer after bathing. There are plenty to choose from, such as baby oil, moisturizing ointments, lotions, cremes, mineral oil, bath oil; the list is long so choose something that you or your entire family will like. One other thing, try washing certain regions of your body, which includes your armpits, groin area and feet. Only a minimal amount of soap will end up in places like your arms and legs, thus preventing soapy buildup that can block skin pores.

Also, you may want to avoid exposing your skin to the elements when it's cold, windy and freezing outside. These, too, can dry out your skin, even if you're outdoors for short periods of time.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Midlothian, Va.

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