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Avera Medical Minute: Preventing dry skin during winter

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 5:03 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - It is not enough to worry about cold weather and snow in the winter; but, the integrity of our skin is also something that requires a lot of attention. Avera Dermatologist Kathleen Engeln, MD, says dry skin can be a nuisance for some people and can lead to eczema. Eczema occurs when people lack a certain moisture in their skin. The dry winter air exacerbates the issue and can lead to red, itchy, and inflamed skin.

There are some minor things you may overlook that result in dry skin before you even leave home according to Dr. Engeln.

“You can prevent a flare by getting in the habit of daily moisturization especially after a shower, and minimizing exposure to products with fragrances in it,” she said. “When you’re bathing your skin every day, especially the drier areas on your skin like your arms and legs, you are stripping the oils from that part of the skin. I do recommend not actually applying soap to that area every day. It is probably not a bad idea to wash at least once a day, but you don’t need to wash those drier areas like your arms and legs every single day.”

Whether young or old, Dr. Engeln sees symptoms of eczema across a wide demographic of people. Other factors that contribute include frequent hand washing which has become very prevalent with the pandemic.

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