Outdoor winter fun, such as skiing and snowboarding, provide active individuals with a fun outlet for what can otherwise be miserable and boring months. However, skin protection may be ignored by some during the winter due to a misunderstanding of potential issues. Fortunately, preventative steps and treatment methods can manage problems like dry and sunburned winter skin.
Winter May Cause Many Skin Issues
Outdoor air moisture typically drops during the winter, which can be very problematic for those with sensitive skin. Even though a skier's skin will mostly be covered by thick clothing, the lack of moisture in both outdoor and overly heated indoor environments may cause irritation, redness, and other skin issues.
Even worse, individuals who spend a lot of time outdoors every day may not wear sunscreen when they go out. Even if these people cover their arms, legs, shoulders, and most of their head with protective clothing, areas of their face will still be visible. And these small patches of exposed skin may experience surprisingly severe sunburns.
In fact, the risk of triggering skin cancer and other skin-related issues is also high in the winter due to the heavy cover of snow. As UV rays strike snow, they bounce off of its surface. Therefore, individuals standing in snow, such as those on cross-country skis, are going to be exposed not only to downward UV rays but also those bouncing off the snow.
Preventative Action Helps Avoid These Dangers
Avoid the irritation caused by dry skin and sunburns by following several simple steps. These techniques may be adapted to summer protection by extending the area where the skin is treated and protected from the sun:
- Put on sunscreen - Wear sunscreen on any exposed skin to avoid getting burned. Typically, the face and some of the neck will be the most exposed.
- Wear sunglasses - High-quality medical-grade sunglasses keep the eyes from getting sunburned and avoid severe and painful temporary blindness.
- Avoid excessive interior heat - Though warming up next to a blazing fire is an excellent feeling during the winter, high heat can dehydrate and irritate the skin.
- Regularly moisturize the skin - Over-the-counter moisturizing creams can keep the skin healthy and avoid itchiness, rashes, and other problems.
These simple steps are just a few that winter outdoor enthusiasts can take to protect their skin. Individuals can perform these protective measures every time they go outside to avoid rashes, irritation, and more. However, persistent and more problematic skin problems may require the help of high-quality dermatologists to diagnose and treat.
Professional Dermatologists Help
Regular sunburns and persistent skin dehydration may trigger issues with the skin that require a professional dermatologist to manage. For example, a winter outdoors enthusiastic may find that repeated sunburns across their neck cause that irritating burning sensation as their skin peels off.
A great dermatologist not only understands these problems but can provide prevention creams to minimize their impact. Just as important, professional dermatologists can assess a person's risk of skin cancer by gauging the severity of their sunburn and keep tabs on potentially cancerous areas, such as moles that change in shape and size.
High-Quality Experts Provide Great Skin Care
Individuals who enjoy downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, or other types of outdoor winter activities should talk to their dermatologist right away to get help for potential issues. And those who don't have a dermatologist - or people who want an upgrade - should visit us at Dermatology Center of Newton-Rockdale, P.C., to set up an appointment.
Take advantage of our high-quality preventative treatment for common winter-related skin problems, as well regular screenings for more serious skin problems, including melanoma.