Why Wintertime Skin Care Matters

It doesn’t matter where you live in the United States, your skincare needs to change with the seasons. While many people tend to spend the winter months indoors, the lack of exposure to cold temperatures and icy elements doesn’t mean you’re off the hook where your skin is concerned.

Plenty of people look forward to winter activities, and the cold, dry air makes its own demands on your skin. If you live in warmer climes or tend to head south as the temperature drops, you could be dealing with summer conditions every month of the year.

The team at Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates focuses on the skin of your face, and they’re eager to remind you that your skin is no less vulnerable to winter weather, even though its needs may change. Here’s why wintertime skincare matters, and what you can do to preserve the healthiest skin possible.

Changing humidity

Listen to the weather forecast, and winter humidity rates seem similar to the summer season, perhaps a little bit lower. Those numbers reflect humidity at outdoor temperatures. 

Take that same air and heat it up inside your home, and the moisture content drops drastically as the warm air expands. Though you may not notice, the comfortable environment inside your house could be sucking moisture from your skin.

In a different light

A hot day on the beach sends its own signals when you’ve had enough. You may start sweating, or you could see your skin getting pink. You’ve probably already thought about sunscreen and how much time you can stay out. It’s about feeling heat and the sunshine on your body.

In colder climates, the winter months are all about preserving heat, not absorbing it, but the sun doesn’t quit. In fact, if the ground is covered with snow, you’re surrounded by a bright white reflector that can overload your skin with ultraviolet (UV) rays with little or no warning. Only the hot, tight skin on your face at the end of the day lets you know you’ve had too much.

Protecting against winter’s worst

Any time you venture out, sunscreen is your best defense against the invisible UV light that can penetrate through clouds, bounce off snow, or burn your skin without warming it up. Sun damage not only increases your risk of skin cancer, it can also aggravate the effects of other wind conditions.

Moisturizers are crucial to replace natural stores that fall victim to ultra-dry conditions that frequently accompany winter weather. Without moisturizing, your skin can be irritated, cracked, or chapped. Dry skin is unhappy skin. While a hot shower after cold activities can feel great, it can also rob your skin of its natural oils, a key defender against the elements. 

Opt for short, lukewarm showers and avoid harsh cleansers or vigorous scrubbing, which can add to the rough ride that winter brings.

As always, keep a close watch on changes to the skin on your face, particularly moles and other dark spots. Early detection of skin cancer is your best chance for an easy cure. 

Contact one of the two locations of Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates, in Lawrence or Ottawa, if you have concerns about the effects of winter on the skin of your face. Don’t wait for a change of seasons, call today. You can also send a message to the team here on the website.

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