Winter’s cold, dry air taxes almost everyone’s skin. But if you’re one of the 16 million women and men with rosacea in the U.S., you’re extra susceptible to winter skin woes.
At Specialists in Dermatology, our rosacea experts in Houston and The Woodlands, Texas, recommend five steps to keep your rosacea calm this winter. See if they work for you:
1. Bundle up.
It isn’t just the frigid temperatures that can irritate your skin and cause a flare up. Blustery winds dry your skin and may also carry dirt, dust, and other irritants. Wear a soft scarf and hat to protect your forehead and lower face and help your skin stay safe.
If your eyes get dry and red in winter, bundle those up, too. Sunglasses coated with UVA/UVB protection keeps the wind away from your eyes and protect against sun damage, too.
2. Don’t take the toddy.
Even though cold, snowy days are perfect for snuggling up by the fire with a warm drink, such as a hot toddy or mulled wine, alcohol dilates your blood vessels. And dilated blood vessels lead to flushing and flaring.
Unfortunately, even hot nonalcoholic drinks may overheat your skin, so let the hot cocoa cool down a bit before sipping.
3. Avoid that crackling fire … etc.
And speaking of snuggling by the fire, enjoy the lovely flames from a distance. High temperatures — including those from crackling bonfires, fireplace fires, and indoor heat — may cause a flare up. Keep the temperature turned down to around 70 degrees, and keep cozy with a bulky sweater and slippers instead.
Since getting overheated can cause a flare, too, be sure you have on a number of layers. Take them off as needed, to keep your temperature at an ideal level.
Although it may seem like a cop-out to whomever needs a hand with cooking, keep out of overheated kitchens, too. Use slow cookers to avoid turning on the oven, or take breaks in other rooms to cool off.
4. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
Even if you can’t see the sun, that doesn’t mean its rays aren’t bouncing off all the cloud cover and snow, and onto your skin. Sunlight is the primary rosacea flare, affecting 81% of rosacea patients, so be sure you use an organic, barrier, non-chemical sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide. Be sure the SPF is at least 30, preferably higher.
5. Moisturize everything.
Winter air is dry, both indoors and out. Protect your face and your body with soothing creams that contain proteins called ceramides to seal in moisture. A good cream also creates an extra barrier of protection against irritants.
You can moisturize the air, too, with a humidifier. Moist air cuts down on dry winter eyes and skin. You can get moisturizing eye drops, if needed, to relieve red and irritated eyes.
Even when you do all the “right” things for your rosacea, the stresses of winter weather, holiday travels, and family get togethers could cause a flare. Call the rosacea experts at Specialists in Dermatology for the latest therapies, including pulsed-dye laser treatment with Vbeam Perfecta®, isotretinoin or antibiotics for pustules, and topical gels to control redness.
To set up an appointment, call us at our The Woodlands or Dallas offices, or just book a consultation online.