While most outdoor activities move indoors during the winter, some sports thrive during the cold and snowy season. Football, skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating are all favorite wintertime sports that might bring you back outside despite the snow. It’s especially important to pay attention to your skin when you spend a lot of active time outside when it’s cold.
The dry air outside will dehydrate your skin and can result in dry, itchy skin on areas exposed. Cold air has less humidity than warm air, so moisture is more easily evaporated and lost into the air. The wind doesn’t help and will quicken the drying process. Dry, dehydrated skin can irritate conditions like eczema and psoriasis, while other kinds of rashes or even cracking can develop from dryness.
When you’re outside during the winter, you have to bundle up, even when playing sports. Based on your preferred sport, you should find a balance between clothes that are looser and made of natural fabric for your skin to breathe, but not so loose as to put you at a disadvantage or not keep you warm. If you sweat, your skin can become irritated by the damp fabric, kept warm by your body heat. Heat rash or another skin rash can develop from chafing and sweating while wearing clothes that are too tight.
Depending on what winter sport you’re participating in, you may have more or less skin covered. The sun’s UV rays can damage your skin even if it’s cold outside. If you’re active in the snow, the sunlight is reflected off the white surface and can harm your eyes as well as your skin. Your hat, clothes, and gloves cover most of your skin, but be sure to apply sunscreen to your face since it is at least partially exposed.
Taking hot showers or baths in the winter is an appealing way to relax, but it can be bad for your skin if you overdo it. Hot water opens pores and can dehydrate your skin. Too hot water inflames the skin and can result in dryness, an itchy rash, or even peeling. Keep the water temperatures warm enough to be pleasant, but not so hot as to redden up your skin. If you can stand it, try a cool water shower, which can keep skin tight and moisture in. Moisturize after washing to maintain any water your skin absorbed.
Drinking a lot of water is important for everyone’s health, but athletes and casual players need to stay even better hydrated to keep their bodies cool under exertion. When the body is active and heats up, more water is needed to maintain the optimal temperature, keep the blood flowing, and keep your skin hydrated.
If you have any questions or concerns about your winter sporting activities, reach out to discuss with one of our expert dermatologists. Schedule an appointment today!