How does cold affect the skin?

Effect of cold

The very first reaction of the skin to cold is a sharp narrowing of the surface capillaries to reduce heat transfer. However, soon the vessels dilate again. This is to prevent tissue malnutrition. Such vascular “gymnastics” affects only superficial capillaries. Vessels lying deeper in the dermis do not undergo such drastic changes.

Low ambient temperatures are stressful for the skin. In the season of frost and cold winds, it becomes more sensitive, dull, vulnerable.

Dry skin is especially defenseless against winter cold. This is due to a change in the mode of operation of the sebaceous glands, which become less active. Therefore, dry skin suffers more than others.

Oily skin of the face under the influence of cold suffers significantly less, and sometimes takes on a healthier appearance. It also dries out, as a result of which the face loses its oily sheen.

Another factor that injures the skin in winter is temperature changes, for example, when leaving a warm room to the street in frosty weather and back. Such an impact disrupts the processes of renewal of epidermal cells, they slow down. The result is an increased sensitivity of the skin to negative influences. At the same time, the skin loses its elasticity, microcracks and peeling appear.

Photo: langll,

Alternative opinion

However, it is believed that cold can have a positive effect on the skin. According to many beauty experts, frost tones up the skin, as it stimulates microcirculation in the capillary bed. No wonder the images that personify the Russian winter are ruddy children and a white-faced beauty with a bright blush on her cheeks.

Based on a significant number of observations, it can be concluded that a lot depends on a specific situation. If short-term exposure to not very severe frost stimulates reserve mechanisms, activating blood circulation and toning the skin, then excessively low temperatures cause more negative changes. Renewal processes slow down, vasospasm occurs, nutrition of individual sections of the epidermis is disrupted. This is the reason for the uneven coloring of the skin in severe frosts, the appearance of areas of blanching, alternating with asymmetrical red spots.

In addition to temperature, the genetic characteristics of a particular organism affect the reaction of the skin. The amount of subcutaneous tissue, the depth of the blood vessels, the features of the sebaceous glands of the skin are factors that are individual for each person.

How does cold affect the skin?
Photo: Depositphotos

The skin’s response to cold is mixed. On the one hand, the activation of microcirculation promotes the renewal of epidermal cells. On the other hand, excessive cooling can lead to persistent vasospasm and malnutrition of the epidermis. Therefore, in the cold season, you need to choose the right care option for your skin in order to minimize the negative effects of external factors.

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