In warmer months when people are out and wearing T-shirts and shorts, they know to lather on sunscreen and moisturizers to protect their skin to make it look soft and silky. But, when it gets colder, skin care can sometimes become less of a priority, even though there’re many issues that can arise.
“The number one winter issue I see is dry skin, and when that worsens, a condition called eczema develops,” says Dr. David Greeson of Brentwood Dermatology. “We also see a lot of seborrheic dermatitis, which is essentially dandruff, and hand dermatitis where hands dry out and crack.”
So, what can be done to avoid these skin problems when the temperature starts to drop? “For eczema, the main thing is to use mild cleansers,” he says. “Unscented body washes are preferred, and be sure to use a moisturizer within three minutes of getting out of the bath or shower. You want to trap some water in your skin before it evaporates.”
There are many over-the-counter products that can be used if symptoms aren’t severe enough to warrant a doctor's visit. “If you like body wash, Cetaphil RestoraDerm is a good product, but if you prefer bars, there’s a Cetaphil Bar and a Dove Unscented bar.”
Avoiding very hot showers is advised because hot water strips oils from the skin.
For moisturizers, Dr. Greeson recommends fragrance-free Neutrogena Hydro Boost Body Gel Cream, Cetaphil Cream and CeraVe Cream. For hand eczema, moisturize your hands frequently with a product like O'Keeffe's Working Hands Cream and wear gloves when cleaning or dishwashing. “Detergents strip grease off of a plate, so they will also strip the oils out of your hands,” he says.
If these issues become more severe, for example, developing a persistent itchy rash, or what looks like dried honey develops on the affected area, that usually means a secondary infection. It’s then time to see a professional.
“There are prescription treatments that typically involve topical steroids, and in some cases, we may also use a non-steroid anti-inflammatory medication,” says Dr. Greeson. “Very severe cases can require oral steroids.”
Because all the dermatologists at Brentwood Dermatology are highly trained and board certified and have a wealth of experience, Dr. Greeson says patients get the right treatment and products for particular conditions. “There are a lot of TikTok skin specialists who are marketing products, and these recommendations are often going to be based on whatever they can sell. Although we do sell cosmetic products at the office, I always give recommendations that are over the counter. I don’t profit from them.”
For overall skin health, don’t forget sunscreen. Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean the skin isn’t soaking up UV rays.
Dr. Greeson was familiar with dermatology from an early age because he had some issues with a form of eczema as a child, and a dermatologist helped him. “I was familiar with the specialty, and when I was in residency, I was just drawn to it because it’s visually oriented. I could see my patients improve and progress.”
He treats patients of all ages (infants to elderly) and performs procedures for skin cancers, cysts and lipomas. “It’s a mix of medicine and surgery, which I like.”
Originally from Georgia, Dr. Greeson recently moved with his wife, Beth, and 15-year-old son, Luke, to Brentwood, which he says they are enjoying immensely. “We built a house that accommodates not just us, but my mother and my in-laws, so we’re all under one roof, which is a blessing.”
This article information is for educational purposes only. Consult a clinical provider for medical issues.
Dr. David Greeson’s Product Recommendations
- Fragrance-free Neutrogena Hydro Boost Body Gel Cream
- Cetaphil Cream
- CeraVe Cream
- O'Keeffe's Working Hands Cream
Body Wash And Bars
- Cetaphil RestoraDerm
- Cetaphil Bar
- Dove Unscented bar
Avoid very hot showers because hot water strips oils from the skin.