Moisture within the skin maintains the skin’s elasticity and firmness. Frequent bathing and the use of harsh soaps can aggravate dry skin and some might struggle with ongoing dry skin problems, as the natural state of their skin. Wintertime, however, creates quite the challenging environment. As the outdoor temperatures drop, the cold air cannot physically hold as much water and consequently has very low humidity levels. This pressures the skin to give up its moisture to the atmosphere through transepidermal water loss.
How central heating units are hurting your skin
Cold weather causes us all to rely on central heating units. The dry outside air is warmed, further lowering the humidity level. The moisture within our skin tends to be drawn out around the clock because most work spaces are heated by central air units and the heat that we use in our cars is also lacking in humidity. Thus, from the moment that you begin to heat your home, car, or office space for the winter, your skin is being negatively affected.
How exactly is your skin affected?
The low humidity levels in the air draw moisture from the uppermost layers of the skin, so the damage is usually visible, top layer, dry skin damage. As your skin loses moisture, it feels tighter and appears dull due to flakiness. Wrinkles may become more obvious. It may become itchy which can, in its worst forms, result in blood being drawn by continuous scratching and irritation.
Dehydrated skin in the winter can aggravate a number of medical issues as well. One being the flare up of eczema symptoms and another being the heightened risk of developing psoriasis.
Solutions for dehydrated skin in the winter
It is important to routinely moisturize in order to reduce the risks of serious skin irritation. The most effective approach to addressing the cold weather skin problems is daily and nightly moisturization with an emphasis on maintaining the health of your skin’s barrier function. Use a facial moisturizer at least once daily and consider moisturizing more than once a day.
Adding a humidifier to the areas where you spend a majority of your day or night will put moisture back into the air around you. This moisturized air will allow moisture to stay within your skin, resulting in healthier, more comfortable winter skin.
Please schedule a consultation with Dr. Krant for advanced solutions to your skin related concerns.