Dr. Navin Arora offers winter vacation tips for skin protection

Dr. Navin Arora offers winter vacation tips for skin protection
Dr. Navin Arora

During the winter months, many people seek to escape the cold and head south to Florida, the Caribbean and other warm destinations, while others prefer heading up north to ski in the mountains.

Going from cold to warm and warm to cold climates can have negative effects on the skin. Board-Certified Dermatologist Dr. Navin Arora of Borealis Dermatology of Garden City and Syosset is sharing his knowledge and recommendations for enhancing skincare practices while vacationing during the winter months.

During his 12 years serving as an U.S. Army physician, Arora has extensive experience treating patients of all races in different regions and climates around the world. His experience gives him a different perspective on how weather and other conditions have an effect on the skin. The following are some of his tips for safe skin protection:

Safe Skin Practices During Ski Season

The winter is the time where many people travel up north to Vermont and Pennsylvania to ski. While in high altitudes and cold temperatures, skin is at risk for frostbite, wind and sunburn. In some areas, snow can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays.

The World Health Organization states that with every increase in altitude of 3,000 ft, UV rays are strengthened by 10% – 12%. Although people are in cold weather, the sun can still have adverse effects on skin.

It is essential to apply sunscreen periodically throughout the day, especially on the face, ears and areas that are exposed to sunlight. The extreme cold temperatures can also lead to dry, flaky, cracked, itchy and irritated skin.

Before applying sunscreen, people should apply hydrating lotions, creams and moisturizers to keep their skin hydrated. Be sure to use the correct type of moisturizers for the correct body part. Hand and body moisturizers should not be used on the face, as it may cause other skin issues.

Skiers should also wear the proper clothing to protect their skin from windburn, sunburn and frostbite. Frostbite occurs in freezing temperatures and worsens the longer skin is exposed.

While spending many hours on the slopes, skiers may not notice frostbite until it is too late. Frostbite is caused when fluids in the skin begin to freeze, causing redness of the skin. As it worsens, the skin will feel warm but cold to the touch, skin will appear waxy and will begin to feel numb; at its worst, skin will turn black as a result of dead skin tissue.

If these symptoms persist, immediately get inside to a warm room and change out of any cold or wet clothing. Then, gradually rewarm the skin with warm water.

Be sure to avoid rubbing the skin and using heated pads as this will only further irritate the skin. If conditions worsen or do not improve, seek medical attention immediately.

To be protected from frostbite, be sure to wear warm layered clothing that covers all areas of the body; most importantly, ski pants, warm socks, a ski jacket, gloves, hat, goggles and a face mask. All protective and cold-weather clothing should also be waterproof.

Limit hot showers

After a long day on the slopes, it is best to avoid long hot showers. Hot water removes oils from the skin and improves circulation; however, the heat can lead to irritation, causing the skin to turn red.

Excessive heat mixed with soaps that contain harsh chemical ingredients can aggravate dry or sensitive skin. It is best to either lower the water temperature, or use cool water to gently rinse off at the end of a hot shower. Pat skin dry instead of rubbing with a towel, as this can irritate the skin.

Protecting skin from the sun during warm winter vacations

In southern vacation spots, the sun and UV rays are much stronger all year. Those who are unprepared can experience extreme cases of sunburn. Relaxing vacations sitting on the beach or on a cruise ship deck further increase sun exposure. This can only lead to sunburn or even more severe sun blistering and this doubles the chances of getting melanoma (skin cancer) later in life. To prevent this, it is imperative to wear sunscreen with 50 SPF with UVA or UVB protection.

This sunscreen should be reapplied every 2-3 hours. Wearing the proper clothes such as long sleeves, sundresses, sunglasses, wide-brim hats and umbrellas will also protect the skin.

Aloe and skin moisturizer can also be applied to sooth and rehydrate the skin that is damaged by sun exposure and to treat mild sunburn. For severe cases of sunburn, individuals should seek medical treatment, untreated skin could become infected which could cause scaring.

Know the effects of chlorine pools

While laying by the pool, keep in mind the effects chlorine has on the skin. Chlorine in water eliminates the oils for the skin, resulting in dry, flaky skin. Extensive time in the water can cause skin irritations, rashes, blisters and even burns.

In public pools, bacteria and germs can also cause rashes and athlete’s foot. To ensure the skin is protected, take a shower upon exiting the pool or ocean.

Showering with proper soap and shampoo and scrubbing will wash off any chlorine, bacteria and other chemicals that may be present in pools or oceans. Using moisturizer after a shower will help soothe and re-hydrate the skin.

Next, be sure to always have a dry change of clothes accessible. Staying in a wet bathing suit can cause chaffing and rashes from excess rubbing. Changing into dry clothes will prevent this from happening. To prevent chaffing, be sure to monitor how much moisture is on one’s bathing suit or clothing and a person’s activity level. Walking around in wet, damp clothing puts humans at risk. If chaffing occurs, be sure to apply chafing relief powder, gels and creams. If conditions worsen, please visit a dermatologist.

Keeping skin hydrated


While in extreme warm and cold climates, dry skin is more likely to be prevalent and cause wrinkles, form chapped skin and lips and lead to clogged pores and the formation of or worsening of acne.

Alcohol and caffeine drinks, especially coffee, drain fluids from the body. Whether someone is soaking in the sun or skiing in the mountains, drinking eight cups of water a day and incorporating foods such as cucumbers, lettuce and strawberries into one’s diet can keep the skin hydrated and protected from dryness, irritation and acne.

For questions regarding skin care, please contact Borealis Dermatology to schedule an appointment with Dr. Arora and his team. Borealis Dermatology offers two convenient locations to provide various treatments for patients in the Queens and Long Island areas. Contact Dr. Navin Arora at (516) 246-8800 or visit https://borealisderm.com/ to schedule an appointment.





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