Winter Skin Care with Board Certified Dermatologists Dr. Christopher Messana and Dr. Kate Messana

Wintertime in beautiful Colorado means it’s cold and especially dry. This combination of environmental conditions can cause dry, flaky and sometimes itchy skin, even in people who don’t have this problem in the warmer months. We talked with dermatologists Dr. Christopher Messana and Dr. Kate Messana of Elevated Dermatology in Parker to gather tips for skin care during these winter months. 

1. Be gentle

“Skip harsh, drying soaps, scrubs and toners in favor of a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser. Avoid shower gels, and gently pat your skin dry with a soft towel instead of vigorously rubbing it.”

2. Take warm—not hot—showers

“Long, hot showers can set us up for dry skin by stripping much of the natural fats and oils from our skin.”

3. Apply moisturizing cream

“Apply a thick layer of moisturizing cream within two minutes after a shower or bath. Creams are generally more moisturizing and less irritating than lotions! For dry, chapped hands, carry a non-greasy moisturizing hand cream and apply it after each hand washing.” 

4. Avoid or minimize harsh, i
rritating skin care products

“Skin care products that you tolerate well in the summer may be too harsh and irritating in the colder months. Reduce or elimiate skin care products containing alcohol, fragrance, retinoids/retinol/retinoic acid, alpha-hydroxy acids and exfoliants.”

5. Wear non-irritating clothing and use hypo-allergenic laundry detergent

“Clothing and laundry detergent residue contained in our clothing may become irritating to winter skin.”  

6. Humidifiers can help

“While it may be a challenge to add moisture to ALL of the air throughout your home, keeping a humidifier either in your bedroom or integrated into your home’s heating system can help.”

7. Stay hydrated

“Colorado’s dry climate, elevation and many sunny days make it especially important to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water!”

8. Wear sunblock every day (yes, every day!)

“Even on a cloudy day, the vast majority of skin-damaging ultraviolet radiation passes through the clouds and damages our skin. Wear sunblock with SPF30 or higher every day.”

9.  Maybe it’s not just a stubborn 
patch of dry skin

“If a rough, scaly patch does not resolve after applying moisturizer for two weeks, have it evaluated by a board certified dermatologist. That patch of ‘dry skin’ may actually be skin cancer.”