Playing in the snow, drinking hot cocoa and celebrating the holidays with friends and family are just a few of the reasons to love winter. However, as the days get shorter, turning cold and damp, getting the right nutrients is challenging. Although a wide variety of foods contain protein, vitamins A, C, and E, as well as Omega 3s, getting enough vitamin D in winter can be difficult. When vitamin D levels are depleted, not only are your mood and health affected, but it can also take a toll on your skin. At North Metro Dermatology, we customize treatment plans for improved skin health and appearance.
What is Vitamin D?
Often called the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D works with vitamin C to boost your immune system. It is also critical to bone health, and a variety of body functions, including:
- Healthy heart and circulatory system
- Brain development
- Anti-cancer effects
- Muscle functions
- Healthy respiratory system
How to Get Vitamin D in Winter
Unlike other vitamins, your body cannot make vitamin D on its own. Its presence enables you to absorb calcium and phosphorus, which is essential in the development of the strength and structure of your bones. Here are some tips for fighting the winter blues and keeping vitamin D levels up.
Eat the Right Foods
Have a serving of fatty fish such as tuna, wild salmon or mackerel a few times a week. Rich in vitamin D, they also have omega 3s and vitamin B12, which can reduce cholesterol. Mushrooms, eggs and fortified foods including almond, cow and soy milk, are good sources of vitamin D.
Take a Vitamin D Supplement
A multi-vitamin containing vitamin D can be taken daily. Speak with your doctor if additional vitamin D supplementation is advisable.
What Not to Do
Do not use a tanning booth as this is not a safe, sensible, or reliable way to increase vitamin D levels. Since UVB is responsible for vitamin D production in the skin, and since tanning beds emit mostly UVA, you would receive minimal UVB exposure in a tanning bed.
How to Prevent Dry, Cracked Skin
Winter weather diminishes the moisture from your skin, resulting in dry, itchy skin. Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy glow.
– Choose a moisturizer that is made for your skin type. Apply twice a day, including right after your shower to keep the much-needed moisture from evaporating. Another great option is to apply body oil after showering.
– For very dry, chapped skin, including lips, cheeks, hands, and feet, occlusive products can be even more helpful than basic moisturizers. A great option is SWO Soothing Barrier Ointment. This natural, non-petrolatum based ointment contains ingredients to calm and protect skin. Urea cream can also helpful for dry, rough hands and feet.
– Central heating and repeatedly washing your hands can cause the skin to crack. Keep a bottle of lotion in your purse or at your desk to use throughout the day.
– Although it may take some preparation, a cool-mist humidifier can hydrate your skin. Even if you only have it on in the bedroom at night, it can help your night cream work better, giving your skin a healthy glow.
– Many cleansers have sulfates and drying ingredients that can irritate the skin. Cream-based cleansers work well to remove makeup and cleanse dry skin.
– When it’s below freezing with gusting winds, it may be tempting to take a steaming hot shower. Unfortunately, the scalding water removes natural oils from your skin making it dry and flaky. Try turning down the heat for a more temperate shower.
Contact Us Today
If you suffer through the winter with dry skin or have a chronic skin condition that causes discomfort, contact us today or call 651-789-9800. We provide services that include, laser, cosmetic and dermatology treatments. Our premium skin care products contain high-quality ingredients your skin will love. The providers at North Metro Dermatology recommend a personalized regimen to address your specific needs.