The skin is a sensitive organ and reacts to weather changes, says Ravi Mittal
Change of season impacts our body and skin, and it is advisable to take good care of it. Skin is a sensitive organ which reacts differently to different weather conditions. In winter, dryness and dull skin become common. Humidity level tends to fall in this season and that affects the skin. The air becomes drier, which causes dryness and flakiness.
Effect of cold weather The first impact of winter on the skin is dryness and dullness. Some people tend to ignore this condition but the prolonged continuation of dryness may affect your skin adversely and may lead to premature ageing.
Why does the cold affect skin?
You might wonder why winter proves so harsh for your skin. That’s because the air in winter becomes extremely dry. Moreover, the drastic temperature difference between the indoor and the outdoor environment also plays a role.
Cold waves are common in winter. Because of cold air, the skin tends to get tightened, causing reduced blood circulation. It leads to a reduction in the production of sebum, which is natural oil produced by the skin.
This oil acts as a protective layer for your skin and also traps moisture.
The lower moisture levels in the air also make skin dry out, leading to poor skin conditions such as cracking and flaking.
What is the impact?
The first and the most common effect of winter is dryness of the skin. This affects people with all skin types, whether you have a dry skin, oily or natural one. The dryness can result in rashes and itching, which eventually cause redness in the skin. If dryness is ignored then it may result in flaking and cracking of the skin, which may turn painful later.
Acne is also a common condition observed in winter. Usually, people associate acne with summers or humid conditions. But even cold weather may make your skin prone to acne. Acne is caused when the hair follicle becomes blocked in the dead skin cells and sebum. When the bacterial infection occurs in the pores, it results in cyst-like pimples. The winter results in a fall in the production of sebum, which is a natural oil protecting the skin. These pores are affected by the bacteria resulting in infection and painful acne.
Dry skin conditions that are witnessed by people include psoriasis, eczema and rosacea, causing dry and flaky skin. It is usually the body’s allergic or inflammatory response. Atopic eczema is a result of the adverse effect of cold weather conditions on the skin. One of the most common problems that people face in winter season is increased irritation on the skin, which may later become painful.
Spider veins and inflammation are also common problems people face in winter. season. These are painful conditions and it’s always advisable to keep oneself properly covered to prevent it.
Prevention is better
- Your dermatologist will suggest various medications and creams that will cure the aftermath of poor skin condition, but it’s always good to be proactive. You may adopt various measures to get rid of poor skin conditions in winter. These include:
- Keeping your skin well-nourished. Most skin issues are caused by poor moisture content in the body. It's always advisable to keep the skin well-nourished, drink plenty of water and also wrap up in warm clothes so that there is no need to depend on room heaters, which again cause a reduction in moisture content.
- You can find body and moisturising creams in the market, formulated with xylitol and natural extracts with a sustained effect that moisturise the skin. One can even go in for power hyaluronic moisturising creams for dry to very dry skin.
- Omega 3 and 6 oils can prove beneficial in reducing inflammation. You can consume foods rich in these oils, thus ensuring your body is well nourished and protected from winter.
- Avoid hot water baths, since they remove the little oil that is left and dries the skin further.
Apply Vitamin E oil on the skin, which acts as a great moisturiser. You can use it once or twice a week.
Ravi Mittal is Managing Director-Skeyndor India