What you need to know to protect your skin during winter

Winter weather can lead to serious skin conditions

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Most would agree we've been lucky this winter when it comes to dodging downright bad weather. But, it only takes the cold to take a toll on your skin.

So, it's just about this far into winter when people are really noticing the itchy and sometimes scaly conditions beginning.

Yes, it can certainly be annoying, but experts say it can be a lot more than that if you don't take winter skin care seriously.

Dr. Elma Baron, dermatologist at University Hospitals says it keeps her very busy.

"The cold temperature and the dry air causes a lot of dehydration in the skin and that's the number one thing we fight against in the winter."

She says the big concern is dry skin leading to more serious issues, "uncontrolled itching will obviously lead to scratching so that's when you can start introducing infection in the skin because our hands are always dirty."

That, she warns can lead to things like eczema or psoriasis, nasty rash conditions that can then even lead to cardiovascular problems.

So her number one piece of advice is to take moisturizing seriously and to a whole new level.

"When we use moisturizer this time of year we are referring to thicker moisturizers, probably not the best time for lotions. The lotion evaporates very quickly. What you want is a cream moisturizer and you should lather it on as soon as you get out of the shower," says Dr. Baron.

She goes on to stress re-moisturizing a few times throughout the day. Another big help she says can be hydrating your skin from within, which means drinking even more water.

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