Winter is hard on many things like vehicles, roads, trees, and our skin, our largest organ! Proteins in our body that help to protect our skin from damage, as well as help keep our skin moisturized, decrease during the winter months and as we age. This decrease in activity combined with dry, cold weather, low humidity, and indoor heat which dries out our skin leads to dryness, irritation, worsening of skin conditions, and wounds. Thankfully there are some things we can do to keep our skin happy and healthy during the long, dark winter months.
Skin Care Do’s:
• Check your skin daily for dryness, cracks, sores, bruises, reddened areas, and blisters. Have someone help you or check for you if you are unable to do it yourself.
• Use mild, PH-balanced soaps for cleansing and bathing.
• Use warm water for cleansing and bathing.
• Rinse soaps from your skin thoroughly, so no residue stays behind.
• Dry your skin gently and completely, making sure to pay special attention to skin folds, creases, and between your toes.
• Moisturize your skin at least once a day, preferably after you bathe. Use thick “cream” lotions for better absorption and protection.
• Use barrier lotions that contain Dimethicone to help create a barrier between your skin and the harsh environment.
• Drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated.
Skin Care Don’ts:
• Don’t bathe in hot water.
• Don’t soak your feet if you have a wound on them.
• Don’t use rough or abrasive washcloths for cleansing.
• Don’t scratch dry, itchy areas.
• Don’t neglect new areas of irritation, soreness, or discomfort on the skin.
• Don’t apply lotion or creams in between your toes.
Remember, skin that is clean, hydrated, and moisturized is happy skin and less likely to form a wound or other skin condition.
If you do have a wound, call the Advanced Wound Clinic at 218-878-7601. We do not require referrals and can see patients within 1-2 days of calling, and sometimes the same day.