You’ve cleaned the fireplace and had it checked out, insulated the windows and doors, and performed preventive maintenance on your vehicles. Winter weatherproofing for your home and your cars is complete. What about your skin? When the weather grows colder our skin often grows drier and tighter and may begin to become irritated and/or flaky. Psoriasis and eczema sufferers may curse the winter, as it brings more frequent and more intense flare-ups with it. Just as preparing properly can make our homes more comfortable and save on the energy bill and keep our vehicles performing smoothly, it can also keep winter from wreaking havoc on our skin.
What causes our skin to change in the winter?
Just what is it about the winter season that causes problems with our skin? Our skin has a natural protective barrier that is susceptible to stripping during colder seasons. This causes it to become dehydrated, irritated, and/or sensitive, resulting in dry, itchy, flaky skin (www.dermalogica.com). For those of us blessed with a “normal” skin type, winter weather can cause battles with tightness, flakiness, or acne outbreaks, but for those with skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, an all-out war can break loose.
Psoriasis and eczema
Have you ever seen someone with red lesions covered with loose silver-colored scales on their skin and wondered what it was? This condition is psoriasis and is caused when a person’s skin cells multiply faster than normal (they sometimes multiply up to 10x faster).
The culprit behind eczema has not yet been pinpointed, but the condition presents itself as a dry, thick, or scaly rash. Eczema is like a chameleon, it appears different on different skin types. On fair-skinned people it is a reddish or brown color. On dark skinned people it is characterized by making the appearance of the affected area lighter or darker than the rest of the skin (www.webmd.com). Although they are different in appearance and symptoms, both psoriasis and eczema are generally worsened during the winter season.
Ways to winterize your skin
While we escape winter (except for those lucky ones living in climates that are warm year-round), there are some things we can do to prepare our skin from its effects. I’m going to share six ways you can weatherproof your skin below.