How to protect your skin during below-freezing temperatures - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

How to protect your skin during below-freezing temperatures

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There's plenty of people who have to work outside despite frigid cold temperatures.

Emergency responders, including firefighters and law enforcement, brave the weather no matter how chilly it is.

They must take extra precautions to make sure they can answer emergency situations outside.

"We wear Under Armor. If we have to, we put other gear on, our bunker gear. We've got coats we can stay warm with, toboggans, gloves, whatever we can do to stay warm," said Scott Holmes, firefighter and EMT for the Charleston Fire Department.

Emergency responders also take extra special care of their patients during the winter months.

"We have wool blankets under here that we carry. People could fall outside and be exposed to the weather. We want to warm their body up quickly so their core temperature doesn't get too cold," said Shawn Shaffer, firefighter and paramedic for the Charleston Fire Department.

Both men are used to battling flames and saving lives in extreme temperatures.

Still, keeping warm is their top priority during times of below-freezing temperatures.

In addition to layering up, experts said you should drink plenty of water. Hydration is key to surviving during cold temperatures. Hot tea is also another alternative to stay hydrated.

In addition to hydration, it's important to keep your skin moisturized.   According to Dr. Rahul Gupta,Kanawha Charleston Health Department, oil-based, and not water-based lotions, should be used during the winter months.

"Try to buy those oil based creams that will form a layer between your skin and the outside environment so that it will prevent the drying of your skin," he said.

Gupta said it is best to wash your hands and shower with lukewarm water. He said hot water also dries your skin out.

With below-freezing temperatures expected all week, Gupta said it is wise to take as best care of your skin and body as possible.

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