CLEVELAND -- "The number one thing is dryness," says Elma Baron, MD, a dermatologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center. "The cold temperature and the dry air causes a lot of dehydration in the skin and that's the number one thing we fight against in the winter."

Winter brings cold and dry air which damages skin. If not treated, this can possibly lead to psoriasis or eczema, also known as dermatitis, both scaly rashes of the skin. Excessive itching can also lead to infection if the scratching breaks the skin due to germs from the fingernails and hands.

Dr. Baron also says psoriasis can lead to other problems like cardiovascular disease and arthritis. "It's not just an issue with the skin," she says.

"Lotion evaporates very quickly; what you want is a cream moisturizer," Dr. Baron says of winter skin protection. "and you should layer it on quickly as soon as you get out of the shower."

She also suggests reapplying moisturizers throughout the day as well as staying hydrated, covering exposed skin when going outside, and using sunscreen on sunny days. "There's a lot of reflection of UV rays through the snow."

7 Skin Tips for Winter* Do not use extremely hot water to wash (further dehydrates skin)* Moisturize from the inside by keeping hydrated with water* Moisturize from the outside by lathering on moisturizer after shower or bath* Moisturize with thicker, creamier products, not lotions that will evaporate quickly* Reapply moisturizer frequently* Cover exposed areas if outside* Use sunscreen outside even if it's cold out

Sound bites from Elma Baron, MD, a dermatologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, and related b-roll are available for download at the University Hospitals Case Medical Center Newsroom at

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