(03/04/14) - The long, cold winter is probably taking a toll on your skin,
but there are still things you can do to relieve the dry, itchy misery. Spring
is supposed to be around the corner - assuming Mother Nature cooperates.
Meanwhile, we are stuck in the deep freeze, with little relief in sight.
This weather can not only make for painful and irritated skin, it can actually lead to more serious problems, like infection, if you are not careful.
Toni Haubert typically loves to walk to work, but not in winter. "I am not a fan of cold weather, not my favorite season."
The cold weather is hard on Toni's skin. "I notice that my face is much dryer, my elbows get, tend to get a little cracked, as well as my hands."
The dry air of winter dehydrates skin, especially on extremities, which have fewer oil glands.
Dermatologist Carolyn Jacob says the first thing to do is adopt a simple skin regimen, "put your lotions on immediately after you get out of the shower. You want to barely pat dry so there's still moisturizer on your skin and then trap it in with the lotions or creams that you chose to use."
She says the best moisturizers contain ceramides, "when it gets dried out, you lose some of that natural moisturizing factor and with the products that have ceramides in it, it helps to make your skin make more natural moisturizing factor."
Dr. Jacob also recommends adjusting your diet, "foods that are good for your skin would be ones that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as flax seed, salmon, walnuts."
Also, try actually wearing your food, like olive oil. Studies show it soothes and conditions itchy, dry skin and removes makeup. When your skin feels extra parched, dab a thin layer under your moisturizer for an extra dose of antioxidants.
Dr. Jacob says that when the temperature drops, the humidity level plunges too. Turning up the thermostat doesn't help either. Indoor heating strips even more moisture from the air and your skin. Install a humidifier in your home to keep air moist, and set humidity at a constant 45-to-55-percent and the temperature at a balmy 68 degrees.
ABC12 Main Station