Don’t Let Winter Get the Best of Your Skin

A dermatologist pointing at the words "Dry Skin"

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Each winter, people suffer with cracked lips, face wrinkles, itchiness and the feeling of an almost dusty dryness. Left untreated, these symptoms of dry skin can create problems that go far beyond simply a seasonal nuisance.

With another winter approaching in the Carolinas, Trident Dermatology in North Charleston urges people to make healthy skin a part of their daily routine.

“Our skin is our body’s largest organ and our first line of defense,” said Trident Dermatologist Dr. Bradley Saylors. “And while caring for our skin is always important, it is especially important during the winter.”

Based on a 2019 report from The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 50% to 60% of adults experience dry skin.

Dr. Saylors said while this percentage would likely decrease if people used moisturizers regularly, underlying conditions such as atopic dermatitis, hypothyroidism and chronic kidney disease predisposes them to dry skin, “regardless of moisturizer use.”

“Nonetheless, this study did find that cooler temperatures and lower outdoor humidity both significantly increased rates for dry skin,” he said. “So patients should make more of an effort in the winter to work on this.”

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To this end, Saylors and other dermatologists with Trident can help you turn your dry skin into something much more supple – beginning with the understanding that if you let dry skin remain dry, it can become a long-term problem.

“Prolonged dry skin most often affects people with atopic dermatitis – eczema – and other chronic skin conditions, but it can happen to anyone,” Dr. Saylors said. “Dry skin leads to itching and scratching, which causes small tears in the skin. This breaks down our skin barrier and provides entrances for bacteria, viruses and fungi to invade and cause skin infections.”

But Dr. Saylors added that with proper care, many people can heal dry skin at home with some simple, daily steps that include:

• Avoiding long, hot showers and limiting the amount of soap you use “so that you do not strip your skin of its natural oils.”

• Moisturizing your skin at least once per day. “And during the winter you should moisturize multiple times per day.”

• Using creams and ointments because they can “hold more moisture in your skin than a lotion.”

• Staying away from wool clothing – such as wool sweaters, jackets and pants – which cause itching.

“If you still have dry skin after trying these basic measures, see a board-certified dermatologist to get evaluated and discuss additional treatment options,” Dr. Saylors said.

And if you’ve never tried a dermatologist before to heal dry skin, Trident has a number of experienced professionals to choose from and help you determine a program to clear up all of your skin needs.

“Our priority is to deliver quality dermatological care to informed patients in a comfortable and convenient setting,” said Aaron Guinn, practice manager for Trident Dermatology. “Our providers understand that patients need a doctor who listens and responds. And we believe that informed patients are better prepared to make decisions regarding their health and well-being.”

For more information, visit www.tridentdermatology.net or call 843-797-3960.

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