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How Will the Dry Air of Winter Affect Your Skin?

By HERWriter
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How Does the Dry Air of Winter Affect Your Skin? kichigin19/Fotolia

Most women will probably agree that their skin can get extremely dry in the winter. The number one culprit behind this dry skin is the air’s lack of humidity during those months. All that dry air is tough on our skin, leaving it desperate for more moisture.

The dryness in the air isn’t unique to being outdoors. Women’s skin doesn’t get a break inside, either. Turning up the temperature on heaters and radiators also causes reduced humidity and dry air.

In a news release, Dr. Michelle Tarbox, a dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at Saint Louis University, told HealthDay News, “water always moves downhill, even on a microscopic level, and when the level of moisture in the air drops due to the heating process, it practically sucks the water out of your skin."

The winter season is particularly tough on women with delicate skin conditions.

For those who normally have dry skin, they can expect it to become worse during the winter months. Dry scaly patches can develop on areas of their skin that generally are unaffected the rest of the year.

LiveStrong.com wrote that “wintery weather can also cause the skin to lose moisture in the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of skin, resulting in skin that cracks and flakes.”

Women with dermatological problems like eczema, psoriasis and rosacea, are well aware that winter can be a double whammy on their skin.

During the winter, the sun does not shine as much as it does in the other seasons. This is tough for women with psoriasis as sunshine helps ward off the condition. The dry scaly skin caused by psoriasis can get more inflamed with less sunshine.

Eczema sufferers may also experience worse symptoms during the winter. Normally they already deal with dry skin which can itch and flake. Bring on the dry air with lack of humidity, and their problematic skin becomes even more inflamed.

Another situation that causes women’s skin to get so dry in the winter has to do with fighting colds and flu: excessive hand washing. In an effort to fight off germs, all that hot water and soap can leave women’s skin extremely rough and prone to itching.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.