Get your skin ready for the winter

young girl scratching dry skin, get your skin ready for the winter, bathing, moisturizing, protecting skin in winter, dr jenny liu, dry skin, eczema

October is National Eczema Awareness Month. Sounds like a good time to talk about winter and how the cold upcoming weather can be harsh on our skin. Dry skin and eczema are two of the most common conditions the dermatologists at Hennepin Healthcare see this time of year. Dr. Jenny Liu, from the Dermatology Clinic, shares some easy and simple gentle skin care tips that everyone can use.

Bathing tips:
1. Daily bathing is recommended. Baths are better than showers as soaking can help hydrate the skin.
2. Avoid super-hot water. Although it feels good with the cold weather, hot water can dry out the skin.
3. Use soap sparingly. Believe it or not, we only really need soap to wash the armpits and groin area, or other areas that are visibly dirty.
4. Use gentle soap products such as Dove bar soap for sensitive skin. Vanicream, CeraVe and Cetaphil are also great brands for sensitive skin.
5. Do not vigorously scrub the skin during cleansing.
6. After bathing, pat your skin lightly with a towel. Do not rub or scrub when drying.

Moisturization tips:
1. Always apply a moisturizer immediately to your entire body after bathing. This helps to “lock in” the moisture. Moisturizer can be applied daily if necessary.
2. Moisturizers containing ceramides are better. Ceramides are natural lipids that our skin needs to stay healthy. Dr. Liu recommends “ CeraVe, Cetaphil Restoraderm, Eucerin Professional Repair or Curel Intensive Healing Cream”.
3. Adding in a humidifier at night can be soothing.

Lifestyle tips:
1. Avoid products such as powders, perfumes, or colognes on your skin; these can cause further irritation in sensitive skin.
2. Avoid saunas and steam baths. The temperature is too hot.
3. Use unscented hypo-allergenic laundry products.
4. Avoid tight or scratchy clothing such as wool, as they can cause irritation and itching.

Jing (Jenny) Liu, MD is a board-certified dermatologist at Hennepin Healthcare practicing at the Clinic & Specialty Center. Dr. Liu is the Chief of Dermatology and has expanded their general and procedural practice to include cosmetic dermatology.

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