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Skin problems in winters? Here’s what you should do

In the winter months, the skin reacts differently than it does in the summer months. With the drop in humidity, it can cause some problems for people who have sensitive skin. Dr Smriti Naswa, consultant dermatologist, paediatric and cosmetic dermatologist at Fortis Hospital, Mulund says that as the atmosphere snatches away the moisture of the skin, there are a few things that people need to know about dealing with resultant skincare issues.

Find out everything here:

* Someone with normal skin must start using a thicker moisturiser (cream-based instead of lotion or gel-based) and apply it one or two times a day on wet skin, on the entire body.

* People who have acne-prone skin should ask their dermatologists to help them shift to a milder non-comedogenic cleanser. One should ideally opt-out of AHA/BHA face washes. Non-comedogenic moisturiser is a must and lip care with petroleum jelly is needed for those on oral isotretinoin.
* Dry skin fares the worst; people with dry skin may have to apply thick moisturisers multiple times on wet skin.

* Rubbing with a towel irritates the skin, which should not be done. Dabbing with the towel is an important habit to inculcate.

* Patients with atopic dermatitis (allergic skin), eczema, psoriasis and ichthyosis see a yearly flare up during this season. So, avoid exacerbators like sweat, direct wool contact with skin, and rubbing with a towel. Refrain from known allergy-causing foods and try to remain stress-free.

* Some body areas need special care — because they are worst affected in winters — and are often forgotten, like lips, palms, soles, elbows, and knees. Thick urea-based humectants are available; these are sticky but good for skin.
* One should not forget to moisturise hands after every hand wash and shift to milder detergents/ handwashes even in kitchens/bathrooms.

* Hair, especially wavy and curly, inherently dry and frizz-prone, needs to be washed with sulphate-free shampoo. Apply silicone-free conditioner to the hair, and try to do deep conditioning (with a hot towel) every week or fortnight.

* Dandruff problems can be seen this season. Ask your dermatologist to prescribe a medicated anti-fungal shampoo to control dandruff and prevent itchy scalp.