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#212749 - 12/09/10 05:56 AM Protecting exposed skin in winter
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
I'm guessing the best protection for exposed skin of hands and head in winter is to not expose any, but that is probably unrealistic and could eliminate a productive discussion.

So, what are the best ways to protect exposed skin of hands and head [including lips, nostrils, eyebrows, ears, and everything else] in winter? Lanolin? Petroleum jelly?

Thoughts?

Thanks.

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#212750 - 12/09/10 06:02 AM Re: Protecting exposed skin in winter [Re: dweste]
Richlacal Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 778
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Zinc Oxide works,So does Chapstick!I've used both,Up in Mammoth!

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#212752 - 12/09/10 08:37 AM Re: Protecting exposed skin in winter [Re: dweste]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7326
Loc: southern Cal
Allowing the skin oils to accumulate naturally is of benefit....
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#212754 - 12/09/10 10:32 AM Re: Protecting exposed skin in winter [Re: dweste]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2196
Loc: Beer&Cheese country
You might be a little unclear. Do you mean "protect" like keeping from frostbite, or keeping from drying out and cracking?

Yes, you go through more chapstick and lotion during the winter months. Part of that is probably failure to drink adequate fluids. So I try and consciously drink more water.

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#212755 - 12/09/10 10:36 AM Re: Protecting exposed skin in winter [Re: MDinana]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Originally Posted By: MDinana
Do you mean "protect" like keeping from frostbite, or keeping from drying out and cracking?


Both, thanks.

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#212757 - 12/09/10 11:26 AM Re: Protecting exposed skin in winter [Re: hikermor]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
Originally Posted By: hikermor
Allowing the skin oils to accumulate naturally is of benefit....


... which means no shaving or showering in the morning before a day out in the cold. You can do that in the afternoon, after you come in again. This is recommended practice in the Norwegian Army.

On top of your not-freshly-washed skin you can put various ointments and creams. The recommendation is to avoid any water based stuff (fat is good). But I must add that I never felt I needed any cream to keep frostbite away, and I have never used any. From what I've heard, any fat based cream will work.

My problem in the dry cold is cracking lips and fingertips (just right by the finger nails). I use lip balm and skin cream for that, as well as staying hydrated.


Edited by MostlyHarmless (12/09/10 11:27 AM)

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#212760 - 12/09/10 12:55 PM Re: Protecting exposed skin in winter [Re: dweste]
ireckon Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 1629
Loc: Northern California
Vitamin E
Petroleum Jelly

I'll put one of those on my face if I know it will be a harsh day on the ski lifts. I'm not talking about moisturizing here. These are more like shells to protect the skin from harsh winds at 2 degrees F. They feel annoying on your face when you're in a comfy room, but you'll appreciate them on your skin when the conditions are harsh.
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#212771 - 12/09/10 04:38 PM Re: Protecting exposed skin in winter [Re: ireckon]
NAro Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/15/01
Posts: 495
One of the reasons my fire kit uses PJ/Cotton is that I've used that to reduce wind chap. on exposed skin. I've also rubbed it into cracked fingers. Multi-use is the way to go, IMHO.

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#212774 - 12/09/10 05:48 PM Re: Protecting exposed skin in winter [Re: dweste]
TimDex Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 06/13/10
Posts: 56
Loc: New York State
Keeping your hands from drying out by using something like cocoa butter cream does help. But if you get those real annoying small cracks in your fingertips right by the nail, something I've found that really works is liquid bandage. The best is probably Walgreen's liquid bandage (which comes in a small bottle with an applicator. A double application, with the second several minutes after the first seems to do the trick). Smells like some kind of nail polish remover. But it really does work. If you keep getting your hands in water, those little cracks won't go away. Liquid band. gets it healed. I'd be tempted to include a small bottle in an emergency FA kit.

Tim W. (not a TV pitchman, but probably sounds like one).

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#212776 - 12/09/10 06:34 PM Re: Protecting exposed skin in winter [Re: dweste]
JerryFountain Offline
Addict

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 418
Loc: St. Petersburg, Florida
To protect skin from chapping and cracking, all the above are good, use what works for you. If you feel the need for protection from wind, the zinc oxide and others help block the wind so you do not feel it as badly. All of them increase the chance of frostbite because they can increase the heat loss. Dry skin is a better insulator than skin loaded with a higher heat transfer medium. Many of them (particularly zinc oxide) also hide the first signs of frostbite and therefore tend to make the occurance worse because the damage is bad before anyone notices. Makes the answer much more complicated. I use lip balm and lotion but not if I have to work in the most severe conditions without - A balaclava, proper hood (preferrably with fur), goggles and good mittens are the best, then you can use any cream you want.

Facial hair and ICE are always good ;-).

Respectfully,

Jerry


Edited by JerryFountain (12/09/10 06:35 PM)

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