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Dermatologist Elizabeth Mullans Shares Her Top 5 Skincare Tips to Help Avoid and Relieve Dry Skin this Winter

As winter approaches, many people eagerly anticipate the festive season. However, with the drop in temperature, winter can also bring on dry skin which, if not treated, can lead to irritation, redness, and itching. To help protect against dry skin this winter, and in light of National Healthy Skin Month, Elizabeth Mullans, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and skincare expert at Uptown Dermatology, is sharing her top skincare tips to help maintain healthy skin.

"During winter, many people experience dry skin due to the harsh weather conditions, and it's not just your face that can be affected, but also your hands, feet, and other exposed areas that can suffer," says Mullans. "Dry skin can be uncomfortable and even painful, but there are ways to prevent and alleviate this issue."

Below, Dr. Mullans shares her top 5 simple steps to help protect against dry skin this winter:

1. Moisturize generously. Baths, showers, indoor heat, weather changes, and low humidity can all strip away the skin's natural oils, leaving you with dry, chapped, itchy skin. In the winter, I recommend using a gentle moisturizer at least twice a day after cleansing-- in the morning and before bed at night, like CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, Aveeno Eczema Cream, or Eucerin Advanced Repair Cream, to smooth and hydrate the skin, as well as reduce the appearance of blemishes, and plump fine lines and wrinkles.

2. Use hypo-allergenic laundry detergent. Clothing, bedding, and other fabrics can easily itch and irritate skin year-round, but it becomes an even greater issue in the winter when our skin is more sensitive. I recommend using Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free and Clear liquid laundry detergent as it's hypoallergenic and contains no dyes, perfumes, or preservatives. It's also clinically tested and developed in partnership with the Mayo Clinic for sensitive skin and it's 100% certified by SkinSAFE.

3. Avoid exfoliants and scrubs. Exfoliants and scrubs are popular shower products because they help to shed away dead skin cells, leaving the skin smooth. But those with skin sensitivities are more prone to skin damage from scrubbing which can result in dry, irritated skin. Stick to moisturizing with a fragrance-free moisturizer and your skin will feel as good as new.

4. Use a Humidifier: Indoor heating systems can strip moisture from the air, leading to dry skin. However, using a humidifier can help add moisture back into the air, preventing your skin from drying out. Place a humidifier in your bedroom or any other frequently used room in your home to help keep the air moist.

5. Schedule regular checkups with your dermatologist, especially if your dry, irritated skin doesn't heal or gets worse. It's very important to diagnose, treat, and rule out an underlying medical condition like an allergy, dermatitis, or something more severe.

"Remember, prevention is key when it comes to maintaining healthy skin all year round, so be proactive with your winter skincare routine," says Mullans. "However, by following these simple tips, you can maintain healthy and glowing skin throughout the colder months."

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