One common problem a lot of people go through during the winter is dry skin, which can be painful if it causes the skin to crack open. Dry skin is especially common among athletes during winter, since prolonged exposure to the cold weather can increase the risk of dry or cracked skin. There are a lot of precautions that an athlete can take to help lessen the risk of dry skin during the winter, and it can keep him or her healthy.
Here are three of the best ways an athlete can prevent dry skin during the cold winter months, especially if he or she is participating in winter sports.
Always Wear Sunscreen
An athlete should still also be exercising caution and using sunscreen during winter sports, especially if he or she is prone to dry skin. Sunscreen is just as important in the winter as it is during the summer, due to the glare of the sun, and the glare coming from the snow on the ground. The skin can be damaged severely while participating in sports during the winter, but an athlete might not even notice the damage to his or her skin, until the skin becomes dry or starts to crack. If an athlete is going to be participating in outdoor sports during the winter, he or she should be applying sunscreen 30 minutes before going outdoors, and should reapply the sunscreen as needed throughout the day. It is important that an athlete purchase sunscreen with an SPF level of 30, and apply the sunscreen to the face, shoulders, arms, hands, and any other exposed body parts to prevent dry skin or sun damage.
Wear Gloves As Often as Possible
It is crucial that an athlete wear gloves as often as possible, if he or she is participating in winter sports, in order to prevent dry skin. The skin on the hands is very thin compared to other body parts, which means the skin does not have as many oil glands. Since there are fewer oil glands in the hand, the skin of the hands cannot naturally create moisture, which increases the risk of dry skin. An athlete should always wear gloves when outside for a prolonged period of time, especially since the hands are the most exposed extremities, and are susceptible to dry skin. If an athlete has a hard time wearing normal gloves while outside playing sports, he or she should wear gloves that are made for the sport he or she is participating in. An athlete should also be prepared to change out the gloves if the gloves become wet, so he or she should at least have two pairs nearby at all times.
Change Socks Often While Outside
An athlete should change his or her socks often while outside during the winter, especially if he or she is playing sports in the cold weather for a prolonged period of time. During the winter, it is likely that the ground will be wet due to snow or rain, and this moisture will often get absorbed into socks or shoes. One way an athlete can prevent dry skin during the winter is to change the socks he or she is wearing periodically, especially if the socks become soaking wet due to the weather. If an athlete continues to wear the same pair of wet socks while outside participating in sports, he or she will likely develop dry skin, cracks on the feet, inflammation around the feet, and it can cause open sores. The longer wet socks stay on, the more the socks can dig into the skin, which not only creates open sores, but can be very painful as well. If an athlete participates in winter sports or exercises outdoors, he or she should have at least one extra pair of socks on hand to change into once the socks get wet.
Jeanne Rose worked as a dietary clerk in a hospital for three years, went to vocational school for Allied Health, and obtained certification in nurse assisting.