Health Watch - Winter Fun: Dry Hands

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 having fun outdoors in wintertime. The right clothing and preparation can help you enjoy winter weather in health and safety. But there are some downsides to outdoor winter activities.

Cold winter air can leave you with chapped hands and lips. Dr. Kent Aftergut, a dermatologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says there are two main reasons that hands tend to get chapped in winter. Cold winter air is dryer, which dries skin. Plus, it’s cold and flu season, so you may be washing your hands more often. Soap and hand sanitizers can be drying. You can prevent chapping by using non-detergent cleansers that are less drying and by using hand lotion frequently. If your hands become red, blistered or cracked, see a doctor. To prevent chapped lips, apply lip balm before going outside.


January 2011

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