Health Watch - Winter Skin: Humidifiers

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about the effects of winter on your skin. Many of the problems associated with winter, such as dry, chapped hands and dandruff, come from dry winter air. A humidifier can help make your indoor environment more pleasant, but make sure you use common sense when using it.

Dr. Jane Siegel, an infectious disease expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says when used properly, humidifiers are harmless, but they can become a health risk if they become contaminated. When you finish using the humidifier, empty any remaining water. Most people only need to clean the humidifier with water and dry it. Those who are susceptible to respiratory infections should clean the humidifier with disinfectant.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in dermatology.


January 2010

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