Dealing with Common Winter Skin Issues

woman holds her head with her hands, showing a parting of dark hair with dandruff

Winter is a welcome respite from the summer heat and humidity of South Florida. But winter, while far from equal to winter in the north, can present a variety of skin issues for people everywhere.

In this first blog of 2022, let’s address a few of these winter skin problems.

  • Flare-ups of existing skin problems

Winter is a time when existing skin issues that have been quiet during the summer flare back up. This is particularly true with rosacea. The colder air, wind, and lack of indoor humidity all can cause rosacea flare-ups.

  • Winter rash

This is more an issue in snowy climates where the hands can be exposed to frigid temperatures and snow and ice. “Winter rash” is dry, itchy, red, flaky skin on the hands and arms. When severe, it can cause cracked skin on the palms and around the nails and sides of the fingers.

  • Age spots

As the darker skin of summer fades away during the colder weather, our age spots/sun spots become much more noticeable. This is especially true on the backs of the hands, the face, and the back.

  • Sunburn and windburn

With the sun so low in the winter sky, people tend to discount its power. But the UV rays haven’t gone anywhere. You can get just as fried in the winter as in the summer, maybe not quite as quickly, without sunscreen. This is particularly true if you’re on a winter ski vacation and haven’t put sunscreen on your face. In the winter, winds are usually up, as well, and these will cause your drier skin to suffer from the drying of windburn.

  • Dry, flakey scalp

There’s a reason you see more dandruff shampoo commercials on TV in the winter than the summer months. Your scalp is covered with skin, just like the rest of your body, and it dries out just the same. Indoor heat, hot showers to overcome a chill, and forced air all contribute to scalp itchiness, dryness, and flaking.

  • Red, dry patches on your face

If you’ve been out on a cold day and the wind was up, your face will probably show its effects. Your skin can become red, even sore, and the wind will have dried it out even more than the indoor heat.

The keys to happier winter skin? Good moisturizer and a regular skin care regimen with quality products. Don’t forget sunscreen. Take warm showers rather than scalding hot ones. And, if your furnace is running a lot, get a humidifier. That could sound funny in humid Miami, but it’s just a winter, indoor heat thing!

At Skin Care Research, we conduct clinical trials in various areas of both clinical dermatology and cosmetic dermatology. If you qualify for an ongoing trial, you can receive free treatment and possible compensation. If you’d like more information about our current clinical trials and to see if you would be eligible, please give us a call at (561) 948-3116.

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