Take care of your skin this winter

Velisha Thompson of the City of Johannesburg's Region E Health Department advises on skin care in winter.

 

Velisha Thompson of the City of Johannesburg writes:

Winter brings about many changes to our hair and skin. Rehydration (lots of water, fresh juices and herbal teas) is needed to keep skin moist and prevent dryness.

Cold weather depletes the skin of natural moisture and oils and skin feels dry and tight. It can also be itchy or flaky if it is not taken care of. The skin plays an important role as it is the body’s first line of defence against bacterial infection if there any tears or cracks on the skin.

Use mild products on your skin, avoid harsh soaps. Wear natural clothing such as silk and cotton, however, wool can irritate your skin. Dry brushing before your bath or shower removes dead skin cells and allows your moisturiser to better penetrate your skin.

Avoid long, hot baths and showers and apply moisturiser as soon as you dry off. It is not necessary to use expensive moisturisers. Buy moisturisers that are free from alcohol and fragrance. Exercising also gets the blood flowing and improves circulation. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables also helps from the inside.

There are many skin conditions that can be quite distressing. One of them is eczema. Eczema is caused by inflammation with redness and itching. Many Joburgers suffer from eczema. One of the reason is due to Joburg’s cold, dry weather. Eczema can also be inherited.

Other causes of eczema:

  • Heat
  • Strong smelling lotions
  • Dry skin
  • Cold weather
  • Allergens
  • Stress is also one of the main causes of eczema
  • Lotions that are too harsh for your skin type
  • Very hot or prolonged showers and baths.

Many things in your environment can cause your eczema to flare up such as cigarette smoke, certain types of food, pollen, clothing and your moisturiser.

The correct moisturiser is an essential treatment for eczema. Harsh soaps also trigger eczema. Don’t take bubble baths. Establishing a daily skin care routine will keep eczema at bay.

Don’t scratch or pick at the dry skin as this can cause further outbreaks or infection. Be wary of lifestyle changes, limit alcohol and cigarettes, and take care of what you eat.

  AUTHOR
Sipho Siso

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