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Putting the Damper on Dry Skin

Tips on staying moist this winter

FRIDAY, Oct. 25, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Don't let dry skin and chapped lips parch your enjoyment of winter.

With the approach of winter, many people are already feeling the effects of the drier, colder air. But you can keep you skin moist and healthy and protect your lips by following this advice from Dr. Vincent DeLeo, chairman of dermatology at St. Luke's-Roosevelt & Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.

Here's what he recommends:

  • Limit your baths or showers to about five minutes and use lukewarm water.
  • Use non-drying, non-deodorant soap and use it sparingly.
  • Use moisturizer daily. Apply the moisturizer to damp skin after your shower or have a bath. That will trap moisture in the skin and provide you with a protective barrier from the cold, dry air.
  • Don't wear wool clothing next to your skin. Wool can irritate skin during winter. Wear cotton shirts and long underwear beneath any wool clothing.
  • You can add moisture to the air in your home or office by using a humidifier or by placing plenty of plants in your living and work spaces. Another way to add moisture is to place pans of water on top of radiators.
  • Lip balms seal moisture into lips and prevent and repair chapping. Look for lip balms with ingredients such as petrolatum, dimethicone and semethicone. When you're out skiing or doing any other kind of outdoor activity, use a lip balm that contains sunscreen.

More information

Duke University has more about winter skin care.

SOURCE: St. Luke's-Roosevelt & Beth Israel Medical Center, news release
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