Michelle Rupp: Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of AFMC TV. We’re glad you’re joining us today. Dermatologist Rebecca Denniston is with us, and we are going to talk about winter skincare. I mean it’s cold outside. So how should our skincare routine be changing up? I mean obviously we really shouldn’t be doing probably what we were doing in, I don’t know, August or September. 

Rebecca Denniston: Yes. In the winter your skin care needs to change and a lot of it just has to do with you know, it’s not as humid outside. The air is drier. It’s cooler and your skin will see those effects. So, you’re going to get drier. Your skin may get more irritated or sensitive. You definitely want to make some changes. A lot of people just think well I need to make changes on my face, but you really need to do your whole body. Some basic things, easy things like using a more moisturizing soap to bathe with. When you get out of the bath or the shower kind of pat dry. Then you want to do a thicker moisturizer. That’s probably the biggest change you want to make. In the summer we tend to stick with a lighter moisturizer, something not as heavy, more lotions. In the winter you want to switch to a cream. Something that’s thicker and is going to hold in more water and give you more moisture.

MR: Because the whole point is to help your skin stay hydrated.

RD: Yes, exactly.

MR: What are some common misconceptions that people have during the winter months with their skin?

RD: I think there’s a couple. One being that you don’t have to change your skincare routine, but you really do. That’s probably the biggest thing. The second thing would be sunscreen. So, we think, okay, we’re not in the sun as much anymore. We may not be at the pool or the lake, but you still do get sun in the winter. Just walking to and from your car, driving in your car, if you’re playing outside, even though it may be cloudy, you’re still getting sun. Being diligent about wearing your sunscreen is a big thing.

MR: That’s really good, because you’re right. We aren’t at the beach. We’re not at the pool. We are dreaming of those days. And so no, I wouldn’t think on a cloudy gray day that I need to have sunscreen on my face. So, what about those overnight gloves and socks that have moisturizer or lotion in them to keep your hands and feet hydrated?

RD: Yeah, I think that’s great because a lot of times the first place that you see that lack of moisture is your hands and your feet. They tend to dry out really quickly. Especially now that we’re washing our hands all the time. What I usually suggest to my patients is doing a good thick moisturizer and then you can also add in an emollient like Vaseline or Aquaphor, and then put a pair of gloves or socks on if you can sleep in them. That’s great. That’s a quick way to add moisture back to your skin. It’s something that can help.

MR: What about humidifiers? Are they a good this time of year? Do they help?

RD: Yes, they help. They’re going to add that moisture and humidity back to the air that we would have lost. I definitely think there’s benefit, especially if you’re struggling with dry skin. 100%. I think that’s helpful.

MR: And then when do you know if it’s dry skin, you know, you’re versus like some type of skin condition? 

RD: Like eczema, psoriasis, or something like that? That’s a great question. A lot of times just normal dry skin will respond to good thick moisturizers. If you’re doing creams, you’re doing Vaseline or Aquaphor that should really improve your skin pretty quickly. If you’re not improving and you’re really struggling with dryness, redness, sensitivity, or itching, there might be more of an underlying eczema going on. We see that very commonly on the hands. But you can get it on other places of the body too.

MR: What’s the big thing that you guys see this time of year in your office?

RD: I definitely think the number one thing is eczema, because you’re losing that water in your skin, you’re going to break out quicker because the air is drier. That’s probably the number one thing. We see a lot of rashes. Just more sensitivity and irritation in the winter. And then psoriasis flares. Psoriasis is more of an inflammatory rash of the skin. A lot of times in the winter that gets worse as well.

MR: Going back to the eczema, is that something that once you have you always have or can it work itself out and go away?

RD: That’s an interesting question. Some people are born with eczema, and they may keep it throughout their whole life. Some people don’t develop it until later in life. There’s really no rhyme or reason to it. You know, you may have it as a child and then it gets better, or you may get it as an adult.

MR: Okay and I’m wondering too about hydration, just with good old-fashioned water, is that going to help? 

RD: Yes. Staying hydrated definitely helps. Lots and lots of water. I think if you do that in combination with good moisturizing soaps and creams, Vaselines and all of that, you really should do good. But if you’re not and you’re struggling, like I said, definitely, you want to see your provider.

MR: Okay. Alright. Becca, thank you! Remind everybody where we can find you.

RD: I’m at the Dermatology Group of Arkansas. We have about six locations now. So come on in and we’ll get you checked out if you’re having issues.