Cold winds, dry environments, excessive heat, and lack of exercise can cause changes in the skin. For example, when exposed to hot, dry environments, the skin can lose moisture and feel as though it is very tight or being stretched. This can also cause keratin (a hard white protein) to appear on the surface of the skin, causing itchiness and sometimes even developing into dry eczema. Therefore, it is important to take preventive measures to combat the negative effects of dry skin with various methods of skin care.
Dry Skin Worsens Skin Conditions
Dry eczema is a condition characterized by extreme dryness in the skin that occurs especially often among elderly people. When accompanied by infl ammation and itchiness, it is also called winter itch. Typical symptoms of dry eczema include the appearance of white keratin in the affected area, usually accompanied by itchiness. If the problem area is scratched or otherwise irritated, the itchiness intensifies and is accompanied by inflammation. These symptoms will eventually go away on their own without any necessary treatment, but body lotions and oils can be used to soothe symptoms.
However, for more serious symptoms, a consultation with a dermatologist is needed. During the winter, other than dry eczema, symptoms of congenital diseases like Atopic dermatitis or itchyosis can also be exacerbated. In extreme cases, dry skin can crack like the surface of a dried out lake during a drought. Ultimately, during the winter or other dry times, care must be taken to ensure that the skin is properly hydrated. A few methods to prevent the onset of dry skin include maintaining proper room temperature, use of humidifi ers, refraining from taking extremely hot showers or baths, and limiting the frequency of showers or baths to once every 1 or 2 days. Contrary to the belief of many who feel that the daily use of shower scrubs is an essential element to personal hygiene, rough scrubbing can lead to dry, irritated skin especially when suffering from the aforementioned conditions.
Dryness Causes Skin to Age Faster
When at the beach or at mountain ski locations, reflected sunlight from the environment often leads to much more exposure to UV rays. While moderate exposure to UV light can help promote the development of Vitamin D in the skin, which in turn helps strengthen bones in the body, excessive exposure to UV rays in outdoor environments can have many negative side effects. Namely, too much UV will cause overproduction of melanin in the body, which can darken skin color, create blemishes or freckles, or develop other skin conditions. Furthermore, constant overexposure leads to dry skin, and can also alter the collagen fibers in the skin to develop wrinkles.
Protect your skin by blocking harmful UV rays
To prevent the harmful effects of UV rays, always apply UV protective sunblock prior to going outdoors. It is important to know that applying sunblock once in the morning will not be effective in blocking UV rays for the entire day. A 50spf sunblock, which is the most commonly available, usually lasts for about 3 hours before the effect wears off. Therefore, one must remember to reapply sunblock every 2-3 hours for effective protection throughout the day.
On another note, because the development of blemishes and freckles is caused by exposure to visible light, even wearing thick makeup can have a protective effect on the skin, as it physically provides a layer between the skin and exposure to visible light. Similarly, wearing face paint while skiing has a known effect to help protect the skin from UV rays as well.
If, despite preventive measures, skin conditions still occur, proper treatment should be sought. Most external UV-related conditions can be treated or prevented with proper care to avoid the permanent effects that contribute to aging. Severe sunburns can be treated by pressing them with an ice-cold towel to cool the skin, then treated with a steroid-based ointment mitigate the symptoms. Other common conditions, such as melasma, freckles, blemishes, or related imperfections can be removed with IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) treatments. Even wrinkles that form around the eyes and mouth can be reduced with a high frequency laser and application of a retinoid skin regeneration cream.