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BAYWEST MEDICAL NEWS, Preventative Health

Winter and your Skin – by Dr Rebecca Levy

One of the best things about winter, for some people, is being able to hide their skin under layers of clothing. Dry or damaged skin might be ignored when out of sight, but taking care of your skin makes you feel good year-round.  Some skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, often flare up in colder weather, and it’s especially important to protect fragile skin.

Some tips for every type of skin:

Keep showers warm and short – prolonged exposure to hot water will dehydrate your skin and strip it of natural oil (sebum) which protects your skin.

Exfoliate gently twice a week to remove dry, dead skin and stimulate new growth.

Avoid using soap (and most shower gels) – again because they strip sebum, and can change the pH of certain areas of your body, leading to overgrowth of “flora” (eg. thrush).

Take care not to overuse alcohol-based hand sanitiser – these can dry out your palms so the skin cracks and becomes painful.

Apply moisturiser all over your body after showering – the precise type of moisturiser that suits your skin may vary at different times of year, and different periods of life.  Discuss this with your doctor if you are unsure.

Keep hydrated – it’s easy to forget if you’re not feeling hot or sweaty, but your skin, and the rest of your body, need water and you’ll feel better sipping slowly throughout the day.

Don’t forget the sunscreen – yes, UV rays still cause harm during the cooler months, so apply sunscreen daily to your face and back of hands, and any other areas that are going to be exposed.




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