Vintage bathtub.

Are Hot Baths Putting Your Skin at Risk?

There is nothing better than taking hot baths after a long, grueling and chilly winter day, right? Wrong. While the hot water may feel wonderful against your skin, it is actually harming it, depleting natural oils, possibly worsening conditions like eczema and even causing inflammation. As excellent as a long, hot bath may feel at the moment, the risks to your skin can make it not worth it. Therefore, what can you do to protect your skin and still feel rejuvenated?


Limit Bath Times

The first thing you can do is limit your bathing time. The longer you are in hot water, the more damage you do to your skin. Therefore, try limiting sessions to about 10 minutes or less. In fact, a shower may make it easier to complete essential washing and hygiene tasks in a shorter time frame.


Add Oil to Water

As baths are known for drying out the skin, you can add oils to the water. Some dermatologists even recommend taking oatmeal baths to prevent dry skin and to help the body maintain natural oils and moisture. You can discuss specific oils and additives with your dermatologist.


Exfoliate Your Skin

Another essential skincare practice is exfoliation, especially when dry skin is a concern. Exfoliating the skin removes dead cells and helps to unclog pores, which in turn creates an opportunity for moisturizing. By exfoliating your skin regularly and following that routine with a deep-penetrating moisturizer, you can combat some of the drying effects of bathing and cold winter weather.


Try Cold or Lukewarm Showers

While you may enjoy your baths, specific health benefits have been directly linked to cold or lukewarm showers. Cold bathing helps to shock your body awake and has been shown to reduce fatigue and improve mental alertness. Also, cold water can be used to treat depression. As well, from a dermatological standpoint, cold or lukewarm showers help to protect your skin.


Use Gentle Cleansers, Moisturizers or Oils

Another reason to avoid a hot bath is if you suffer from rosacea or skin redness. Heat seems to exacerbate these conditions. An excellent way to combat the redness and dryness that can occur from the cold weather and hot water is to use gentle cleansers, moisturizers and other essential oils. However, before using any skincare product, especially if you have an underlying condition, it is advised that you discuss options with a dermatologist.


Find Healthy Ways To Keep Warm

While it can be upsetting to discover that those beautiful and soothing hot baths are hazardous to the health of your skin, there are other ways to warm up and relax this winter. For example, you can wear layers, cuddle up under a blanket or snuggle with the one you love. It is recommended that you avoid scratchy materials, though, so bundle up with soft or cotton fabrics instead.


Have you been experiencing any redness or rashes this winter? Does the condition seem to worsen after baths? You may have an underlying skin condition, such as eczema. Contact Windsor Dermatology and schedule an appointment to discuss possible treatment options.