When the weather turns cold and your skin becomes dry and irritated, do you write it off as one of the chilling facts of winter? Take note: What you see in the mirror might be a treatable skin condition. "Winter wind and low humidity can exacerbate many skin problems," says Robert B. Polisky, M.D., a dermatologist in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, and spokesman for the American Academy of Dermatology. "You may not be aware of them in the warmer months because milder weather keeps them in check."

The Rules for Saving Winter Skin
  • Cleanse with a light touch; scrubbing can cause further irritation.
  • Keep shower and tub time short; soaking robs skin of moisture.
  • Wear no less than SPF 15 every day.
  • Forego products with fragrance and/or alcohol; look for those with "hypoallergenic" on the label.

Learn to identify and treat four of the most common skin diseases.