Skin chapping is common during winter weather, and is typical for those with dry skin. Chapping is basically the cracking, peeling and fissuring of the skin. A lot of people have already experienced chapped lips, as this part is one of the most exposed parts of the body. For others it extends to the palm of the hands, knuckle ridges and the clefts of the fingers, and toes. While it is true that it is commonplace during extremely cold weather, it should never be ignored, especially when the cracking and fissuring is accompanied by pain.
There are many things that encourage the formation of chapped skin. The first of which is cold weather. Winter weather is not particularly good for the skin, and a consistent good skin care regimen is always encouraged to ensure minimal moisture loss. Skin exposed to cold air and have not been treated with any form of protection will almost, always suffer from skin chapping. Extremely hot weather on the other hand can cause chapping as well. Acute exposure to the sun often develops skin dryness and chapping as well.
Since dry skin is predisposed to cracking and chapped skin. Robbed of oils and moisture, dry skin chaps rather easily. The fissures are small at the onset, but they are aggravated by manual labor, or continuous use of harsh soaps.
Any movement in the area with chapped skin is rather uncomfrotable, as it encourages the fissures formed to borough deep into the deeper layers of the skin. Pain most often accompanies dry, chapped skin as well as increased risk of infection due to the fissures that open the skin to entry of microorganisms.
Maintenance and Care for Chapped Skin
Chapped skin is not hard to manage and treat. With little effort, you can spare yourself from the consequences of chapped skin and lead your cold and hot months in comfort.
For chapped lips, our first and most common response is to lick them to prevent dryness. The relief from such an activity is temporary, and actually exacerbates skin chapping. Saliva has digestive enzymes which irritate the lips, and once the moisture evaporates, it leaves lips in a worse condition. Applying a lubricant such as Vaseline is known to be a more ideal solution to chapped lips.
If the skin affected is on other parts of the body, the best way to managed chapped skin is to prevent moisture loss. Your showers should be short, and ideally warm, during the cold months. Cold showers are actually recommended all year round. Taking brief showers ensures that natural oils are retained and well moisturizes the skin. Patting down when drying rather than rubbing also reduces the chances of further skin chapping.
Only use unscented soaps, or lightly scented ones. These mild soaps don’t take away the oils the same way that medicated soaps do.
Moisturizing should be a routine practice. The benefits of using a moisturizer on chapped skin can never be overstated. Petroleum jelly is as good as the next product you can find over the counter. It is recommended to hydrate regularly. Staying hydrated ensures the moisture reserves within your skin never run dry.
When going outdoors, always remember to put on sunscreen. The benefits of slathering on this critical product go beyond protecting your dry skin. The sun’s rays can do more harm than good when you’re exposed for extended periods of time.
When all else fails, it may be best to seek the specialty of a dermatologist. They will be able to carefull assess and diagnose the severity of your chapped skin. They will order strong but effective prescription medicine to end those unsightly chapped skin once and for all.