Men Fight Battle With Chapped Skin More Than Women
Posted February 9, 2006 7:18 a.m. EST
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Washing your hands can keep you from catching the cold or flu. But it can lead to another problem -- dry skin. The problem is more of an issue for men than women
When asked how she cares for her skin, UNC student Emily Paget said, "I just make sure that I use, just a really good moisturizer and body wash and use really good extra strength lotion."
On the other hand, Russ Peck said, "My cuticles are all split open and my hands crack open and knuckles crack open. My wife slathers down with lotion all the time, so she doesn't have that problem."
If you tend to have skin problems, winter only makes it worse.
"You'll find with the lower humidity and the lower temperatures, the skin has to work harder," said dermatologist Dr. Tom Andrus.
Andrus said while you can't change the weather, you can avoid adding to the problem.
"Too much soap, too much detergents, too much scrubbing," he said.
You can find a lotion, crème or ointment you like and use it often.
"The better thing to do is to use a moisturizer after your skin is wet," said Andrus.
After a bath or shower, pat your skin dry and apply the lotion. It seals in moisture.
Andrus said many patients think dry skin is the problem, when it isn't.
"All dry skin is not simply dry," he said. "It may actually be inflamed."
That could be caused by conditions like eczema, seborrhea or psoriasis. For those problems, Andrus says you should see your dermatologist.
Also, if you have problems with acne, be careful not to use oil-based moisturizers like Vaseline on your face.