Protect your skin... even in winter
by Vithas Xanit Hospital
Protect your skin in Marbella
Although skin care may seem like a concern for summer, it isn't only the sun that causes skin damage. The arrival of the cold weather and the drop in temperatures have a negative effect on our skin, and can cause harm if we don’t look after it correctly. Today, we are talking to specialists at Vithas Xanit International Hospital’s Dermatology Department about how to look after our skin in winter.
A common mistake made during the cold months is to stop using sunscreen. However, the sun affects our skin all year round, we continuously receive UVA and UVB (mainly responsible for skin cancer) rays, even when it’s raining or cloudy. With this in mind, continued use of sun protection of at least factor 20 should be part of our daily, winter, skin care routine.
Equally important is keeping our skin moisturised at all times. Sudden changes in temperature during the cold months damage the skin’s hydrolipidic layer (the outermost layer which provides protection) reducing our defences against external damage. This leads to dehydration of the skin, making moisturisation fundamental for all skin types during this time.
When exposed to the cold we should take extra care of our lips and hands. The skin is much thinner here than the rest of the body making temperature regulation more difficult when temperatures are fluctuating. As these areas are not covered by clothes, they are the most exposed areas of our body at this time of year. As a result we should keep our lips adequately moisturised with the use of moisturising lip balm whilst trying to avoid licking them to prevent them from becoming dry. In regard to our hands, we need to remember that the skin has less sebaceous glands here than in other parts of the body, making it more difficult to keep it moisturised. Dry and cracked hands are common in winter, causing them to itch. It is advisable to protect them by applying cream to keep the skin moisturised and soft, and to use cotton gloves when leaving the house.
Fair skinned people and those with thin or dry skin are often more susceptible to areas of redness during this time. The use of specific hydrating serums and creams which contain collagen is recommended for those who are vulnerable. Collagen strengthens the capillary walls, preventing them from being permeable, helping to treat redness.
For people with dry or sensitive skin, or for those who have skin conditions, specialists also recommend increasing humidity in the atmosphere at home or in the workplace during these colder months. This can be achieved by using humidifiers or by putting damp towels on radiators. Regulating the water temperature in the shower so that it is not too hot as well as using special soaps which are gentle on the chemical structure of the skin when bathing are also advisable.
By following this advice and visiting the dermatologist if skin changes occur, we can prevent the coldest time of year from being a threat to our skin.
If you would like to know more about our Dermatology Service at Vithas Xanit please visit the following link (Spanish information): Vithas Xanit Dermatology Department