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Nov 23, 2017

Healthy Living: Be Good to Your Skin

As the end of the year draws near, cooler temperatures will start to set in and our version of the “Caribbean winter” will commence. While a break from the hot and humid days is usually welcomed by all; cooler and drier temperatures bring with it some health challenges. Tonight on Healthy Living: we look at protecting our skin when the temperatures go down.


Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Our skin has a very important function. It is our body’s first defense from infections. A physical barrier that way too often we choose to neglect. As we anticipate the cooler temperatures, Dermatologist Doctor Jorge Lopez reminds us that we must pay a little more attention to our skin.


Jorge Lopez Ganja

Dr. Jorge Lopez Ganja, Dermatologist

“The health of your skin is greatly impacted with the environment and temperature is one important factor. As the temperature drops and the weather gets cooler. The skin tends to get drier.  The functions of the skins are various. One of them is fending you off from harmful elements. That barrier function as we call it gets impaired if your skin is dry. S0 for example if I have dry skin and I’m doing dishes. The chemical of the dish washing liquid will go into my skin and create a rash. Easier than if my skin was moisturized. Of course here the genetics play a big role. Because there are people that genetically have skin that is tougher and some other people that have skin that is very sensitive. So the ones that suffer the most is the ones that have sensitive skin and those are the ones that should be more careful. Or children who happen to have more sensitive skin or less resilient skin.”


If you suffer from dry skin or simply want to do your best to have better skin care when its cooler: here are some recommendations from the skin specialist.


Dr. Jorge Lopez Ganja

“Number one is: Avoiding any irritants or as many as you could. This has to do with the detergent. The amount you use. If or not you use fabric softener. Scented problems. I have a lot of patients that have rashes and dermatitis and when I ask if they use moisturizer then they say yes – especially females. But when I ask specifically what kind. Ninety-nine percent of the time it is a scented lotion that they would use and scented means it has more chemicals. If we’re talking about dry skin and you are putting more chemicals. It would make the dermatitis worse.   One of the things you have to do is to use the proper moisturizing. Another common mistake is using oil. A lot of people would feel that if they apply coconut oil for example that it is moisturizing the skin. Truth is. It’s really not. It looks like it’s not dry but that doesn’t mean that it is moisturizing it so that does not really help to keep your skin healthy. The time of the application of the moisturizing. We advise our patients to use a moisturizer after the shower when your skin is still damp. So the moisture locks in better and it also reduces the greasy feeling you might have which a lot of my patients tell me that they don’t like.”


Doctor Lopez recommends unscented moisturizer for all skin types. For those with very dry skin, they can use petroleum jelly a few times a day. Stay away from too hot showers as it can also cause dry skin. And despite the common belief that water may fix your dry skin problem. Doctor Lopez says not so.


Dr. Jorge Lopez Ganja

“It makes more sense for you to moisturizer your skin. Yes because it would not reach the area we want to treat. Overall your health is great with drinking water. It’s the best thing in terms of hydrating. In terms of your skin you have to apply a moisturizer.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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