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For some people, dry skin only presents itself during extreme temperatures, but for others, battling dry skin is a fight that continues all year long. While dry skin can cause unsightly ashing of the skin, it can also lead to cracks, pain and bleeding over time. In addition, dry skin may be a symptom of a larger health concern, such as eczema, so it’s important to speak with your primary care physician or a dermatologist if you experience chronic dry skin.
Thankfully, there are a number of simple, affordable and effective ways to prevent and treat dry skin, including:
1.) Moisturize the Right Way
While it’s easy enough to go to a drug store or pharmacy and purchase a moisturizer, are you sure you’re using these products the right way? The fact is, not all moisturizers are the same, as some are oil-based and some are water-based. One way to maximize the benefit out of your moisturizing routine is to use a water-based ointment moisturizer during the winter months, while using a water-based moisturizer during the spring and summer.
When using an oil-based moisturizer, seek out products that contain mineral oil or avocado oil, as these will not clog pores as easily.
2.) Use Sunscreen All Year
Although most people consider sunscreen to be useful only during the warmer months, it can actually be beneficial all year. During the colder months, the sun is actually closer to the Earth due to the Earth’s axis, even if it doesn’t feel like it. This means that your skin can still be easily damaged due to UV rays, especially if you’re exposed to large amounts of snow and ice glare. Try to keep a light coating of a medium-strength sunscreen on exposed skin when you go outside, even if it’s cold.
3.) Run a Humidifier
The fact is, skin needs moisture to stay healthy. Although you’ve probably been told that drinking plenty of water will heal dry skin, unless you’re dangerously dehydrated, drinking water is only minimally effective. However, with that being said, running a humidifier in your home or place of business can actually help your skin to heal from damage and remain healthy. A humidifier hydrates the air around you, and since this air will be in constant contact with your skin, your cells will have an easier time absorbing the moisture, staying healthy and healing from cracks.
4.) Avoid Prolonged Moisture
Even though the above tip recommended moisture, prolonged and excessive moisture can actually prevent the healing of dry skin. If you have small cracks in your skin due to dryness, keeping your skin soaked will not allow these cracks to heal as quickly, so avoid prolonged exposure to water, including pools, lakes, oceans, bathes and showers. When you spend time outdoors, regardless of the season, try to dry off sweat or seasonal moisture as quickly as possible to keep it from hampering your skin’s healing.
As mentioned, some people experience chronic dry skin regardless of the season or treatment options, and in such cases, a prescription medication may be necessary to help get rid of the problem. If you’ve tried the above-listed steps and you’re still experiencing dry skin, speak to your doctor as soon as possible for other options.