February 16th 2006 - Dermatological surgeon Rhoda Narins, MD, president of the American Society for Dermatologic Sutgery (ASDS) says that people don't realize the health threats associated with the glaring sun and the bitter cold temperatures of the winter season. At times, the wind and sun combination is so harmful that it can cause dry skin, serious burns and skin conditions, such as eczema. Healthy skin takes year-round maintenance, so Narins offers the following tips for the cruel winter months:
1. The humidity is gone, so moisture is a must. Moisturizer helps protect against the harsh elements and is especially important when you are outside for any great length of time. It is best to apply moisturizer directly after a bath or shower to help seal in and replenish the skin with the necessary oils and waters.
2. Pamper your hands. Wearing gloves is simple and can help protect hands from the cold temperatures and dry air that triggers eczema. Nails also can take a beating, so protecting your hands can help eliminate cracked, splitting cuticles.
3. Don't forget the sunscreen. Because the snow reflects sunlight, ultraviolet rays during the winter are just as intense as those in the summer. Participating in winter recreational activities without applying sunscreen can result in severe burns, even though the sun may not necessarily feel hot.
4. Don't forget about the lips. Studies show that only 6% of Americans are aware that unltrviolet rays can cause lip cancer. They also reveal that men have a 5-10 times greater incidence of lip cancer than women. So, during the winter months, men and women alike should apply lip blocks or lipsticks that contain a high SPF.
5. If you develop dry and itchy skin or eczema, talk with your esthetician about whether she or he can help you or whether you should be referred to a dermatologist. Don't let a dry skin condition get worse.
Jennie Van Gemert SkinCare Services
2499 S. Delaware Avenue
Bay View, WI 53207
Skin, Inc., Magazine