Help Your Skin & Hair Bid Farewell to Their Winter Woes!
Follow these simple winter skin & hair care tips.
Winter is the season for comfort, good food and warmth. However, while the cold weather is a welcome change after the monsoons, it brings with it an array of skin and hair problems. During winter, while most people are concerned about avoiding cold and flu making sure that skin and hair are healthy is important as well. Dry, chapped skin, which is a common occurrence during winters, can lead to certain skin conditions.
Common skin concerns faced during winter are:
- Dry, flaky skin
- Chapped lips
- Itchy, red patches
- Cracked heels
- Small nicks and cuts due to threading or shaving
- Infections like Folliculitis due to constant scratching
Skin conditions that aggravate during winters include:
- Seborrheic dermatitis (i.e. itchy, flaky red rashes on the scalp or eyebrows)
- Contact dermatitis (due to dry and sensitive skin)
Winter takes a toll on the hair too, with the following hair concerns arising often:
- Dull, lustreless hair
- Rough, lifeless hair
- Dry, itchy scalp
- Matted, tangled hair
- Increased hair fall (because dry hair strands are brittle)
- Static, frizzy hair
- Split ends
While these problems are well known, their causes often aren’t. The following gives rise to these concerns:
- The outermost layer of the skin contains natural oils and lipids, which give the skin its smooth texture. Cold wind and low humidity in the atmosphere strips away moisture from this layer of the skin.
- Taking hot showers and turning up the heater indoors have the same effect.
Simply put, in winter, your skin loses its natural oils and lipids, which results in loss of moisture, ultimately leading to dry, itchy, chapped skin. This time, due to the ongoing pandemic, frequent hand washing and sanitizer usage is absolutely necessary, which is further drying the skin out.
Following these simple steps will go a long way in protecting your skin during winters:
1. Avoid using foaming shower gels, face wash and hand wash. Foaming strips away moisture from the skin, rendering it very dry. Use a soap-free cleanser instead.
2. Use lukewarm water. Do not use very hot water on your face or body. Hot water tends to dry the skin out.
3. Moisturise Immediately after you shower. Use a thicker moisturiser that contains hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which makes it long lasting. Apply moisturizer at least twice a day.
4. Avoid sun exposure. Never forget to apply your sunscreen. Dry skin is more vulnerable to sun damage. Use sunglasses to protect your eyes and the skin under it.
6. Do not exfoliate or scrub. Dry skin gets cracked immediately on doing this.
7. Use a lip balm with SPF on chapped lips.
8. Avoid using retinol-based creams. Retinol tends to dry out the oil glands, thereby making the skin peel.
9. Many skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, etc. tend to flare up during winters. Do not try any home remedies to treat the same. Please see a dermatologist at the earliest instead.
10. Stay hydrated. Winter kills thirst, thereby reducing water intake. However, drinking adequate amount of water is required to prevent dehydration.
11. Choose your clothes wisely. Avoid wearing synthetics and tight clothes. These tend to irritate dry skin.
12. Do not forget to take special care of your hands and feet.
Here’s how you can show your hair some love during winters:
1. Use a mild shampoo and an effective conditioner.
2. If you have dandruff, use an anti-dandruff shampoo.
3. Use a leave-in serum to keep the hair moisturized.
4. Avoid blow drying or ironing your hair
This winter, do your skin and hair a huge favour and show them some love. Follow these simple yet effective skin and hair care tips so that you can feel warm and fuzzy on the inside as you enjoy the cold weather without any guilt!
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This article is one in a series of articles on skin conditions by Dr. Sejal Saheta – MD, DNB -Dermatology and Venereology. The objective of this series is to educate the reader and help them take precautions against various skin conditions they come across on an everyday basis. These articles are not meant to be used by patients for self-diagnosis or for avoiding proper medical treatment. The images used in the above blog are only for visual representation purposes. Actual results may vary from patient to patient.