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Healthier Skin and Hair This Winter

Dr. Anjali S. Palav from Bahrain Specialist Hospital tells us more..

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I am offering this poem to you,
since I have nothing else to give.
Keep it like a warm coat,
when winter comes to cover you,
or like a pair of thick socks
the cold cannot bite through.
– Jimmy Santiago Baca

Such nice poems reminds us about winter which is now approaching us and with strong winds, dry air, and chilly temperatures, brings many things like dry skin & hair, chapped lips, cracked heels.

Here I am giving some normal skin care tips which we can follow easily in winter to combat such issues.

  1. Dry Skin

It’s a common problem during winter. It is a good practice to do an oil massage before you bathe to combat dry skin problem. Even though hot showers are soothing, long hot showers can strip moisture from hair and skin and make skin dry. So limit hot showers instead use lukewarm water for shower and apply moisturizers immediately to whole body after bath.

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And also it’s a good idea to drink plenty of water during winter.

  1. Dry Hands

To prevent hands from drying out, apply moisturizer after washing hands, at least several times throughout the day. Keep a bottle of lotion by each sink in your home and in your desk at work. If hands are very dry, use cream instead of lotion because the former has a higher oil-to-water ratio. Wearing rubber gloves while washing dishes can prevent hands from getting dried out due to excess contact with hot water, soap & detergents.

  1. Dry Face

During winter, avoid any face products with alcohol, and switch to a milder face wash and a thicker moisturizer.

  1. Rough and Cracked Feet

Scrub calluses with a pumice stone after soaking in warm water for at least 30 min once per week to slough off rough, dead skin. Moisturize your feet, especially the heels, every day with thick cream.

  1. Dry Itchy Scalp

Step one in preventing dandruff is to take quicker showers to reduce the scalp’s exposure to drying hot water. Use antidandruff shampoo and good conditioner. Oil massage before bath will also help to combat drying of hair.

  1. Rough Hair

Hair needs a little extra care during wintertime. Everyone’s hair is different – Shampooing strips moisture from the scalp and hair, so wash strands every other day or twice a week.

To prevent breakage or other damage, avoid blow-drying and brushing hair when wet.

  1. Chapped Lips

Winter winds can take chapped lips to a whole new level. Avoid licking your lips as it can cause dermatitis and rather keep lip balm with you always and keep on applying it at regular intervals.

  1. Brittle Nails

Dry air saps the moisture right out of nails and leaves them delicate and susceptible to breaks and tears.

To treat them, apply oil or moisturizing creams. Also consider adding biotin-rich foods (also called Vitamin B7) to the diet—this essential vitamin helps the body process amino acids and produce fatty acids. Vegetables (including carrots) and protein sources including nuts are good ways to pack in enough of the vitamin. Biotin is also very effective when taken in supplement form.

  1. Scaly Elbows

The skin over high-pressure joints like elbows, knees, and heels is thicker to cushion the essential bones underneath.

The key to keeping elbows (and other rough spots) soft is to exfoliate once or twice per week and moisturize every day.


  1. Thick, red skin with flaky white patches that doesn’t go away may be psoriasis which can exacerbate during winter.
  2. If red, scaly, itchy skin causing serious discomfort, it might be a more serious dermatological condition like dermatitis, eczema, athlete’s foot or Psoriasis. See a dermatologist for more specialized care.

Dr. Anjali S. Palav
(Specialist Dermatologist)
Bahrain Specialist Hospital

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