Minimise skin flare-ups this winter

Seasonal skincareCertain skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema, are susceptible to winter conditions and flare up as a result.

What’s more, worrying about the likely effects of the winter months can cause the sufferer to feel more stress, which can in itself exacerbate skin problems.

Follow these steps to help protect your skin:

1. Short showers

Although it is tempting in cooler conditions to soak in a long, hot bath doing so will dry out your skin and potentially wreak havoc with skin conditions. Aim for short showers instead to minimise the amount of time the skin is exposed to water. Also try to stick to lukewarm, rather than hot, water as this will be gentler on the skin.

Stick to soaps designed especially for dry and sensitive skin and make sure you pat dry once out of the shower, as rubbing dry will be too abrasive for your skin.

2. Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!

As well as changing to a thicker moisturiser if need be (switching to a body butter if you have used a lotion in the summer months, for instance) try to increase the regularity as much as your schedule will allow as well. If you moisturise in the mornings aim to do so in the evenings as well.

After you have finished showering apply your moisturiser when your skin is still damp, as this will help to lock in moisture. When time permits, try to incorporate a more intense moisturising session by wrapping your skin in clingfilm after applying the cream. As strange as this sounds (and as odd as you may look!), this will help the skin absorb more of the moisture, leaving it silky smooth.

3. Stay healthy

Making sure that you optimise your general health will also help to minimise skin complaints. Psoriasis and also eczema are believed to be worsened by bacterial, viral or fungal infections so by keeping in tip top shape you should help minimise this risk. Eat a balanced and nutritionally healthy diet, take lots of exercise and consider a flu jab and Echinacea as preventative measures against winter nasties.

Keeping your stress levels down may also help to reduce the likelihood of flare ups; psoriasis in particular can be affected by stress. If you find it hard to do so at this time of year then consider investing in some yoga or meditation classes.

4. Dress for comfort

Certain materials can cause flare ups and clothing that is too tight fitting may cause chafing in winter conditions, which can adversely affect skin problems. Rather than wearing thick and itchy materials layer up with loose cottons which will allow your skin to breathe.

5. Avoid seasonal over-indulgence

Cold weather alone makes us reach for comfort food (and cosy pub nights) and with Christmas thrown in to the mix there is even greater temptation for luxurious over-consumption. Try not to give in to this too much however, as weight gain is thought to worsen psoriasis and alcohol also dehydrates the skin which will cause problems with all types of skin complaints.

If need be, a course of microdermabrasion may also be a good preventative measure. Contact the team at Aurora Skin Clinics for advice.