Aesthetic Medicine: Skin Care in Winter

A person’s skin is the biggest organ in your body, comprising of approximately one-sixth of one’s total body weight. It acts mostly as a barrier between internal and external environments. It also helps control functions such as temperature, fluid and electrolyte balance, sensory perception and immune defence.

Many factors influence skin appearance and characteristics including:

• Genetic and Hormonal differences
• Gender
• Age
• Lifestyle factors and environment insult

Environmental factors play a huge role in drying skin during the winter period. Have you ever noticed that your skin dryness, itchiness and scaling becomes more severe in the winter months, though tends to spontaneously improve during the summer months?

The reason is that the summer months bring with it heat and humidity (skin oils, sweat and atmospheric conditions), with quite the opposite occurring in winter. Some of the biggest culprits during winter for poor skin hydration include high winds, low partial pressure and low relative humidity; factors such as cold and windy weather, long hot showers, air-conditioning and heaters. Don’t ditch the foot heater just yet, though. The relief and prevention of dry skin (Xerosis) is centered on the maintenance of proper health and hydration of the skin. The key here is in restoring the skins normal barrier function, to prevent dry skin conditions.

Prevention is ALWAYS BEST so it’s imperative we address the dry skin and associated breakdown as they are the first steps leading to dermatitis and eczema.

These three easy steps should help protect your smooth skin this winter, in the battle against the cold weather. They are:

1. Use moisturising based soap alternatives and avoid using soap products or other irritants.
2. Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise … properly!! Moisturising helps to reduce moisture lost from the skin.
2.1 Apply straight after a bath/shower, and apply during the day as needed/recommended
2.2 Use a simple fragrance free moisturiser or alternatively sunflower seed oil works well.
3. Be conscious of moisture-sapping air-conditioners and heaters in your environment, and avoid long or frequent (hot) showers.

We can help!

Come and talk to us today about how you can improve and maintain your skin through the winter months in preparation for the warmer months.