With the cold weather upon us, wood stoves and furnaces everywhere are working hard to keep us warm and toasty. That dry heat can dehydrate our skin while we’re inside, while winter winds chap it when we’re outside. While dry skin may seem like an annoyance, cracks or breaks in the skin can be an entry point for bacteria and cause serious infections, and skin cracks on our hands and fingers can make it difficult to do the things the things we need to, like sewing, knitting, typing on a computer, or cooking.
This winter try a few simple steps to help your skin stay healthy and happy!
First, don’t forget hydration! Often overlooked in the colder months, staying hydrated by drinking at least 64 ounces of liquids, helps your skin cells stay plump and strong and makes them more resilient to all the harsh forces that we experience in the winter. Remember, it doesn’t have to be water! Your liquids can be anything non-alcoholic, from mulled cider to all those beautiful, and warming, soups and stews!
Next, try to cover up when you’re outside. Wear gloves, a scarf, and other winter gear to help protect fragile skin from the cold. Once back inside, dry off and changes clothes if any became wet. Consider a humidifier for indoor spaces. This can be as simple as a pot of water on your wood stove, or a fun animal shaped humidifier in your bedroom to add whimsy and humidity at the same time!
Lastly, don’t overlook moisturizing. Find a good hand and body lotion, and one formulated specially for the tender skin on our face. Lotions with scents aren’t bad, but keep in mind that some scented lotions can be more drying than others, so you might want to go with an unscented one, or one made especially for sensitive skin.
If dry and cracking skin is a more serious problem for you, consider seeing your provider or a dermatologist, in case a specialty cream or lotion is necessary. Winter is full of so many wonderful things, from crackling fires to snowball fights, taking these few steps to protect your skin can help keep it that way.
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For more information, call Franklin VNA & Hospice at (603) 934-3454 or visit FranklinVNA.org.