When it comes to maintaining healthy skin,
winter can get a bad rap. It’s not the season itself that’s the culprit, but
often the environment that we create to combat the cold. Heating systems causes
the humidity to lower, sapping the moisture from the skin. It’s also a time
when people tend to soak in hot baths or lounge in front of the heater or open
fire, often leading to skin that’s dry, flaky and irritated.
Here are a few common skin conditions that are
triggered by winter conditions, and how you can avoid triggers for flare-ups:
Rosacea isn’t directly connected to winter,
but there are a number of factors that can exacerbate this condition throughout
the cooler months. Rosacea symptoms often vary between individuals, but common
symptoms include flushing and facial redness, thickened or bumpy skin, or
visible blood vessels, as well as swelling, itching, stinging and dry skin.
Exposure to sunlight is a common trigger for
people with rosacea. Because the days tend to be shorter and less sunny, many
people fail to adequately protect their skin from sun exposure. To prevent a
rosacea flare-up, be sure to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen daily, ideally
with an SPF of 30 or higher. You may also wish to wear a hat and scarf on
particularly sunny winter days.
Another common trigger is temperature
extremes. While this certainly applies to the cold, there are also occasions in
winter that we expose ourselves to extreme heat. This can be standing close to
a heat source such as an open fire or radiator, hot baths, or wearing too many
layers indoors, particularly in heated environments such as an office.
is another condition that can be worsened during the winter months. Many people
get eczema as children, but it can also occur for the first time in adults.
Eczema symptoms include dry, itchy and inflamed skin, scaly patches or bumps,
or skin that is raw, sensitive and easily irritated.
of the main reasons that people experience eczema flare-ups in winter is low
humidity. This is not only through exposure to the cold and often dry climate
outside, but also in environments that are heated, such as the home or office.
This dry air saps the moisture from the skin and can worsen eczema symptoms.
combat low humidity, you may wish to purchase a humidifier or invest in a
heavier moisturizing cream that’s appropriate for sensitive skin. Other tips to
avoid eczema triggers include avoiding hot baths, wearing softer fabrics like
cotton and avoiding harsh soaps, perfumes or lotions containing irritants like
Many people suffer from dry, itchy skin during
winter - and that includes the skin on our heads. Dandruff symptoms include a
dry, itchy scalp with dry flakes of skin that often migrate onto clothes,
making it embarrassing as well as uncomfortable. Dandruff is another skin
condition that people experience year-round but can be particularly bothersome
Dandruff is caused by a variety of factors.
Winter itself isn’t one of them, however much like eczema, dry air can dry out
the scalp and cause itching and flaking. People who often wear beanies or
winter hats to keep their heads warm may also find that their symptoms get
worse. This is because it creates a layer of warm air around the scalp that’s
the perfect environment for dandruff-causing microbes.
Avoid dandruff triggers by regularly washing
your hair with a shampoo that specifically targets dandruff and keeps the scalp
healthy. Where possible, avoid wearing winter hats for long periods of time or
going to bed with wet hair.
If you’re experiencing dry, itchy, irritated or
inflamed skin, visit your local Capital Chemist. Our pharmacists can assist you
with finding a treatment for your symptoms as well as products that can assist
in maintaining healthy skin through winter and beyond.