The Moisture Myth: Telling Dry Winter Skin to Flake Off!

Published 01/16 2014 10:10AM

Updated 01/16 2014 10:24AM

Dry, cracking skin that even bleeds is unpleasant to say the least, but certainly not uncommon this time of year.

"Cold air can't hold as much moisture molecules together, so that's when people who have dry skin tend to have even drier skin", says Hendrick Medical Center dermatologist, James Landero.
As the cold winter weather blows through, Landero says it's taking the moisture from your skin along with it, and all that hand washing we're supposed to be doing? Yep, that's taking a toll on your skin too.

"Frequent hand washing is also a very common cause of dry skin, and that's called area contact dermatitis, when you're breaking down that barrier on your skin by constantly rubbing things on it", explains Landero.

When those cracks begin to show, they're actually little cuts in your skin that can lead more serious issues.

"It gets so dry that it's painful, and it's prone to get infections because there are little openings in the skin barrier", says Landero.

If you find yourself constantly reaching for that bottle of lotion, it may not be helping as much as you'd hoped.

"A lot of people use lotions, creams, and ointments, and they use them interchangeably. But there are different components to each one. Lotions tend to have more alcohol base, and will cause burning and an uncomfortable feeling, and that may turn people off to using moisturizers. If that's the case, I would go with an oil-base, like an ointment" , Landero tells us.
Dermatologists say, if you really want the dry skin issue to flake off, you have to heal first.

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