Fighting Winter Skin Issues (Dry Skin, Eczema, Psoriasis)

Our Midwestern winter weather brings a substantial decrease in both temperature and humidity compared to what our skin is accustomed to during the warmer seasons. Our skin provides a natural barrier against drying and irritating external elements, but our skin’s resources can quickly and easily be overcome by harsh winter conditions. It is now more important than any other time of the year to assist our skin in maintaining its barrier function. This can be achieved by providing both increased moisture to our skin and avoiding situations that can overburden our skin’s ability to protect itself.

A nice hot shower may feel great on an icy winter morning but when we stay in too long and use drying or fragranced soaps we are compromising our skin more. Try to keep the temperature a bit more moderate, don’t stay in the shower too long, use fragrance free  mild soaps and MOISTURIZE even before dry to capture some of the water droplets on the skin. We offer several high-potency facial and body moisturizers at Skinfo that will serve to enhance your skin’s natural ability to protect itself. Also, be sure your home humidification system is working properly this winter. Your skin will appreciate it!

Certain people in particular can be especially prone to skin issues during the winter months. Many families share a genetic tendency for eczema, asthma, hay fever, and allergies. Individuals in such families may have a more difficult time with the cold, dry winter months. Their skin’s condition can easily degenerate from being simply dry to becoming red, itchy, inflamed, burning, flaking, and scaling. These are signs and symptoms of eczema. Any body area can be involved, and an untreated flare can potentially last all winter long.

Similarly, many people suffer through the winter months with another skin condition called psoriasis. In such individuals, the skin may be very itchy and thickened and a silvery scale can develop over involved areas. People with very mild psoriasis may have clear skin during the summer months, but those with more moderate to severe psoriasis often deal with symptoms throughout the year. Fortunately, in the past ten years, treatment options for psoriasis have evolved to such a great extent that even the most difficult cases can generally be treated very successfully. The newer biologic agents have changed many people’s lives dramatically in the past few years.

If you find your skin is overly dry and irritated or you feel that you may be dealing with eczema or psoriasis, please feel free to schedule with one of our dermatologic providers at Advanced Dermatology for a skin evaluation. We would be very happy to assist you and your skin survive the tough winter conditions. Aside from expert advice, there are many prescription and non-prescription treatment options available to help you deal with dry irritated skin, eczema, or psoriasis.