Skin is the only organ exposed to open air, and winter is always harsh on the skin. The cold temperatures and chilly winds coupled with low humidity and dry air reduce sweating and can badly affect the skin.
To overcome the cold, people try to bask in sunlight and take bath in hot water. They tend to wear a lot of clothes in winter and this can cause an irritant reaction. Bathing in hot water and using harsh soaps could wash away the natural oil layer of the skin. It could also render skin dry and rough.
People with dry skin and eczema may experience a flare-up in their condition in winter—more so for the older people, as the capacity of their skin to produce natural moisture is low.
Do not ignore skin problems
The most common skin conditions in India include fungal infections, eczema, acne, allergies and irritant reactions. Most of these are treatable and some are curable.
While common skin problems like rashes and itching are treatable if you maintain proper moisturisation, eczema has no permanent cure. But its inflammation due to extreme temperatures can be controlled with proper medication and by using moisturisers that are free from preservatives. As the skin is dry in winter, the inflammation on eczema might cause itching, leading to a temptation to scratch. Scratching an eczema can cause rashes, which may deteriorate into cuts and cracks and can cause infection.
Impact of coronavirus
The impact of SARS-CoV-2 on skin has been observed in Europe and the Americas. Approximately one-tenth of the patients were significantly affected—from severe frost bite/gangrene-type conditions to short-term manifestations like patchy pigmentation and chickenpox-like rash.
—As told to Mini P. Thomas
For healthy skin
1. Moisturise your skin regularly. A good moisturiser when used on wet skin can help keep your skin healthy (natural coconut oil being one of the best)
2 . Avoid use of hot water
3. Do not use harsh soaps:.Use soaps with a pH balance of 5.5, as this helps to balance the moisture
4. Minimise exposure to heaters
5. Add antioxidants to your diet
6. Hydrate your skin regularly by drinking adequate amount of water
7. Use lukewarm water to wash your face