New York City and Manhattan, NY
Old man winter is officially here, which means dry skin is inevitable. While most of your skin will be hiding under flannel, scarves, and wool socks all winter, that doesn’t mean you can neglect your body’s largest organ. This time of year, our Manhattan area dermatologists, Drs. Debra Wattenberg and Ilyse Lefkowicz, see an influx in the number of office visits from patients dealing with itchy dry skin. Today on the blog, we are providing you with winter skincare tips to help you maintain glowing skin all season long.
There are several causes of itchy, dry skin. Some of the most common causes during the winter are dry air, hot showers, and harsh soaps.
The cold, dry air causes your skin to lose moisture quickly. Also, running the heat all winter long dries out the air, which doesn’t do your skin any favors either. To help you combat the effects dry air has on your skin, our board-certified dermatologists in Manhattan recommend using a good moisturizer, and apply it immediately after showing. This way, it helps lock in moisture. For severe dry skin, especially on the elbows, knees, and hands, try Vanicream, Eucerin, or even petroleum jelly.
Invest in a Humidifier
Since the air inside your home is drier this time of year, it may be a good idea to invest in a cool-mist humidifier. Humidifiers are portable, and you could even keep one in your office at work to use throughout the day. At home, run a humidifier in the rooms you use most often, and especially at night while you’re sleeping.
Take Short, Warm Showers
There’s nothing better than warming up in a hot shower or bath, but doing so isn’t good for your skin. When you shower with water that is too hot, your natural body oils that protect your skin are stripped away, leaving it exposed to the dry air that’s both inside and outside your home. To minimize over-drying your skin, reduce the water temperature, and take shorter bathing sessions. If you like to soak in the tub, try to keep baths to a minimum during the winter.
Wear Sunscreen Daily
You may only think about wearing sunscreen during the summer when the sun’s rays are at its peak. Still, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing sunscreen (with an SPF 30) daily. Even though the sun’s rays aren’t as strong during the winter, you still could develop sun damage or skin cancer from exposure to the sun during the winter.
Eat a Healthy Diet and Stay Hydrated
What you put into your body has an enormous effect on your skin. Choose a diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy, and avoid or limit carb-loaded snacks, sugar, and processed food. Also, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Use Fragrance-Free Soap
Scented soaps and body washes remove the skin’s natural oils and can cause additional dryness. You may want to avoid using scented or antibacterial soaps because it exacerbates dry skin during the winter. Instead, choose a mild and gentle cleanser that is free of fragrances and dyes.
If you have tried to change your skincare routine and are still experiencing dry, itchy skin, it may be time to see a top-rated dermatologist on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Contact NY Skin RX at (212) 288-3200 to schedule your appointment today.