BANGLAORE: A dip in temperature and a cool breeze may sound very romantic but city-based dermatologists say this is an early sign of winter approaching and it is time to take extra care of your skin.
They say that people may experience plaque (abnormal patch on a body part or surface and especially on the skin), dryness of skin, itchy skin, nail infections and cracked lips leading to severe pain and add that hair can also be affected.
Dr Hanumanthaiah, dermatologist from Vydehi Medical College Hospital says, “Taking a hot shower daily is important for the hygiene of one’s skin but one should not spend much time in bathroom as dryness increases in hot temperature. Initially, the skin may look red, but later it becomes dry and rough.”
“In some cases the skin under the eyes looks dry leading to wrinkles, which can make you look old. This is because the greasy or oily content in the skin might have dried up due to winter,” said Dr Hanumanthaiah.
Doctors says dandruff with itchy, dry scalps are also common during winters. They say when the mercury drops and there is little moisture in the air, skin including our scalp becomes dry, tight and uncomfortably itchy. Hence a good shampoo with a conditioner can prevent hair loss and also prevent itchiness. Alternating shampoos and conditioners containing different ingredients, such as salicylic acid, will also help.
One must avoid harsh (typically coloured, fragrant or antibacterial) soaps and stick with mild, non-drying soaps. Soaps that contain saturated vegetable fat and glycerine should be used.
One must apply moisturising cream immediately after taking a bath. As it seals the moisture, using a moisturiser is better than applying ointments for the face.
Coconut and olive oil should be applied within three minutes after drying with towel as they are good moisturisers. A person should apply these oils on body before going to bed.
Dermatologists say good moisturisers should form a protective barrier against the environment and its elements. Sun protective moisturiser SPF 30 is a very good choice as the skin may become extremely irritated during winter.
The dip in temperature may also affect lips and they can easily chap. It is a very common and noticeable winter problem. Softening them with balms throughout the season is recommended. Lip balms that contain bee flakes, white petroleum jelly, cetyl alcohol are recommended.
Taking care of your hands
Hands and also fingers are exposed to winter. One may experience dry hands and cracks in the skin. People who do house work and come in contact with water and chemicals are affected most, says Dr Mohammed Hakim, spokesperson of State AYUSH Doctors Association.
The drier environment causes water to evaporate very quickly. As the water evaporates, it removes moisture from the skin too. So exposure to water actually dehydrates the skin faster. Experts say that after washing one’s hands, people should use a towel immediately and gently pat the skin dry and apply oil to avoid itchy skin. In case a person is older, the likelihood of suffering from winter itch and cracks will be more.