A Dermatologist’s Top Tips for Winter Skin Survival in Lockdown 3.0
Dr Jinah Yoo, consultant dermatologist from sk:n clinics, talks winter lockdown, the impact on our skin and how to emerge looking radiant.
We are now in the thick of lockdown 3.0 meaning more time at home and if we aren’t careful, our skin will pay the price. Lack of vitamin D from daylight, dryness from central heating and breakouts caused by sugary treats, stress and frequent mask usage could result in us feeling rather self-conscious about our skin.
And for those of us prone to flare-ups of acne, eczema or psoriasis, central heating and a quick change in temperature can really aggravate the skin. It’s not all bad news though as consultant dermatologist for sk:n clinics, Dr Jinah Yoo, offers her advice for skin survival this winter.
The main cause of adult acne is blocked glands, which are . found near the surface of the skin and are attached to hair follicles. Their job is to produce oil to lubricate the hair and the skin to prevent them drying out.
Acne is a result of these glands producing too much oil, which then mixes with dead skin cells and plugs the follicle often forming whiteheads (follicles bulging near the surface of the skin) or blackheads (a plugged follicle that’s open to the air). And although squeezing a blackhead or whitehead can be extremely satisfying, it won’t help the issue and can in fact lead to scarring.
For mild cases of acne, I would recommend a topical treatment (gel or cream) such as Medik8’s Blemish SOS™. This rapid action treatment gel contains Salicylic Acid, Niacinamide, Azelaic Acid & Dioic Acid which work together to diminish blemishes quickly while remaining completely invisible on the skin.
Alternatively, you could try Epionce Purifying Spot Gel. It helps to clear pores and controls excess oil production, to minimise the size and severity of spots with no drying or flaking. Containing coconut oil and rice bran it helps to moisturise and hydrate, while well-known acne treatments such as Resorcinol Monoacetate, sulphur and azelaic acid fights inflammation and resurfaces skin.
For moderate to severe cases of acne, I would recommend consulting with a dermatologist to discuss your specific needs. sk:n clinics are offering video consultations online with highly experienced experts and nurses, so you don’t have to travel to your local sk:n clinic, and you can pick a time that suits you.
Eczema isn’t actually a specific skin condition, it characterises a number of conditions that all share the same, often unpleasant symptoms. Those symptoms can include itchy and dry skin, redness, flaking, cracking and, in extreme cases, even bleeding caused by scratching. There’s no known cure for eczema, and with dry skin exacerbated at this time of year, it’s important to treat and minimise the effects of those symptoms.
Eczema leads to a broken skin barrier and repairing this barrier with an effective moisturiser should be the basis of managing the condition. The type of cream you will need will depend on the severity of your condition, but typically, the drier your skin, the thicker the ointment. Medik8 Ultimate Recovery Intense Cream and Medik8 Nourishing Body Cream are both great options.
Frequent hand washing and use of alcohol gel during this pandemic also can cause irritation and worsening of eczema on your hands. Try to use a soap substitute which contains minimal irritants and remember to rehydrate the skin after washing your hands.
With acute flares, you can consult with a trained dermatologist to try a course of prescription creams containing steroid. Light therapy is another way to treat eczema as it uses focused UV lights to stop the immune system from overreacting, which is what causes the inflammation. This treatment is mainly provided in an NHS dermatology clinic.
Sometimes mistaken for eczema, psoriasis is a skin condition that causes red, flaky, crusty patches of skin covered with silvery scales, more commonly appearing on your back of your elbows, knees or scalp although it can affect any parts of your body. Psoriasis is caused by an increase in the rate of production of skin cells. Where skin cells are normally made and replaced every 3 to 4 weeks, but in psoriasis this process only takes about 3 to 7 days.
Most people are only affected with small patches. Nevertheless, in some cases, the patches can be itchy, sore or unsightly. As with eczema, psoriasis can be aggravated during the colder months due to lack of Vitamin D exposure and dehydration.
In most cases, the first treatment used will be topical, such as vitamin D substitutes or topical corticosteroids which are available on prescription. As with eczema, keeping the skin moisturised is vital, and Medik8 Ultimate Recovery Intense Cream and Medik8 Nourishing Body Cream can help with psoriasis. As with eczema, more severe cases of psoriasis can also be treated with light therapy or tablets, offered by NHS dermatologists if you meet the criteria.
If you are suffering from a health-related problem with your skin such as severe acne, eczema or psoriasis you can book a video consultation with one of our consultant dermatologists to find a solution that is right for you.
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