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Winter Skincare for All Generations

By: Our Team


At Desjarlais Dermatology, our team treats patients of all ages, pediatrics to seniors. All generations face skincare concerns during the Michigan winter months and we’re here to share tips to keep everyone comfortable and healthy.


Tips to Help Kids This Winter

Cold weather can be quite uncomfortable for children who live with eczema or have spells of dry skin. From temperatures to fabrics, the season can bring many triggers. Here are five ways you can help your young one adjust their daily routine for more comfort throughout the season:

  • Adjust Bath-Time Routines. Daily baths or showers aren't necessary for ages 6-11. Excessive bathing can increase water loss from their skin, worsening the dryness associated with  eczema. To prevent that from happening, try:
    • Bathe children only as needed for hygiene 
    • Shorten bathing to less than 10 minutes 
    • Use tepid temperatures, which are less irritating to the skin 
    • Pat skin dry with a towel, instead of rubbing 
  • Don't Soap Up. Try using a soap-free cleanser that is less likely to strip the skin of its natural protective oils. Dermatologists often recommend Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser or Olay Complete Body Wash. Extra Sensitive Skin may benefit from Avene Skincare Products. 
  • Moisturize. Thick emollients or moisturizers are a must to combat dryness. Early moisturizing has been shown to decrease Atopic Dermatitis, presumably by protecting the skin barrier. Here are some things to note: 
    • use moisturizer at least twice a day 
    • apply moisturizer from head to tow within 3 minutes of bathing when the skin is still damp to seal in moisture and help replenish skin hydration
    • Use a scent-free product such as Avene's XeraCalm A.D. Lipid Replenishing Balm
    • Preservative free products for sensitive skin. Ceramides are important as well
  • Rethink Clothes and How to Wash Them. Fragranced products of any kind that come in contact with the skin can potentially cause an allergic reaction. Any residue left on clothing can also lead to skin irritation. Don't use fragranced detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets, or antistatic sheets. Always wash clothes before wearing to remove finishing chemicals such as formaldehyde, flame retardents, and dyes that can trigger sensitivity or allergic reactions. Opt for 100% cotton or silk clothing, mittens and hats are opposed to wool, which can be prickly, or polyster, which can cause sweating (another trigger for eczema).
  •  Talk to your Doctor.



As we get older, our skin becomes thinner, drier and more fragile. Lifestyle factors, such as sun exposure, weight loss/gain, diet, stress and smoking, medications and chronic illnesses can also make these changes worse. Our epidermis is designed to keep the outside out and the inside in and protect us from germs and injuries. It also loses these abilities over time.

Harsh winter weather further compounds these problems, leaving older adults with itchy, irritated skin and certain types of rashes.

Follow these essential tips for protecting your skin in cold weather.

  • Moisturize Regularly. Senior skin loses moisture much more easily, and dryness (xerosis) is a direct or contributing cause of many types of skin conditions. While lotion may provide enough protection for some, seniors might want to seek out heavier creams or ointments. However, be sure to check the ingredients as many soothing moisturizers contain lanolin, to which some people may be sensitive to. Vaseline (petroleum jelly) works well if you can tolerate the greasy consistency.
  • Stay Hydrated. Don’t hold back on fluids just because it’s cold outside.
  • Bundle Up. Before heading outdoors, be sure to cover as much exposed skin as possible. The skin on your hands and feet is particularly susceptible to frostbite. So don’t forget to protect your ears, neck and face. Dress in warm layers and try to top them off with an insulating, windproof fabric in particularly cold and/or windy conditions. This will help prevent painful, chapped skin that can take a while to heal.
  • Wear Sunscreen. It’s important to wear sunscreen even on cloudy winter days. Sun protection is especially important in snow. UV rays easily reflect off of snow and can still cause damaging sunburns despite overcast or cloudy conditions.
  •  Take Care When Bathing. Be mindful of the water temperature when bathing and washing your hands, limit time spent in the shower or bath, and use soap-free cleansers to minimize skin irritation and dehydration.
  • Embrace Humidity. Full room humidifiers can add moisture back to dry air. Not only does this benefit your skin, but it can also soothe dry and inflamed airways and scratchy eyes.

Protecting yourself from the winter temperatures and the havoc it can cause to your skin doesn’t mean spending the season locked indoors. We provide these helpful tips so you and every member of your family can go live life to the fullest. We hope they help but know our team is always here if they don’t.



* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.