Skin ailments increase in winters, people must take precautions, say experts

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SRINAGAR: While people pay a lot of attention to skincare in summer, they usually ignore the essential care during the chilly winter months. Experts say dermatological problems are aggravated by cold and dry air during the winter months.
They say that the season witnesses an increase in the number of patients with skin ailments or disorders.
Dr Sheikh Manzoor, head department of dermatology at SKIMS medical collage said that the department witnesses a huge rush of patients during winters.
“During winters we witness an increase of around 25 to 30 percent patients with skin problems like skin infection (bacteria), fungal infection, dry skin, frostbite and scabies, a highly contagious infection of the skin caused by an itch-mite parasite,” Manzoor said.
Lack of humidity in the air and using dry heat during cold weather can rob the moisture off the skin.
He said that during winter months the family members prefer to sit in one room and as compared to summers people take fewer baths.
Close contact of people, less baths, sharing towels are some of the reasons for skin infection, he said.
Iqra Shah, a patient said that she had noted some rashes in the skin two weeks back for which he visited a doctor.
“The doctor said that it will happen during winter season and suggested some moisturiser which I apply daily,” she said.
Dr. Imran Majid, associate professor, department of dermatology at Government Medical Collage (GMC) Srinagar said that for people with skin problems and sensitive skin, winter months mean the return of dry, itchy skin and rashes.
“For patients with skin problems like eczema winter worsens the condition and predisposes them to constant flare-ups. Therefore, people need to take more precautions during the winter months. They must use moisturisers,” hesaid.
Eczema is a chronic skin disease where patches of skin become irritated or inflamed and cause itching and form rashes or blisters. Most people are diagnosed with eczema when they are children and symptoms may decrease as they get older, but it can persist into adulthood.
He further said they should also wear clothing and fabrics which do not irritate their skin and cause flare-ups.
Eczema is the most common skin problem in winter. He also said that patients with eczema should use emollients prescribed by their dermatologist and should apply these regularly, particularly after a shower to help lock in the moisture.
“Patients should also avoid taking a bath in hot water as it significantly aggravates the condition. Lukewarm showers are recommended,” Majid said.

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