High altitude and dry, cold conditions can wreak havoc on your skin
The Skinny on Skincare
Skin — it holds
it all together
As the body’s largest organ, and the
most exposed, skin needs a little
TLC if it’s going to stay healthy for
the long haul. And that’s where Jean
Liu Urquhart, M.D., comes in. Both
a board certified dermatologist and
dermapathologist, Dr. Urquhart
works with Mountain Dermatology
Specialists in Eagle and Vail. She
looks at your skin and it tells her
things about its sensitivities and
inclinations; she gets it under a mi-
croscope and it reveals even more.
Most of her patients visit for annual
skin cancer screenings, but she also
sees people for acne, warts, rashes
and skincare regimens.
“We have a few different
elements we have to work with at
high altitude when we’re talking
about skincare,” she said.
They go like this:
Any one of these elements
deserves a response. Put them to-
gether and they demand one. “You
combine them and they can wreak
havoc on your skin,” she said.
Luckily, there’s a fairly straight-
forward way to deal with the
“Dryness is the number one
thing that I talk about in the win-
ter months,” she said. “There are
lots of things that can contribute
She cites the low humidity rate
as well as a love of hot water as
major contributors. Soap can dry
out the skin, too. “It strips the skin
of natural oils and hydration,” Dr.
Urquhart explained. “I ask people
to soap the face, armpits, groin
and feet — wash those areas.” But
leave it at that unless some other
area demands special attention.
Though many people use lotion,
she says to kick it up a notch
and find a moisturizing cream.
The difference between lotions
and creams comes down to the
amount of water and oil they
have in them. And don’t think of
moisture as something that only
BY WREN WERTIN
Dr. Jean Liu Urquhart