Portrait of a beautiful young woman with cap

The holidays are all about glitz and sparkle, but colder weather and drops in humidity can leave you feeling cracked and pale – and holiday shopping and commitments can cause additional stress. 

Before the holiday rush, take some time to care for your skin. There are ways to look radiant, even without a tan.

Q: Is sunscreen helpful in the winter?

A: Sunscreen isn’t just for summertime! It protects the skin from the long ultraviolet A rays and helps prevent redness. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face and your hands about 30 minutes before going outside. Reapply frequently if you stay outside a long time.

Q: What can I do to manage my rosacea over the holidays?

A: The holidays can pose some hurdles for rosacea suffers. The changing weather, combined with a heavy social calendar, can wreak havoc on rosacea. Here are a few suggestions to navigate the holiday season successfully.

• Now more than ever is the time to use your rosacea medication.

• A hectic schedule can lead to stress inducing flare-ups. Get plenty of rest, eat right, maintain a daily exercise routine and above all, don’t over-commit yourself.

• Holiday cooking can quickly heat up the kitchen and lead to a rosacea flare-up. Keep a damp towel nearby to pat your face, and take a break to a cooler part of the house when you can.

Q: I’m worried that my psoriasis might flare up over the holidays.

A: Between the physical discomfort of your skin lesions and concern about camouflaging your condition or handling people’s remarks and stares, holiday stress can cause your psoriasis symptoms to worse. Stress-reduction therapies, like massage or yoga, might be beneficial. And, despite the temptation, it’s in your best interest to avoid going overboard with holiday indulgences. 

Following a healthy lifestyle – eating healthy foods and getting regular exercise – will help keep your body in shape and might make psoriasis treatments more effective.

Q: What can I do about chapped lips?

A: Chapped lips are always a problem in the winter because your lips do not have hair follicles or oil glands to protect them like the rest of your skin. Try making moisturizing your lips a part of your regular skin care routine; carry a lip balm or use a lipstick (especially one with SPF protection and added moisturizers); and try to remember, licking your lips only makes it worse.

Before the rush, take a little time to give yourself the gift of healthy skin. 

Dr. Oswald Lightsey Mikell, certified by the American Board of Dermatology and the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, is the owner of Dermatology Associates of the Lowcountry.