As the holidays roll around and the weather gets colder, many of us might find our hands getting dry or our lips getting chapped. This is all a sign of changing temperatures and skin that needs a little extra TLC. Concho Valley ER wants to help everyone in our community keep their skin soft and strong for the winter, so in honor of Healthy Skin Month, we’re going to discuss some great ways to take care of your skin.
1) Protection from the Sun
The sun can be great for getting daily doses of vitamin D, but its harsh rays can also cause long-term damage to your skin. We all know that sunburn is a risk of summer vacation, but do you still use sunscreen during the holidays?
Even when the weather is cold, and even when it is cloudy, if you are spending extended periods of time outside, you should apply sunblock with at least SPF 30. The sun’s rays can filter in through the clouds and reflect off of concrete or even snow during the winter months, which can lead to sun damage. Be vigilant and play it safe to preserve your skin and lower your risks of skin cancer.
For extra help, you can also find SPF lip balms, to keep your chapped lips safe!
2) Avoid Smoke
We all know that smoking is bad for our lungs, but did you know that it can also impact your skin? Smoke, whether it be from tobacco or a family bonfire, can be harmful for your skin in two ways.
Being near smoke, like campfires and grills, creates a lot of heat and distress for your skin. Exposure to too much smoke might make your skin develop a temporary rash or put undue stress on your skin when you cough or squint in reaction to it.
Smoking cigarettes, cigars, vapor pens, and other tobacco products weakens the collagen and blood vessels in your body, which means your skin will be more likely to sag, wrinkle, and can even contribute to types of skin cancer.
3) Pamper Yourself!
Even if you are avoiding extended sunlight and smoke, your skin might need extra care this winter. When the weather gets colder, and the air gets thinner, our skin tends to dry out and lose its natural oils faster. This is what causes dry hands and chapped lips.
Having a good hand cream can go a long way to moisturizing your skin every day. Try using some before bed and in the mornings to give your hands, elbows, or any other dry spot on your skin a healthy boost. Applying lip balm regularly is helpful as well, when you’re preserving your lips. If you want to do something special for your skin, consider finding a nice sheet-mask for your face to give extra moisture.
4) Staying Hygienic
Washing our hands before we eat and after using the restroom is one of the best ways to maintain not only your skin’s health, but your entire body’s health. Washing your hands regularly keeps harmful bacteria and viruses from transferring onto your body and lowers your risk of infections. Some of the most obvious illnesses that clean hands prevent are the flu or bad winter colds. In addition, washing your hands can make sure Staph infections are minimized. Any papercut or hang nail you have is at a significantly lower risk of infection if you wash your hands with antimicrobial soup.
But it is still important to only wash your hands when you need to. Over-washing can weaken your skin, since water and soap strip some of the oils off your skin. Make sure you don’t wash your hands too much, and avoid long, too-hot showers and baths as well. When you’ve finished bathing or washing your hands, you can also put on a bit of lotion to help your skin regain its necessary oils.
5) Healthy Diet
When we think about eating right, most of us don’t consider how a good diet can contribute to our skin. Just like everything else in our bodies, our skin is at its healthiest when we are getting all of our nutrients. A well-balanced diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are jam-packed with natural vitamins and minerals which heal and strengthen your skin from the inside out. If you have dietary restrictions or allergies which impact your access to certain foods, then look into daily multi-vitamin to help your skin get the vitamins and healthy oils that it needs.
As the holiday season begins, Concho Valley ER hopes that everyone in our community stays healthy and safe this year, even when thinking about your skin. We encourage everyone to be more mindful of their skin’s needs to keep your body’s first line of defense feeling strong. In the case of any unexpected accidents, our facility is open 24/7, even on holidays, with concierge-level emergency care just for you.