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Winter 2007 Beauty and Skin Care Tips

Winter months and cold weathr can be harsh on your skin. Don't let the cold winds of winter chap and chafe you. Stay smooth, soft, and supple with our essential winter skin survival secrets and a few hair care tips too.

Symptoms of Winter Skin

   1. Dry Skin
   2. Older looking skin
   3. Flaking
   4. Rednes
   5. Itching

Skin care tips for winter

    * The first rule of hand at skin protection is to keep it moisturized and hydrated. Drink plenty of water and add a thin layer of moisturizer to retard the dehydration rate of the skin.
    * The skin on your feet tends to dry and crack more in winter. Treat your feet to a relaxing soak at night, three times a week.
    * Do not bathe or shower in very hot water. Warm water is much gentler on your skin. Do not bathe more than once a day if your skin is very dry.
    * If you develop severely dry skin, eczema, or "winter itch," see your dermatologist. He or she can prescribe a mild steroid cream or other treatment to restore your skin to good health.
    * Avoid exposing skin to harsh winter elements such as freezing temperatures and drying cold winds.
    * If you are using a product with tretinoin, such as Retin-A or Renova, be especially vigilant about wearing sunscreen you are more liable to sustain a sunburn. If you have sensitive skin, you may need to cut back on using sloughing products such as alpha-hydroxy acids, as they may exacerbate dry, irritated skin.
    * Apply the moisturizer at least twice a day, once after your cleansing routine in the morning and again before you go to bed. Always apply moisturizer on clean skin. Your hands can also benefit from the application of the moisturizer.
    * With the heat on and the windows closed, the air inside can become very dry in the winter, making the dryness and itching of eczema even worse. Use a humidifier to place moisture in the air. If you don't want to invest in an expensive humidifying system, smaller, relatively inexpensive humidifiers can be obtained at a local drug store. Placing two or three of these around your home will help to humidify the dry air. This can keep skin from drying and becoming cracked and itchy.
    * Dietary changes may also help your skin. Refrain or cut back on caffiene and increase your water intake especially during cold windy conditions. Replace bad hardening fats with healthy oils in cooking. Keep the system from stagnating with warming foods and hot teas. Food and drinks with cold energetics slow metabolism and circulation causing congestion through out the body, including the skin.

Winter itch

Winter itch is what it sounds like. Patients complain of itchy skin, particularly of the back and flanks, but it can be anywhere. A particularly long, frigid winter may trigger an isolated outbreak or it may return each winter year after year. On exam, the skin can look dry with flakes of scale, have scattered little red scaly bumps, or a pattern of scale that looks like lace or "chicken wire."