Tips for Reviving Skin, Hair & Nails After the Dry Winter Months
March 25, 2016
The practice of dermatology involves improving and maintaining not only the appearance but also the health of your skin, hair, and nails. That can seem a tall order in the springtime, after the frigid winter months have left you with a dry, brittle and ashen look. Perhaps you’ve noticed changes like these over the past few months:
- HEALTHY SKIN: As the humidity decreases in the winter months our skin becomes dry, irritated and even itchy. A hot shower may seem a go-to respite for warmth, but prolonged heat can actually do more harm than good because it disrupts the skin barrier, which serves as physical protection and an immune defense, and further dehydrates the skin. In order to nourish and restore the skin and its protective functions, it is important to use mild cleansers and avoid overuse of harsh scrubs. While cleansing, use lukewarm to prevent stripping the skin of its natural fats and oils that provide it with moisture. Immediately after bathing, the skin should be patted (never rubbed) dry and a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer should be applied.
- HEALTHY SCALP: Just as with the skin on your face and hands, the winter cold, the dry, artificial heat generated by heating systems in homes and buildings can sap the moisture from your scalp and hair. Thus, it’s common to experience a dry, itchy scalp as the weather turns colder and you seek warmth indoors. This condition is most commonly caused by seborrheic dermatitis and is characterized by red and flaky patches on the scalp which may resemble dandruff. The best way to combat this problem is by washing hair on a daily basis and using medicated shampoos that deposit a layer of medicine on the scalp which remains and continues to work even after rinsing.
- HEALTHY NAILS: Your nails can become dry, brittle, and split during winter as well. It is essential to avoid using harsh soaps when washing hands as this will remove the protective natural oils found in your nails. Also avoid nail hardeners as the chemicals found in these products can actually damage your nails, leaving them weak and brittle over time. After washing hands, apply a high quality moisturizer and be sure to rub it into the cuticles and nails to restore their strength and flexibility.
It’s clear that wintertime can wreak havoc on your look. While they may seem tempting, quick fixes that address only the appearance of your skin and nails, ignoring underlying health factors, will only allow for further damage. For instance, hiding unsightly nail fungus beneath colorful nail polish or buying a harsh, drugstore shampoo and conditioner based solely on the promises made in the packaging will simply mask or even exacerbate the issues.
While your look is understandably important, your health is all the more critical. After all – you deserve more than just a makeover. You deserve a thorough audit and treatment of any and all health issues that may affect your look and your life. Ensure the health and vibrancy of your skin, hair and/or nails by scheduling a consultation with Central Florida’s Associates in Dermatology. Our experienced team of providers including board-certified dermatologists, paramedical assistants and nurse practitioners have the expertise to identify and effectively treat a range of skin, hair and nail related conditions or diseases and we accept most health plans.
Remember – Spring is a time of renewal and the warm summer months are just around the corner. Get a healthy start to the new season with a call to your nearest Associates in Dermatology location.
For more information on our services to treat specific skin, hair and nail diseases and conditions, click here.