Healthy skin can be a difficult attainment in the cold months. While most of us enjoy seeing the snowflakes that fall during winter, we don’t enjoy the flaky, dry, rough, or cracking skin that often comes with the season.
As the temperature drops, so does the humidity – or moisture content – of the air. When exposed to cold and dry air, the water in your skin evaporates more quickly. Not only is dry skin irritating and sometimes painful, but it may also lead to bigger problems, especially for seniors whose skin is naturally thinner and more fragile.
Follow these skin care tips to fight off flakes and itchiness:
As we age, our skin loses sweat and oil glands, so adding a moisturizer to your daily skin care routine helps replenish your skin’s protective layer. But the light-weight lotions that may have served you well during the summer months may not cut it in the winter. During the winter months, it’s a good idea to switch to heavier oil-based creams or ointments, rather than water-based lotions. For best results, apply moisturizer after bathing when your skin is most absorbent. Carry lip balm with you and reapply throughout the day.
Make sure you’re also keeping your skin cells moisturized from the inside out by increasing your fluid intake. Keep a water bottle near your favorite chair as a reminder to drink throughout the day, even if you’re not thirsty. Think outside the water bottle, too – many foods have a high water-content, including fruit, vegetables, and soups. Check out this list of hydrating foods for more ideas.
Rethink Hot Baths and Showers
Although the frosty temperature outside may tempt you to soak in a steamy bath to warm up, the hot water can actually be damaging to your skin. The hotter the water, the more natural protective oils are removed from your skin, leaving you itchy and irritated. Opt for warm showers instead.
Add a Humidifier
Indoor heating systems suck moisture out of the air, which can lead to dried-out skin, cracked lips, and nose bleeds. Adding a portable or tabletop humidifier to your bedroom can help improve your skin’s health while you sleep by emitting a fine mist of water back into the air. A word of warning – dirty humidifiers can be a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Follow these simple tips to keep your humidifier clean and sanitary.
If your skin does not improve using the tips above, you may need to contact a dermatologist. Our Providence at Home caregivers can help you or your loved one monitor skin condition and know when it’s time to seek additional help.
No matter what your age is, or what season you’re enjoying, paying attention to your skin is always the right step to take for good health.