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Before Going Outside in Winter

When the cold and pressure are extreme, the dead cells on the epidermis desquamate-they burst-leaving the living, young cells of the dermis layer exposed prematurely to the elements. As a result, the unprotected cells become inflamed, causing a tingling sensation on the skin.  However, a little care before you step out of your place will keep the wintry troubles at bay.

Apply a heavy layer of moisturizing broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher to the face, hands, and any other skin that may be exposed. This will act as a barrier to help protect against the harsh elements and is especially important if you will be outside for any length of time. Sunscreen is important in winter as the sun's reflective powers are great year round - 17% on the sand and 80% on the snow. Today, several products are available that combine oily, moisturizing cream with sunscreen. If you are unsure of which product to use, ask a dermatologist.
 
Put gloves as it protects hands from the cold air and low humidity and avoid flare- ups. Make sure the gloves are made from material that does not irritate your skin. Some patients find that wearing a cotton mitten next to the skin and a woolen mitten over the cotton one, keeps hands warm and dry.

The most common triggers of the scratch/itch cycle are sweating and overheating. Wearing layers allows you to remove clothing as needed to prevent overheating. Be sure to wear loose-fitting cotton fabrics next to your skin.

Shed wet clothes and shoes immediately. These can irritate the skin and cause a flare-up.

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