EXPERT SAYS

Winter skin care with board certified dermatologist Kristin Baird, MD

Skin care during the winter season is crucial, especially in Colorado because of the added altitude and dry climate. The dry air is not only outside but inside as well due to heaters. Colorado is such an outdoor community and while in the winter you may not feel warm, the sun is still intense.

We talked with Dr. Baird, medical director at Dermatology Center of the Rockies, to gather tips for skin care during these winter months.

| Do’s |

1. Wear sunscreen every day.

“You always need to wear sunscreen, even if it’s cloudy and especially if you’re doing sports. It’s important to reapply because what you’ve done in the morning becomes ineffective toward the afternoon.”

2. Moisturize and nourish skin more often during the winter months.

“Itching and dry skin becomes super common during the winter. Stick to products that will not irritate your skin.”

3. Add moisture to your environment.

“Since heaters can dry out the air inside your home and elsewhere, utilize a humidifier to add moisture to the air and relieve some of the dryness.”

4. Drink a lot of water.

“You can easily become dehydrated, especially at altitude, and you can see it in your skin.” 

5. Check your family’s skin health annually.

“Check in on the overall health of your skin, like new moles or anything that is changing. And if there is anything of note—consult with a dermatologist.”

| Dont’s |

1. Using alcohol-based skin products.

“Toners and cleansers, for example, are really drying to the skin, which a lot of people cannot tolerate. Dry skin is more apt to cracks, rashes and irritations. Some toners are ok, just beware of those that are alcohol based.”

2. Anti-bacterial soaps.

“No real need for them, and they are really drying. Other soaps and cleansers work just fine.”

3. Long, hot baths and showers.

“Although these showers and baths are a real relief from the cold outside, hot water dries out the skin more. Heat produces more blood flow, which can make irritations and rashes more prominent.”

4. Ignoring a patch of skin that is not responding to moisturizers.

“If a patch of dry skin is resistant to self-treatment, you should see a dermatologist. Don’t just stay home and ignore the problem; go get an expert opinion.”

5. Exfoliating with buff pads, harsh products or skin brushes.

“Some think if skin is flaky, they need to scrub it off. This can be more irritating than helpful to skin. Instead of exfoliating, hydration is a better alternative.”

 

For more skin care tips or to schedule an appointment, visit DermatologyoftheRockies.com