Winter is coming: prepare your skin

Skin problems plague us from puberty. But each season brings on new and troubling skin problems and challenges. And winter is the worst offender. Plummeting temperatures, howling winds and dry seasons are messing with your skin.

But that does not mean you have to suffer all winter. A recent article in Health magazine gave some tips to prepare yourself to combat winter skin troubles.

  • Red patches of skin. Psoriasis is a common skin disease that affects millions of people. Not only are the red patches ugly, the patches are often itchy and painful. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that can affect more than just your skin, it can lead to problems with your heart. If you have psoriasis visit your doctor. Humana health insurance plans will cover visits to your regular doctor or dermatologist. Dermatologists can offer light therapy treatments to combat the dry patches. Medications might also be necessary to fight the disease.
  • Red elf like cheeks and nose. Winter pictures are plagued by these extra rosy cheeks. Sadly, these rosy cheeks are not because you are blushing consistently. It is because of rosacea, which is inflamed blood vessels. And rosacea is genetics. A quick visit to the doctor can get you a prescription for creams with antibiotics to combat the red disease. Whipping winds can also aggravate rosacea, so make sure to cover your face when you go outside.
  • Bumps like sandpaper. Actinic keratoses is bumps that feel like sandpaper and can be many different colors. Often the feel of the bumps is exposed before the visual. While the bumps might bother you aesthetically, it can actually be a precursor to skin cancer. So visit your dermatologists, STAT. You are most likely to find actinic keratoses on places that get the most sun exposure. If you are prone to sunburns (those with light skin and eyes) you are more likely to get these painful bumps. But you can avoid getting actinic keratoses. Most of us put our sunscreen in a box once summer is over, but you need that SPF protection even in the winter. The bright sun reflecting off the snow can actually  super power the sun’s rays. And don’t forget chapstick with SPF. Lips are often forgotten but a prime place for actinic keratoses.
  • Dry, itchy skin. Winter weather zaps moisture out of everything, and your skin is no exception. You will find the part of your body most affected will be your hands. Most likely to be exposed, hands are prone to losing moisture. This loss of moisture can be so severe it can cause eczema. (Note: eczema can be found anywhere on the body, not just hands.) If you combat eczema before winter starts, you might not even need to visit your dermatologist. Start using a thicker hand cream before the temps drop below freezing. And lotion up, even before you start to feel dry. And protect your hands. Wear gloves whenever possible to seal in that moisture. And avoid scratching, which can make eczema symptoms worse.