If you plan to head out to ski or snowboard during the holiday weekend, you have lots of choices near Denver—Winter Park, Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, Eldora Mountain, and Rocky Mountain National Park are all within a 90-minute drive. After a day on the slopes in the dry, cold weather, you come back to the lodge or house with its parched, heated air and could end up with dry skin. Knowing the ins and outs of what causes your skin to dry out can help you prevent the problem. Here are common causes of skin dryness:
Winter air, with its lower humidity levels
Forced air indoor heating
Water from hot baths or showers
Harsh soaps and detergents that remove natural oils
Frequent hand washing
Licking your lips too much
Not drinking enough fluids or eating the right fats
How can you counteract these factors? You may have received gifts of moisturizers for the holidays—now is the time to use them. Apply to your face, neck, hands and feet before you head outside into the cold. Prevent chapped lips with lip balm and gloss. Use only mild soaps and detergents, and follow your bath or shower by slathering on the cream. Do it after you wash your hands, too. Holiday drinks are fun to experiment with, but make sure you get enough plain water as well. Check out foods with omega-3 fats like fish, tofu, walnuts, or those fortified with this type of fat.
Be sure to take special care of your feet in winter. Dry calluses can form on your soles which may split under pressure, causing cracked heels that can bleed or become infected. If that happens, you need to follow a strict regimen of moisturizing with rich emollients. You may want to slip cushioned inserts in your shoes for extra protection until the skin heals.
Sometimes dry skin can have a more serious cause such as psoriasis or eczema. If you have a problem that dedicated use of moisturizers is not solving, be sure to contact Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center in Wheat Ridge, Golden, Evergreen, or Granby for an appointment to have us check it out. You can call (303) 423-2520 or request an appointment through our website. Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+ for the latest in foot care information, too.