Winter Skin Care Survival Guide
Did you know? One of the most common skin conditions is dry skin and irritant hand dermatitis.
- The biggest contributing factor to dry skin is the weather.
- When it’s cool outside, furnaces are turned on, indoor humidity drops and many experience dry skin.
- Frequent handwashing or scrubbing with soap solutions.
- Incomplete hand drying.
- Lotions that are water-based.
- Dry, chapped, roughened, reddened painful hands.
- Can get progressively worse with skin thickening, cracks, fissures, itching and discoloration of the skin.
- Utilize alcohol gels unless hands are obviously soiled.
- Wash with warm, not hot, water. Rinse thoroughly.
- Dry thoroughly, especially between fingers and under rings. Pat hands dry, don’t rub.
- If possible, use a fragrance and dye-free moisturizer such as CeraVe, Vanicream or Cetaphil.
- Fragrance and dye-free moisturizers such as CeraVe, Vanicream and Cetaphil are recommended.
- Products labeled creamy or that have additives such as Vitamin E are not recommended.
- Apply petroleum (such as plain Vaseline brand petroleum jelly) frequently – especially after hand washing. Wipe off excess to avoid the greasy sensation.
- Limit showers to daily and use Dove unscented or other non-soap cleanser. Apply a thin layer of petroleum and wipe off excess.
- Avoid bubble baths, bath oils and shower gels.
- Create a barrier. For severely dry skin on hands, it may be helpful to soak in warm water for 10-15 minutes to rehydrate your skin, then apply petroleum jelly to dry hands and wear cotton gloves (or cotton socks) while sleeping.
- Wear gloves or mittens when outside in the cool weather.
- Wear protective gloves when involved in activities that can be abrasive to hands (i.e. gardening, cleaning with harsh products or chemicals).
- It is also helpful to wear gloves while washing dishes. Avoid latex gloves if possible. If latex gloves are your only option, make sure they are cotton or cloth-lined.
If dry skin problems persist or worsen it may be time for a visit with Amy Bernards, PA-C Dermatology at Reedsburg Area Medical Center. For an appointment with Amy to discuss your skin needs call the Specialty Clinic at 768-3900.
References: Amy Bernards, Physician Assistant – Dermatology 2/15/17.World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care 2009;Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2002 Hand Hygiene Guideline.