Managing Your Acne During the Winter Months

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Acne impacts a person’s life on many levels. It impacts their appearance, their self esteem and it impacts the way that they are perceived by others. An acne breakout can take the form of blackheads, pustules, cysts or a combination of all of these.

It’s particularly challenging to manage acne during the winter. Outdoor cold coupled with dry heat from homes, businesses and cars can cause moisture loss and make skin tight and dry.
That dryness stimulates the oil glands to produce more oil. The excess oils subsequently accumulate and solidify in the pores mixing with dead cells on the surface to form waxy plugs. Add bacteria and the tops of those plugs oxidize and turn black causing blackheads. Further infection can lead to pustules and cysts.

Daily cleansing and hydration is crucial in winter months.
Here are a few Tips for those with acne prone skin

Skin Care Tips:
Use an exfoliating cleanser with AHA’s or Salicylic Acid–but no beads or gritty substance. (Use one with hyaluronic acid so it doesn’t sting or irritate your skin.)
If you use Retin A or topical acne medication, use a gentle cleanser without acids or exfolients.
Use a water based moisturizer, with high percentage of moisture binding hyaluronic acid. – Use it AM and PM to keep skin healthy and hydrated .
Wash and rinse your face in cool water not hot.
Don’t use fabric softener.. use a clean wash cloth every day.( Rinse first to remove detergent residue)
Use a gentle enzyme mask once or twice a week to lift dead cells and loosens congestion.
Apply a dot of pure tea tree oil on pimples or pustules to kill the bacteria and fungus.

Lifestyle Tips:
(Use a humidifier at night or put a pan of water on radiators to keep moisture in the air of your bedroom. If you don’t have a humidifier make sure your window is cracked just a bit to allow for ventilation.)
Don’t rub skin and avoid tight turtlenecks that rub. Friction can cause an outbreak of pimples.
Don’t touch affected areas unless your hands are clean.
Don’t squeeze acne cysts as the infection could spread.
Keep hair out of your face and wipe your cell phone with alcohol often to kill bacteria.
Don’t use topical or oral steroids—they’re known to aggravate acne.

Dietary Tips:
Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day.. every day.
Eliminate sugar, juices, cow’s milk and soda from your diet for a month to see if your acne improves.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine, butter, cheese, cream , fatty fried foods and hot and spicy foods.
Avoid processed foods and those containing iodine like fish, kelp and onions.
Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables… especially ones with zinc like shellfish, whole grains and sunflower seeds.
Take acidophilus to keep your digestive system healthy.
If you have questions or would like a consultation, call 610-269-7009.

Stay beautiful,
Millie

Winter Itch

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Winter Itch

A friend once took her 5 year old son to the Emergency Room because after his bath he broke out in itchy painful hives. The culprit? Dry skin.

Although most of us experience some degree of dry, itchy skin during the winter, it’s hard to believe that your skin can get that dry, so itchy and dry in fact that it becomes painful.

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What is it?

Winter itch is a term for dry, itchy skin that occurs during the winter. Cold, harsh winter weather combined with dry indoor heat can cause skin to lose moisture, feel tight, irritated and itchy (and that includes your face!).

Causes 

Although winter weather contributes greatly to dry skin, there are many factors that can make the problem worse, including: Soaps, shower gels and skin care products with fragrance, harsh cleaning agents or deodorants. Even body depilatories that were fine in warmer weather can suddenly become irritating… and the more you scratch, the more you itch.

Solution?

If you’re a victim of winter itch, take time to investigate the cause. Cortisone crèmes are a quick fix but they aren’t recommended for long term use.

  • Keep your baths and showers short and the water warm not hot–A long hot bath feels       good but pulls moisture from skin
  • Lower room temperature at night, crack a window  and/or use a humidifier or a pan of water on radiators to keep moisture in the air.
  • Use super hydrating bathing and personal care products with no fragrance, alcohol, lanolin, dyes or propylene glycol to prevent irritating already dry skin.
  • Use non-greasy moisturizing crèmes after a bath or shower – especially on arms and legs where skin is thicker with fewer oil and sweat glands.
  • Keep toasty in cold weather by dressing in layers and eliminate itchy wools and synthetics garnished with glitter.
  • Switch to fragrance free detergent and don’t use fabric softeners on sheets, pillowcases, wash cloths and towels or anything coming in direct contact with your skin.

Keep winter skin hydrated and if you need help go to www.dermHA.com

Stay beautiful,

Millie