Is Your Acne Worse In Winter?
During the summer, we can often get spots and pimples due to blocked up pores. In a way, this makes sense to us in that we’re hot, sweaty and it simply feels unavoidable. In the winter, we expect this to calm down but more often than not we’re confronted with a new wave of spots, pimples and red marks. Winter Acne: How does this happen? Can we do anything to avoid it?
How Does Winter Weather Affect Acne?
Firstly, there is our good friend the sun. In the winter, we see less of it and there are studies that show ultra-violet light exposure has an effect on our production of various immune cells as well as the bacteria that live on the skin’s surface. This loss of UV exposure in the winter can result in bacterial shifts and immune system drops that can lead to an acne outbreak.
Arguably the biggest issue, however, is dry air. Due to the lack of moisture in the air the skins natural moisture barrier is effectively compromised, it is therefore less able to fight bacteria and infection.
With this dry air, the face will also begin to secrete more sebum and oil to lubricate the skin. This is where your acne breakouts start. In the same way that stress causes us to create more oil and therefore breakout, so does the dry air. The oil glands start overproducing, pores begin to clog and acne products may start doing more harm than good due to your dry skin.
What Can You Do To Avoid Breakouts?
Here’s some tips to avoid Acne Breakouts in winter…
- Oil Free Moisturizers– A good solution is to opt for oil free moisturizers right after you get out of the shower. They can lock in moisture and prevent your skin from overacting to the stresses of dry winter weather.
- Mild Skin Cleansers and Avoid Exfoliants – the key objective here is to avoid dryness and exfoliating scrubs and creams will only make this worse. Great in summer, but time to avoid in the winter
- Wrap up! It sounds simple but using a scarf to wrap up can protect your face from the harsh dry weather
Let’s be honest, it can be difficult to avoid the pains of bad skin in winter but there are always a few techniques to reduce the effects. In the summer, a lotion and exfoliators are enough since your skin isn’t over producing oil. In the winter it’s a case of taking care with the oil your skin is producing and the dryness of that winter air. Wrap up, use gentle lotions and try to keep stress to a minimum.
If you’re unsure about the spots, moles or rashes you might have, you can speak to one of our dermatologists directly or even use our AI technology – it can give you an answer within seconds with up to 80% accuracy.
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Specialist doctor from the University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden, Alumni UC Berkeley. My PhD thesis is on Digital Health and I published 5 peer review scientific papers on teledermatology.