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Tackling Dry Skin in the Winter with CBS Healthwatch

Winter cold season is in full swing, this CBS interview with Dr. Green discussed how best to tackle dry skin

Russ Mitchell: On the CBS HealthWatch this morning dry skin. Winter’s cold temperatures and brisk winds can dehydrate and crack the skin. Your face has it especially rough this time of year since it’s more likely to be exposed to the winter weather so how can you protect yourself? Let’s get some advice from Dr. Michele Green, a dermatologist with Mount Sinai Medical Center here in New York City. Dr. Green, thanks for coming in. We appreciate it. First of all, do you need to buy different moisturizers for different parts of the body?

Dr. Green: No, that’s a myth. You don’t need a different moisturizer for your face or for your body. You can use the same moisturizer since it’s the same skin on your entire body.

Russ Mitchell: Now, I know that men need to moisture as well. Is their skin different, anything we need to worry about in particular?

Dr. Green: No. Men’s skin needs to be moisturized just as much as women’s skin. For some reason men are reticent to go to the store and buy a moisturizer or go to a dermatologist but they need to take the same good care of the skin as women do.

Russ Mitchell: Okay, let’s talk about the face in particular here. Some parts of the face are dry, some parts are oily. Does that mean we need to moisturize the entire face?

Dr. Green: Actually that’s a really good question because you don’t need to moisturize the entire face. What you should just do is put moisturizer on to spots that are dry, not to the oily areas. Because if you moisturize the oily areas, then you get acne and other problems.

Russ Mitchell: Which parts of the face tend to get more dry?

Dr. Green: The parts of the face that get dry are really the parts that are exposed to the cold climate, like your nose, your ears, cheeks, your lips. Basically your extremities.

Russ Mitchell: Okay. First job, I guess the cheeks would be the first thing to go?

Dr. Green: The cheeks would be the first thing to go, exactly, especially when it’s so cold out like it is now.

Russ Mitchell: What do you do to combat that?

Dr. Green: You want to use a very, very mild soap and you want to use a very mild moisturizer. What that means really is you want to use a really good moisturizer for the face and use something to wash your face that’s lipid free, that’s non-drying. Basically when you look for soaps you want to look for something that’s not glycerine-based. I mean, not a clear soap. People use the clear soaps during the summer when you’re very, very oily but when you’re dry in the winter, you want to use a moisturizing soap.

Russ Mitchell: I’m protecting my cheeks. Which one of these products am I going to use?

Dr. Green: You’re going to use one of these products, one of these good moisturizers to protect your cheeks. They’re hypoallergenic on the face because you want to use something that’s basically made for normal people as well as patients who may have sensitive skin especially this time of the year.

Russ Mitchell: Let’s talk about my eyes now. What do I use for those?

Dr. Green: Okay. For your eyes you want to use a product that also is hypoallergenic and you want to use a product that has a moisturizing, a Vaseline base. I like to recommend products to patients that … Either you can use Vaseline itself or moisturizing products like this one, in the tube.

It’s almost like a Vaseline-petroleum base. It’s in a wand and you can apply it to your eyelids, around the eye areas, to the eye lashes themselves, all the areas that get dry.

Russ Mitchell: What about the lips? They get dry awfully fast as well.

Dr. Green: The lips are really, really dry. There are all sorts of things that are out now to the lips. There are patients who are addicted to Blistex and things like that but you can use … Depending on how dry you are, you can use anything from a ChapStick base but you want to use something that has an SBF 15 even in the winter because there is sun during the winter. There is UVA damage all year long. There are also medicated. I brought steroid ointment as samples to show that there are stronger medicated products that you can use for that time of year too. Now the moisturizers are coming in stick-base too. Curél is coming with a moisturizing stick based cream that you can put on as an ointment on your lips or dry areas as well.

Russ Mitchell: We’ve got about 30 seconds left. There are all these moisturizers in the store. Is there a big difference there, the amount of money you spend, does that correspond to how good the product is?

Dr. Green: No, that’s a myth. Patients always come in and ask me that same question. There is no difference between a $7 moisturizer and a $170 moisturizer. The difference is really in the packaging. You want to just look for something that’s dermatology tested, that’s hypoallergenic and that’s fragrance free. Then you’re using a good moisturizer so you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a good product.

Russ Mitchell: Okay, Dr. Michele Green. Happy Holidays to you.

Dr. Green: Thank you very much.

Russ Mitchell: Thanks a lot for coming in. We appreciate it.

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