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posted: 1/17/2016 7:26 AM

Your health: Winter can be hard on your skin

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  • To keep your skin from drying out in the winter, take short, lukewarm showers and moisturize every day.

    To keep your skin from drying out in the winter, take short, lukewarm showers and moisturize every day.
    Thinkstock photo

 

Is your skin crying the winter blues?

We have entered the season of low temperatures and a lack of humidity.

Winters are dry and brutally cold, causing most of us to retreat indoors. Dry indoor heat not only adds to skin's dryness, but causes a thickening of dead skin cells.

Local skin specialist Dr. Josie Tenore of Highland Park offers the following tips to keep your skin healthy:

Exfoliate unwanted flakes: Microdermabrasion or hydrafacial treatments are perfect to remove this thick buildup of dead cells.

Moisturize the skin every day: Also, transition to a heavier, thicker moisturizer as needed.

Hot showers are a no-no for the winter: Yes, they are a great way to warm us up, but they tend to strip the skin and nails of natural oils, making the skin even drier. Lukewarm water and shorter showers are less damaging to the skin.

UV protection: You might think if it is cold and cloudy, you don't need sunscreen, but you do. UV light exists regardless of whether the sun is shining or not, so UV protection must be worn everyday and should include the lips and any body part that is exposed,

Hair removal treatments: If you've been considering laser treatments to remove hair, the winter can be a good time to have them done. Since the process usually takes multiple treatments spaced weeks apart, if you start now, you could be done by pool season.

Health Insurance Marketplace help

Consumers who have not yet signed up for health insurance through the government's Health Insurance Marketplace still have time -- but the deadline is fast approaching.

A plan must be selected and the premium paid by Jan. 31 to obtain coverage effective March 1.

Vista Health System continues to offer free application assistance to help individuals evaluate insurance options on the Marketplace and complete their application forms. Vista's bilingual staff of state-licensed certified application counselors is available for individuals or organizations who need help. For an appointment, call (847) 360-6955, or email Vista at Alicia_Romero@chs.net.

Increased penalties for 2016 are driving many newcomers to the Marketplace, as most individuals must choose between purchasing insurance and paying a fine. Fines are $695 per adult, $347.50 per child, and up to $2,085 per family or 2.5% of family income -- whichever is higher. The fines will be assessed when 2016 federal tax returns are filed.

Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment ends Jan. 31.

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