SKIN CARE IN A DESERT ENVIORNMENT
Help your skin survive
the desert winters
By Fiona D. Behr, M.D.
I am often asked
by my patients "My skin gets so dry in this
desert climate during the winter months. How can
I keep it moisturized and healthy?" Here's what
I tell my patients who ask me this question.
The Sonoran Desert
climate can be tough on your skin, especially in the
winter months. The combination of dry air and lots
of sunny days creates a challenge to keeping your skin
looking and feeling good. Minimize the number of baths
and/or showers you take daily and use a mild, moisturizing
cleanser. Use warm to cool water only as very hot water
can aggravate dry skin. Afterwards, lightly pat your
skin dry and immediately apply a thin moisturizing
CREAM to your skin. Reapply the cream several times
daily as needed and before going to bed. Also remember
to keep yourself hydrated with fluids throughout the
day – your body, including your skin, will thank
Sun protection is
another way to keep your skin in top form. Winter sun
exposure can still cause significant damage and can
lead to skin cancers in the future. Sun avoidance between
about ten o’clock and two o’clock is ideal.
Other sun protective measures include protective clothing
(wide brimmed hat, long sleeves and long pants) and
sunblock. Your sunblock should be at least SPF 30,
contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, and should
be applied every three to four hours for optimum results.
Moisturizing and oil-free sunblocks are available,
depending on your skin type. The lips are especially
sensitive to the sun and to dry climates so use a moisturizing
lip sunblock often. Finally, annual skin checks by
a dermatologist are important for skin cancer screening.
The winter season
is a wonderful time in the desert. These simple tips
will keep you and your skin healthy for many desert
winters to come!
About the author…
Doctor Fiona D. Behr is a practicing Dermatologist
at Ironwood Dermatology located at
1735 E. Skyline Drive • Tucson, AZ 85718 • 520-618-1630 • Fax: