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Cold Weather and Skin

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  • Cold Weather and Skin

    I went to China in the winter about 3 years ago. It was some of the worst cold I had ever experienced. The high was about 6 degrees each day. I bundled up with many layers. However I saw some Chinese walking around with barely anything on except a lighter jacket. I saw one guy with short sleeves on. I experienced this same thing when I went to Canada. The cold was dangerous. People say the reason I saw people dressed so lightly is that they are used to it and their skin has adjusted to the cold over years. I don't think that is true. I think the body needs cover regardless of how long you have lived in that climate. I have never heard science prove that our skin adjusts that much to extreme temperatures. But I could be wrong. Any opinions?

  • #2
    My skin always ends up getting really dry in the winter months. My skin is not affected the rest of the year, just during the harsh winter months. I've been lucky this year especially as the winter has been milder than in recent years.

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    • #3
      I do believe our bodies adjust to the weather. I have a sister in Hawaii who literally freezes when she comes to NJ in the winter. No matter how much layering she does, she cannot get warm enough. I have friends in Connecticut who walk around in shorts and tank tops in the snow. Again, they are used to it. I think our blood thickens and thins with the weather. Even though it was in the 70s when I visited CT, I was cold (and I'm from NJ). I think the humidity was much lower than what I was used to. My skin does get really dry in the winter as Dillinger stated.

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      • #4
        I think that some people are just naturally warmer or colder than others. Some people feel extreme temperatures more than others do, or they have a higher tolerance. I'm a cold person myself and am constantly adding more layers during winter.

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        • #5
          I have to use daily moisturizer in the winter because I have chronic dry skin. One does acclimate to where you live to some extent. Skin issues can be caused by all sorts of things like dry air, cold damp air, wind, and your own bodies ability to produce enough oil or not. Keeping skin covered by a light layer may be enough to protect it from the elements if your core is warm enough.

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          • #6
            It is all in what you get used to, until you hit 55 or so, then your systems change.

            For a really compelling story about a lady and what it is like to be cold, find the story about Mary Draper-Ingles and her walk along and in the New River to escape her captors. "follow the river" by James Alexander Tom wrote the book, well worth reading.

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            • #7
              The word here is getting acclimatized. It's the human body's response to adapt where it has been used to. I went to Tokyo last December where I was really wrapped up good on a 3 degree weather but saw many locals wearing light jacket and mini skirt. Another one is the case of my in-laws who live in Canada now. In their first few years there, they couldn't bear the cold. Now on their 7th year there, 10 degrees is like summer to them already.

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              • #8
                People adapt to their surroundings and weather is no exception. I live in the mild weather Pacific Northwest and go absolutely crazy in humid hot weather. If someone is used to living in a cold climate, their hot and cold comfort zone is going to be different than someone who is used to hot weather all of the time. It is like people who live in hot desert environment , you will see that their skin looks a little more leathery than someone who lives in an area that is not hot all the time, it is skin protection.

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                • #9
                  Interesting you mention this. The other day I was walking in nature preserve, and just had a hoodie and a stocking hat, and felt underdressed. I started thinking that the Native Americans in cold areas would go around with skin exposed. They didn't wear the furs of animals for coats, but only for blankets. The Inuit people would also sometimes have bare skin, but they did wear furs like people wear coats today, but that was because their climate was harsher than the Indians. I think people can get used to cold, just like people get used to warmth. I have seen Florida people in Iowa shivering at 60 degree temperatures I could sweat in!

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                  • #10
                    Yup. People totally adapt to their surroundings and it's pretty amazing. I grew up in the NW as well and so I'm used to moderate temps and overcast weather. Moving to the Midwest I can't stand the extreme humid heat and the freezing cold. Also people who live in high elevations have larger lung capacity because there's less oxygen so they adapt to that.

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                    • #11
                      Here in Indiana, it can get pretty down right cold during the winter. Most nights are single digits if not negative, and the wind chills are -10 to -20 degrees. When it is 30 degrees here, you will see people with just sweatshirts on, because after having subzero temps, 30 feels pretty darn good! I know I can tolerate some pretty harsh temperatures, but exposing bare skin to single digits is still a no no for us. In just a matter of 15 minutes outside when it is only 5 degrees here and a wind chill of -15, you can feel yourself and skin literally freezing. Your fingers will start to go numb and burn. Even having your face exposed to it will cause it to burn. It is the worse feeling ever. People in China may have a tolerance of some sort built up for extreme cold, but even being from the Midwest, we do not have a tolerance to wear just a jacket!

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                      • #12
                        Winter coldest seasons compared to all the seasons. We need to take proper care to our skin in winter to maintain skin glow. In this season only our skin gets itching senses. One of the main reasons of skin dryness is deficiency on Vitamin c in our body. Some of the precautions we need to take care in winter to maintain
                        1. Chose your cleanser carefully
                        2. Wear gloves
                        3. Shorten your showers.
                        4. Overnight moisturizer.
                        5. Drink warm water with lemon and honey.

                        https://www.rapidresponse.org.in/

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