Winter Weather: Winter Skin

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau 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’re talking about coping with winter weather. We’ve been talking about some dangers, but not all winter woes are potentially deadly. Some can just be uncomfortable, like the dry skin that tends to come with winter.

Hands and lips are especially likely to become dry and chapped in winter weather. Dr. Kent Aftergut, a dermatologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says there are two main reasons hands get particularly dry in the winter. First, cold weather means drier air and lower humidity, which dries skin. It’s also cold and flu season, so people tend to wash their hands more often and use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. You can protect your skin by using a gentle soap and using hand lotion regularly. Protect your lips by using lip balm, especially when you go outdoors. If you develop redness, itching, cracking or blisters on your skin, see a dermatologist.


January 2012

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